FALLOUT SHELTER was released as a mobile game, in advance of Fallout 4, just after both games were announced at Bethesda’s E3 2015 showcase. It was available as a PC game in 2016, Xbox One in 2017, and then Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4 earlier this year.

I played it three years ago on my phone, before moving on to Fallout 4 and other console games. I thought it would be fun to see what it’s like now, with all of the updates they’ve made over the years, and on a much bigger screen.

In FALLOUT SHELTER, players build a large, underground bomb shelter aka “vault,” and manage the lives and resources of the vault dwellers. It shares some elements in common with Fallout 4‘s settlement building system and with community simulation games like Virtual Villagers or My Tribe.

Legos inspired the standardized colonization modules in my Stellarnet books. In my novels, pre-fabricated living spaces called “blocks” were linked side-by-side and stacked on top of one another to form enclosed, self-sufficient space colonies. The vault sections in FALLOUT SHELTER work in a similar way.

As free-to-play games go, FALLOUT SHELTER is casual and enjoyable. In-game purchases are optional and, so far, I haven’t felt like they’re required. When I played this game years ago on my mobile, I maxed out my vault – full size, full population, 100% happiness – without spending any money.

I didn’t play long enough to experience the content I hadn’t seen before, as I needed more vault dwellers to unlock the Overseer’s Office, Weapon Workshop, Outfit Workshop and Theme Workshop. But I might start playing this game on Fallout Fridays, once in awhile, along with Fallout 4.

FALLOUT SHELTER is rated “T” for teens, due to mild violence, suggestive themes, and alcohol references.

~ J.L. Hilton

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