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As we bask in the afterglow of the hype-splosion that followed the announcement of Fallout 4, we are able to pass the time with the already-beloved Fallout Shelter mobile game for iOS. The game has hit the iTunes app store like a nuke.
The app is free and was announced alongside the Fallout 4 footage shown at Bethesda’s E3 conference on June 14th and was immediately available for download. Shelter puts the player in control of their very own VaulTec vault to be filled with inhabitants and expanded with the acquisition of resources. Players manage the vault in a manner similar to The Sims and organize its layout and inhabitants based on a set of skills each one possesses and their level of comfort. The only goal is to expand your vault and make it run as efficiently as possible.
Fans immediately fell in love with the game, shoving it into Candy Crush Saga‘s position at the top of the free apps list. While this position likely won’t last forever, it’s a testament to how much interest and hype surrounds the annual E3 conference and Bethesda in general.
Bethesda has been praised for many aspects of the game, but mostly for its synergistic relation to Fallout 4 and its approach to the free-to-play model that has gained abysmal infamy due to its abuse by less scrupulous developers. This isn’t to say that the game is completely without micro-transactions, however. Players can purchase lunchboxes filled with randomized items for their vault, and while this seems innocent and benign, some people have voiced specific grievances with the system.
In a recent Forbes article discussing the app, contributor Paul Tassi points out the flaw he found in the lunchboxes during his experience with the game:
Fallout Shelter avoids many irritating mobile F2P microtransactions like paying to skip wait timers to speed up resource collection and the like, but so far, after playing the game a good long while, the only place I’ve found the best items has been when I’ve shelled out real-life money for lunchboxes.
Tassi goes on to explain that, while the game deserves a lot of the praise it’s been given, a significant portion of that praise can be attributed to the incredibly low expectations of the average consumer of mobile games. Where the praise should likely be directed is at the sheer brilliance of the app’s presentation. As soon as excitement peaked at the end of the Fallout 4 footage at Bethesda’s first ever E3 conference, presenter Todd Howard shifted that energy toward the new game. To take advantage of the hunger for content that the video instilled and redirect it at a mobile app is a marketing grand slam. Kudos to Bethesda and Mr. Howard for that.
The question does arise, though, of how Android users feel about this. The game is currently exclusive to iOS, but Bethesda once again proves their competence with a rapid Twitter response, assuring them that they will get their’s at some point.
Yes, we’re also working on Fallout Shelter for Android. Hopefully out in a few months.
— BethesdaGameStudios (@BethesdaStudios) June 16, 2015
So Android users can expect to play it at some point. Better than nothing.
If you want to experience the game for yourself, give it a download on any iOS device.