You do not need to play any of the original Fallout games to play Fallout Shelter, it is not required, and gameplay-wise, you will not be in any kind of disadvantage for not having done so. If you just happen to be looking for a good free to play mobile app, we certainly recommend trying it out. But if you want the full experience, than nothing will make you appreciate this game better than having visited the Wasteland first hand.
Living the High Life, Underground
In Fallout Shelter, players take on the role of an Overseer who manages a Vault-Tec Fallout Shelter –a huge underground facility designed to keep a number of humans safe in the event of a nuclear explosion as well as sustain lives for several generations (since the surface will be radioactive for a while). And it is your task to build rooms, assign personnel to jobs, collect resources, and pretty much make all the key decisions that the vault needs (including, but not limited to, deciding who gets to mate with whom in order to produce children).
There are several basic resources used in the game, bottle caps (which are the game currency), energy (used to power rooms), and food and water (which is used to fuel the dwellers). Energy, food, and water need to be generated and increased at a steady pace –each new room will require power to run as well as personnel assigned to it (and personnel need food and water).
SPECIAL Stats and the Dangers of the Future
Each dweller comes with its own SPECIAL attributes, which are basically RPG stats for the Fallout world. Strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility, and luck will influence and affect a dwellers performance on various jobs. Since you can assign dwellers to perform a multitude of things like working, mating, fighting, exploring, etc, it is important to pay attention to the stats to not only make them more efficient and productive, but also to keep them alive when performing dangerous tasks (such as defending the vault from attacks or exploring the wasteland).
And your vault will be attacked –threats come in a variety of forms such as radroaches, molerats, raiders, or at worst, deathclaws. This is why it is important that you equip your dwellers with weapons and armor. Items and gear can be obtained by sending a dweller out into the wasteland. This can be dangerous, but as long as you make them return back to the vault quickly (especially if they have low stats and bad equipment), you will be okay. Since each exploration task is likely to give you better items, this gets less dangerous every new try.
As a game, Fallout Shelter makes for a fun building title. Some of its mechanics are intrinsically unique and that is the nature of the game’s value to players in general –plus the fact that it has such a non-requisite IAP system that never feels like the developers are forcing you to buy stuff. In many ways, Fallout Shelter is a good level or standard for other free to play apps to follow.
But the real charm in the game is that it really is something for the fans. Bethesda made a great mobile game, but it also has a lot little details and content that only long time fans of the series will appreciate and enjoy. And the game is full of those silly and fun things that will make you want to keep playing in order to unlock and see more stuff.
When the game first released it was already great and fun to play, but since then Fallout Shelter has had a few updates that add new and interesting features. The first of which was the inclusion of a Mr. Handy robot in the game, this automated machine will help players fight against hostiles as well as collect all resources on the floor it is assigned to. A later update added new hostiles such as the molerats and the deathclaws which helped break the monotony of dealing with radroaches and raiders. That also saw the addition of pets –which are basically treated as equipment in the game and give a variety of passive bonuses. Lastly, the latest update introduces the new crafting rooms, resources and recipes, and these allows vault dwellers to create equipment on their own.