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Review: Fallout Shelter

As I write this, I have Fallout Shelter open on my phone. Vault 777 currently sits at 31 occupants and I seriously need to ramp up my energy output if I’m going to expand any time soon. I have 3 dwellers out roaming the wasteland and, while I am in serious need of weapons better than a rusty BB-gun, all they seem to pick up is more damn outfits. And on top of all of that, I can’t rush any of my rooms without the risk of yet another radroach infestation.

All of that may sound like the ramblings of a mad woman to you but, trust me when I say, if you stop reading this right now and immediately start playing Fallout Shelter, you will be able to empathize with me within the hour.

Fallout Shelter Introduction Screen

Fallout Shelter is a new strategy game from Bethesda Softworks LLC that appears to have been an instant success; it surpassed Candy Crush in revenue for at least two days during its premier week. Fallout Shelter makes me imagine the game Tiny Tower, the movie Pleasantville, and the book Wool all got together and had a baby. In Fallout Shelter the rest of the world is a Wasteland and you are the Overseer of your vault; which means, you have to make sure the Dwellers in your vault are supplied with enough food, water, and energy to survive. While the game walks you through a brief tutorial each time you start a vault (and you can have up to three), right now it’s only available through iOS so I’ll give you a run down so Android users can be brought up to speed and be fully prepared for when Fallout Shelter becomes available for them.


Power is your most important resource. It is what runs all the other rooms and, if you don’t have enough of it, the rooms furthest away from the power will start to shut down. So make sure you have power and plenty of it.

After power, you will need food (to feed your dwellers) and water (to keep them from getting radiation poisoning) so build a diner and a water treatment plant and make sure you have enough power to keep them running.


All of your dwellers are categorized according to how they rank on the SPECIAL scale (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charm, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck). Each letter stands for a certain trait and each trait is best suited for a particular type of room. Later in the game, you’ll be able to build rooms to train each trait to a higher level and the higher the level of each trait, the better they perform in their preferred room.


Lunchboxes are the most amazing things in the world. When you complete certain objectives, you get rewarded with either CAPS (the games currency) or a lunchbox. A lunchbox will always contain CAPS, but it can also contain badass weaponry and even special dwellers who already have one or more traits maxed out. The last time I was this excited to get a lunchbox, I was in the second grade and it was a Lisa Frank lunchbox and it came with a matching thermos that I never used.


You need weapons. Whenever you can, send someone out into the Wasteland. More often than not, they’re going to bring back outfits that boost certain traits, which is helpful. But they will also find weapons which can defend your vault from raiders and radroaches and help your dwellers get further into the Wasteland to find even more badassery.


You can “rush” your production rooms if you need to but, each time you do, you increase the chances of there being an incident (like the room catching on fire) which can cause damage to your dweller’s health. Too much damage and they die and then you have to either remove the corpse from the vault (and lose the weapon and outfit they had) or keep the corpse in the vault until you have enough CAPS to revive it. The problem with this is two-fold… your dwellers aren’t going to be happy working next to a corpse and, the higher level they were before their untimely passing, the more CAPS it will cost to revive them.

Fallout Shelter Corpse Removal


Finally, you need people. You can either wait for new dwellers to arrive at the door to your vault or you can make them the old fashioned way. And yes, I’m talking about sex. Send a man and a woman to the living quarters and, if they like each other, they’ll start throwing out cheesy pickup lines. The pickup lines lead to dancing and the dancing leads to the couple exiting stage right and coming back in the room with a grin plastered on the man’s face and the woman bent over with a hand on the small of her back looking like she’s already 7-months pregnant.

Fallout Shelter Pregnant Woman

On its face, Fallout Shelter seems simple enough; make sure there is enough energy for the other rooms to work so those rooms can make food and water. But then the radroaches and the raiders come, you realize you need to send someone out to the wasteland to find weapons so your dwellers can defend themselves. And, if you’re sending someone outside, you need more people inside to help produce resources while they’re gone. So, you decide to send a couple of your dwellers to the living quarters to make a baby. But babies take resources and don’t help make them so now, you’re scrambling for more power so you decide to rush your power generator and it starts a fire and your dwellers are scrambling to put it out and it’s two in the morning and you haven’t even started writing the review you said you were going to write and your husband isn’t talking to you.

Your vault can hold up to 200 dwellers and I want to get to that magic number, but I’m stuck in the 30s. Right now, I’ve got dwellers working on increasing their strength so that my two 3-room fully upgraded power generators are running at max capacity. I’d share a picture of it but, I’m kind of ashamed that I only have pregnant women running around this place like it’s some kind of post-apocalyptic pregnancy cult.

Before you judge Rosangela, note this is Nina's vault full of working pregnant women.

Before you judge Rosangela, note this is Nina’s vault full of working pregnant women.

My biggest hang up was getting it to load smoothly on my iPad as it would totally crash whenever anything started to happen (but that may just mean it’s time for me to get a new iPad.) Eventually I just loaded it on my phone and have had no loading problems since. Overall, Fallout Shelter is a fun strategy game that draws you in with its easy concept and completely hooks you with how involved it can get. I spent the weekend starting new vaults over and over until I finally figured out how to work out all the kinks and ended up with vault 777. I haven’t spent any money on this game and I like that, if you’re patient, you can play this game without having to spend your real world CAPS to make significant progress. In order to avoid spending my hard-earned real life dollars on digital lunchboxes, I am open to any tips or tricks to getting my vault running smoothly. So, please, feel free to share strategies with each other (me). What do you love/hate about Fallout Shelter? What are your secrets to success?

About Rosangela Robinson (7 Articles)
Rosangela Robinson is an introvert turned party girl turned mother-of-two. Having recently re-joined the workforce after five years of being a stay-at-home mother, she now spends her days trying desperately to balance her love of her family with her love of reading and writing in a way that leaves her family feeling loved but still allows ample time for her to escape to a place where her family may or may not exist.

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