If you told me last week the next Fallout game was coming to mobile, I would’ve bet all my bottlecaps that you’re crazy…or suffering from radiation poisoning.

During Bethesda’s E3 press conference earlier this week, we were treated not one but two Fallout games: the highly anticipated ‘Fallout 4’ and a mobile-only title called ‘Fallout Shelter’.

The latter of which was the real bombshell of the show – garnering much interest from its surprise announcement and immediate availability.

Don’t you just love those ‘And you can play it RIGHT NOW’ moments?

In a nutshell, Fallout Shelter is a vault management simulator with a heavy focus on resource gathering. While the concept may sound a little stale, it’s the execution that really sets this game apart.

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As the Vault Overseer, you’re tasked with growing and managing the population of your vault. The basis of Fallout Shelter’s gameplay breaks down to you assigning vault dwellers to produce three specific resources: water, electricity and food.

This mostly involves you dragging dwellers to specific rooms and tapping said rooms to gather the needed resources.

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From here, you will start to earn bottlecaps that allow you to grow your vault and build more rooms to generate resources. As your vault populace grows you will unlock various different rooms all with their own unique benefit.

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But where Fallout Shelter really shines is with its unique mechanics that add some really compelling layers of depth.

Take the dwellers for example. Every dweller has a complete set of Fallout’s SPECIAL stats and directly affects how efficient they are at gathering specific resources. Dweller’s will level up and earn stat increases by performing certain activities.

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You can even earn outfits to equip dwellers with to increase certain stats and weapons to them a little extra firepower when fighting off radroaches or raider attacks.

Send your dwellers into the unknowns of the wasteland to gather more items, weapons, and bottlecaps. All this plays out like a minute-to-minute journal entry from the dweller’s perspective.

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With all that covered, you may now be wondering how you grow the population of your vault. Well let me tell you, it’s all done the good ol’ fashion way. Cue the porno music.

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While Fallout Shelter isn’t particularly challenging, it is demanding. Those resources aren’t going to tap themselves and if you don’t, your vault will stop functioning and your dwellers will become sick and unhappy – leaving them open to an easy death at the ends of a raider or radroach attack.

What makes Fallout Shelter worth the demand is its consumer-friendly monetization or lack thereof. There are no special currencies, energy meters or in-your-face advertisements to be found in Fallout Shelter.

The only thing purchasable are these lunch boxes that contain 5 different items, that vary anywhere from a new weapon, outfit or dweller to bottlecaps and even extra resources.

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As far as free-to-play titles, Fallout Shelter is a shining example of putting the consumer first – something only possible through Bethesda Game Studio’s financial advantage.

From its fantastic art style to the dweller’s quirky dialogue, this bite-sized builder is everything I’ve ever wanted from a mobile Fallout experience – I just didn’t know that until now.

 

Fallout Shelter is available now on iOS, and is coming to Android in ‘a few months’ according to a Tweet from Bethesda Game Studios.