Fallout Shelter V.12 Still no Panther Sightings

Fallout Shelter is an officially licensed portable game for iOS and Android. Releasing all the way back in the year 2015, Fallout Shelter has had two prosperous years of updates. Indeed, players everywhere can become their own overseers for a “control” vault, instead of one of those other “experimental” sites such as Vault 43 which features 20 men, 10 women, and one panther. However, despite the limitations of players’ experimentation (and no panthers in sight), Fallout Shelter is a fully fledged game that you can play without hurting your wallet!.

Fans of the Fallout series can rejoice at the fact their series has not been tainted by the move to portable. While it is true Fallout Shelter is a click-fest the game does its best to provide a fulfilling experience for those who want Fallout on the go. The objective is simple, create a self-sustaining vault that can protect itself from outside threats (such as deathclaws), keep the dwellers happy, and maintain a healthy size population. But, you’re not restricted to the inside of the vault as you can happily send out your vault-dwellers to explore the dangers of the waste without much repercussion… unless you’re playing hardcore!!!

Playing Fallout Shelter in hardcore means that death is permanent. Normally, players will be able to restore their dwellers from death by paying a certain amount of caps, but hardcore ensures you’ll want to constantly watch your wards as they explore the wasteland looking for riches, fame, fortune, and glory. Yet, exploration can only take a player so far, as treasure answers the call of those who seek to complete quests on a regular basis.

Quest in Fallout Shelter consist of visiting different levels and exploring their underground or aboveground sections in a search for items, characters, a quiz show, or general goofiness with your charismatic character tricking everyone into giving him/her goods. Each quest features a certain level/weapon/stat requirement that will prevent or allow specific dwellers to participate, but even those are mitigated as you breed an army of Super-Dwellers from level one. Yes, despite the limited the ability to experiment, you too (the player) can be the ultimate scientist and create your own race of uberschmen.

Raising the stats of the vault dwellers is probably the most time consuming part of Fallout Shelter. It’s not until the player can craft multiple training rooms for each S.P.E.C.I.A.L stat and fully improve the room they will see a noticeable increase in the game speed. But, once every single dweller has max stats and can tackle a rampaging horde of deathclaws by their own selves; you’ll find yourself swimming in more bottle caps than you’ll ever need.  Which is where the problems for Fallout Shelter start to rear their ugly heads…

The end game of Fallout Shelter is extremely dull as getting rare weapons becomes easy, and vaults become self-managing with the loose application of a number of Mr. Handy. Soon those moments where the player had to be glued to the screen as the timer counts down in order to gather electricity, water, and food become a thing of the past and they can focus on simply completing quests. While in theory this is a great thing as it reduces the amount of clicking required to play, it takes away much of the game as soon they’ll find themselves simply assigning a quest each day and checking back when their dwellers arrive on the spot… rinse and repeat. There isn’t much to do afterwards and this causes Fallout Shelter to become boring. Fallout Shelter is also not helped by the fact that the type of vault you’re running is particularly uncreative and somewhat against the lore of the main series.

Originally, there was only a set amount of vaults in the Fallout series, and Fallout Shelter allows players to create vaults anywhere from 001 to 999. But, originally there was only 122 vaults and only 17 were “control” types in Fallout lore. The rest of the 105 vaults were experimental ones such as the aforementioned Vault 43 with it’s population of men, women, and a panther. But, this wasn’t the only type of vault experiment as anyone who knows of the lore will be able to tell you of the crazy experiments Vault-Tec ran in each of those 105.  From subliminal messages to a cloning experiment gone wrong, and even an electoral sacrifice there was no end to the insanity nor experiment too savage for Vault-Tec to tackle in their underground bunkers. But, you can’t do anything even remotely similar in Fallout Shelter.

Image belongs to it’s respective owner and borrowed from roosterteeth.com

Obviously Fallout Shelter is a non-canon title, but this doesn’t mean they didn’t have the potential to take to some of the liberties provided by the original games and apply them to the game. While I understand Fallout Shelter is meant to be a simple free-to-pay time waster with a Fallout skin; the game had a ton of potential that is not currently being used to its maximum capacity. Who wouldn’t want to reenact the experiments held in such Vaults as:

Vault 11:  Which tested the capacity for self-preservation via electoral sacrifices.

Vault 12: Testing how radiation would affect the inhabitants.

Vault 13: Designed to study how isolation would affect the citizens.

Vault 15: Studied the effects of diversity in the population.

Vault 21: Studied the effects of gambling addiction.

Vault 22: An agricultural vault that caused its inhabitants to mutate into plant-like creatures.

Vault 27: 2000 people came into this vault despite their capacity originally being 1000.

Vault 34: Given a fully stocked armory and no safety measures to prevent anyone from entering it.

Vault 36: The food produced in this vault was basically garbage.

Vault 39: Became a jungle after experimenting with the G.E.C.K

Vault 42: Designed to create a race of low light visual capacity humans!

Vault 55: No entertainment tapes were available.

Vault 56: Only entertainment was videos about a particularly bad comedian.

Vault 68: 999 men and one woman.

Vault 69: 999 women and one man.

Vault 75: Similar to Halo’s Spartan project where kids separated from their parents underwent harsh survival experiment

Vault 77: One man and a crate full of puppets.

Vault 81: Became a control vault after the overseer decided to shut down the experiment. But, originally meant to learn how to treat all human diseases.

Vault 88: Never finished, but in Fallout 4 it can be made to run various experiments.

Essentially, despite the fact that the Fallout lore has ample types of experiments to provide they game does not take advantage of any of these scenarios and it is where Fallout Shelter falls truly short of the series’ pedigree. While the game certainly deserves a chance it’s just not going to keep people entertained past a month or two. However, if the developers at Behavior Interactive decide to add the social experiments aspect the series is known for then perhaps that will add much needed variety for Fallout Shelter.

Fallout Shelter is available now on iOS and Android.