On June 2, one of gaming’s most loved and revered studios, Bethesda, sent gamers into a frenzy when they uploaded a clock on fallout.bethsoft.com. A 1950s-esque count-down timer and told the world to “Please Stand By.” The next day, the first trailer went live for Fallout 4 – the highly anticipated follow-up to everyone’s favourite post-nuclear holocaust, retro-futuristic, survival RPG Fallout 3.
A few weeks later, Bethesda released Fallout Shelter, a free-to-play mobile game set in the same universe, as a way to hold fans over until the official game’s Nov 10 release. The game is simple in concept but massive in gameplay. You are the overseer of Vault #_ _ _ (you choose the number but let’s be honest, it will be 420) and are responsible for building and managing the underground society.
As a Vault overseer, you have the power to build resource-generating rooms (power generator, water treatment, diner, etc.), move dwellers around your Vault (to staff rooms, fight intruders, explore the Wasteland and even make little baby dwellers) and grow your society as new items become available to build and travellers arrive seeking refuge from the Wasteland.
You can complete in-game challenges to earn caps (Fallout’s money) and lunch-boxes (which are full of fun surprises!), level up Vault inhabitants, upgrade rooms and collect powerful weapons and outfits all while enjoying the game’s beautiful, Vault-Boy inspired graphics and interactive in-game mechanics (the zoom-in feature is wicked).
This seemingly little game could have been the equivalent of any piece of scrap you would find out in the radiation-filled Wasteland. But this is Bethesda we’re talking about; they somehow find a way to make the fallout from their games feel huge.