Yesterday, Patricia Hernandez over on Kotaku posted about how she’s basically addicted to Fallout Shelter, the new game from Bethesda for mobile platforms. I downloaded it to my iPhone 6 the same day and I can already see where she’s coming from.

Folks, I have never played a second of Farmville or Hay Day or “Seedshack” and what-have-you, but I understand the addictive gameplay concept of those games and I think it’s safe to say Bethesda has successfully adopted said concept to Fallout Shelter — and so far I’m helplessly on board. Yeah, many of us have ridiculed the Farmville players in our lives, so this just goes to show that if you wrap something in the right kind of package, we can all be lured in like the mindless consumer-zombies we inherently are deep inside.


The first vault I created was given the ID of 742 and it’s a complete disaster. This poor vault is in constant crisis. There’s never enough food, never enough water, the power generators struggle to keep up, and the dwellers mope around in their assigned rooms with constant frowns and complaints. There’s even a dweller that showed up with a hockey mask and “horror fan outfit,” but his stats were pretty good, so we let him in.


As you can see, even the arrangement of the room types is in chaos. Rooms can be combined and upgraded, but there’s no smooth continuity here and even an elevator to nowhere. The rooms can be destroyed, but that costs caps, and at less than 200 at the time of the screenshot, not much is gonna change anytime soon.


And oh yeah, there was a baby boom, which as you can imagine did nothing to alleviate the shortage of resources. In vault 742, the dwellers are miserable; the creator is a failure.


I decided to reboot and thus vault 777 was born. Things are going much better already: power is abundant, there is food and water aplenty, and dwellers go about their tasks with a grin and a bounce in their step.


But you know what? Success is kinda boring. Seems like I do an awful lot of staring at the screen and waiting for something to happen. In fact, things are so good that unlike with vault 742, the game creates a crisis every now and then, like a fire or radroach invasion. And when those things happen, I’m ready to pounce and direct my dwellers to success and survival, yet, the men and women of 777 don’t seem to need my help, as they swiftly extinguish the fires or shoot off and stomp away the radroaches all on their own. I guess I’ll come back later, guys? You can give me a call if you want!


Lesson: hold on to your “failed” vaults for variety. When one vault starts to get boring, load up another to fill the gap and keep things interesting. Or consider going back to work, you slacker.

Fallout Shelter is free with in-game purchases available, although I haven’t taken advantage of them so far (and likely won’t). It’s playable on the smaller screen of my iPhone 6, but a tablet-sized platform would be both ideal and preferred. The tablet I have is Android-based, so I’ll have to wait. According to Bethesda, ETA is a few months. Oh, and if you got miffed by my comparison to Farmville and if it would make you feel any better, I would also say it reminds me of Dungeon Keeper (which I have played — and enjoyed!).