Production values won't save your flawed product; That's the lesson Fallout Shelter keeps on teaching us. Okay, it might be making tons of money - the fallout name and setting will bring users in, for sure, even if they had never played one of these free to play timesink money grabbing schemes yet - and it might look and feel better than most of these shameless Skinner boxes, but I'll have nothing to do with it. This is farmville in a post-apocalyptic setting.

The game drops the ball in the first five seconds, asking me to choose a vault number, allowing for "007" but then removing the 0s and making my vault number 7. Then you get the basic farmville tutorial of how to do things in the most ideal of world where you have enough resources to do them and you don't have to wait for timers. You build rooms using bottle caps and recruit people to do things in these rooms based on their SPECIAL stats. You'll need to generate many things to keep your vault running, power, food and water. Of course, where this game rubs me the wrong way horribly is how your resources keep dwindling as you're not playing, thus forcing you to come back often or suffer the consequences.

There are no premium currencies in FS but you can buy lunchboxes with real money, they contain cards which represent gear and special characters. The gear is used to improve the SPECIAL stats of your vault dwellers and you need more people in order to properly use all the rooms you're building. As a side note, the breeding aspect of the game, although goofy, is kinda gross, since you have to assign your highest Charisma people together and all they do is have kids, and after a while this is the only way you can get more vault dwellers, since people won't really line up in front of your door. Why can't everyone participate to vault re-population? You can't have kids when you're doing other things?

The way most rooms work is by creating resources at fixed intervals, making you tap on them to collect them. You can upgrade your rooms for bottle caps in order to increase their production speed and capacity and you also can rush your rooms, at a fixed percentage rate, you're trying to get the resources right now. If it fails, the rooms shuts down and you need to fight some terrible incident in it, like fires or a roach infestation. Random raider attacks also place your base into defense mode with your weapons finally becoming useful. All of these things are just drain on your resources. It's true that you can send people outside to get more stuff, but your resources will keep going away and not replenish as fast. Especially if you're not playing constantly.

And that's why I dropped the game. Coming back to characters slightly more irradiated than they were before irks me. Having to actively collect resources is already a staple in the free to play model, but I still can't stomach all of this. Some general clunkyness in the menus added on top of that made this an experience I wasn't chomping at the bits to continue. 

AuthorJérémie Tessier