Is Fallout Shelter Just Another Free-to-Play Game?

Aside from announcing some interesting gameplay information, a physical Pip-Boy collectors edition and an official release date, the Bethesda team took a chance and debuted Fallout Shelter for iOS. The mobile game was made available less than an hour after the Bethesda conference and oh boy, do I have a few things to say about it.

If you are anything like me, you watched nervously as Todd Howard explained the ins and outs to Fallout Shelter, wondering which platform it would be available on and when you could purchase it. When Todd finally wrapped up the segment with saying that the game would be available on iOS, a more disappointing thought may have crossed your mind around the lines of, “oh god, another free-to-play iOS game”.

I personally do not gravitate towards free-to-play mobile games. However, I love the simulation genre and Fallout universe, so I decided to give Fallout Shelter a well deserved tryout. After three hours and accepting the fact that I had to wake up for work at 5 a.m, I told myself to force-shut my eyes and PUT THE PHONE AWAY.

Fallout Shelter

The game operates similar to most loosely based free-to-play games. Although you are capable of finding your own resources and managing without spending money, the game gets along much faster and is far more rewarding if you do spend the money. I am proud to say that after six hours of playing Fallout Shelter, I have yet to spend a single dime.

All vault dwellers possess unique attributes and qualities, and while I wait for rocks to get removed or for additional rooms to be built (similar to Clash of Clans), I spend most of my time staring at my vault family. I have one character who wears a Tunnel Snakes jacket and always seems too cool. On the other hand, I have a dweller in my vault who is super creepy, and although he is nothing but a mindless NPC, I still find myself feeling weary of his creepy smile and imagined ulterior motives.

Strip away the vintage, post-apocalyptic theme of Fallout Shelter and you still have a fairly decent mobile game. As you scroll your fingers around the vault, point of view begins to shift and change, adding depth perception to your environment. Timed actions such as building, scouting or removing don’t take too much time, allowing you to continue feeling submerged into gameplay.

Although the mobile game feels extremely reminiscent of the upcoming kickstarter game, Sheltered, I feel that it is still unique considering its atmospheric advantage. I will continue to work in Fallout Shelter in my everyday life, cashing in materials and bottle caps whenever I can. When i’m finally exploring Boston on November 10th, I will be happy to have Fallout Shelter strapped into my Pip-Boy during loading times and man, I’m going to look so good!