'Fallout Shelter' is 'The Sims' for Survivalists

The new American dream is a well-armed bunker and a cat in every pot.

Nicholas Bashore

Designed as an appetizer to whet the appetites of folks ready to shill out for Fallout 4, Fallout Shelter ended up becoming a surprise hit on mobile. Essentially a two-dimensional pocket version of The Sims set in everyone’s favorite post-apocalyptic universe, the game is all about survival, but in a very civilized, “what’s for dinner?” sort of way. Unfortunately, the Fallout spin-off all but ignored the war-torn wasteland that was the draw in the original games. It was an unusual strategy, but one that succeeded. Now Bethesda has released a PC version clearly designed to test the limits of this alternative approach to playable armageddon.

Long story short, it works. Just not for the reasons you might expect.

Nicholas Bashore

In update 1.6, Fallout Shelter gives players access to the Overseers Office, a new room that allows them to send groups of dwellers out on various quests scattered throughout the wasteland. They can form small groups of dwellers to pursue these various quests and stories that add some substantive meaning to their travels out in the wasteland — each of which equipped with their own specific loadout. These quests also give players access to additional rewards such as caps, weapons, armor, crafting materials, and the newly added Nuka-Cola Quantums, which speed up actions within the game itself.

While wandering the wasteland, dwellers can also come across iconic locations from the Fallout franchise like Red Rocket Truckstops and Super-Duper Marts that will then prompt players to control those characters and explore. By adding both quests and small bits of wasteland exploration, Fallout Shelter has fixed its inconsistency problem to a certain degree. As expected with any free-to-play resource management game, there will still be downtime, but the various exploration-related events help to ease the dull moments.

Nicholas Bashore

The the update marks the first coming of Fallout Shelter to PC through the Bethesda launcher, complete with every major update added to the game and increased performance across the board. While the game was originally designed for mobile devices, the PC version became an instant favorite of mine — especially because you can just pop up a window and play it while going through your day or logging time on another game.

From a technical standpoint, the PC version of the game runs at 60 frames per second (double that of mobile devices) and allows players to navigate the various menus of the game by clicking around with their mouse. The level of control having a mouse provides compared to touching and dragging everything with your finger on a phone is incredible. Actions in-game feel more concise and less frustrating as a result, allowing players to manage larger vaults with ease and keep their dwellers actively on missions.

So, if you haven’t had a reason to dive back into Fallout Shelter or passed up on Bethesda’s mobile title entirely the first time around, update 1.6 is your time. Unfortunately, there’s no way to officially transfer saves between your mobile device and PC yet, but it’s a safe bet that Bethesda will add it sometime soon. Unless, you know, war never changes.

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