E3 2015: Bethesda Launches Fallout Shelter on iOS

In Fallout Shelter, players create and protect a Vault by balancing the use of resources, managing the health of their citizens and more.

At its E3 2015 showcase event, Bethesda announced and quickly released Fallout Shelter, a strategy simulation game for iOS devices. Based in the Fallout universe, players become the leader of their own Vault, challenged with recruiting and protecting a growing group of survivors from the dangerous and irradiated Wasteland.

Fallout Shelter contains elements which will be familiar to fans of games like The Sims and Tiny Tower, as players construct their Vault one room at a time, with each room having a different purpose. To start, players will focus on establishing food, water and power generation rooms, and will assign their starting Vault dwellers to these rooms to ensure the Vault can quickly grow and expand.

Each dweller has different stats, which indicate how well they will perform in specific kinds of rooms. For instance, dwellers with a high strength rating would thrive in the role of power generator, while those with a high intelligence would be better suited to working in the medical bay, and so on.

Fallout Shelter

Players earn more dwellers from the surface periodically, or can breed their existing dwellers to create new workers. These dwellers will also sometimes appear inside lunch boxes, alongside rewards like stat-changing outfits and free currency. Lunch boxes are rewarded to players as they complete secondary quests, like collecting specific resources in bulk, as one example. They can also be purchased with real money.

As the Vault grows in both size and population, its power, food and water requirements increase. While resources are generated in each room automatically over time, users can rush the production for free, but in doing so, risk triggering an “incident,” like a fire or radroach infestation.

If resource levels are allowed to drop below their minimum required levels, the Vault suffers, with some rooms losing power and therefore production ability. The dwellers are affected as well, and may become sick. Users can construct the proper rooms to generate Stimpak and RadAway items to heal dwellers, but if they are allowed to perish, they can either be removed from the Vault or revived using free currency.

Finally, players can send their dwellers out into the Wasteland in the hopes of gathering extra weapons or outfits, as well as free currency or experience points. Gamers can leave a dweller in the Wasteland as long as their health holds out (and they don’t succumb to radiation), and can equip them with Stimpak and RadAway items to increase the duration of the adventure. As players collect weapons, these can be assigned to specific dwellers to allow them to defend themselves (and the Vault) from the raiders who periodically attack the shelter.

Fallout Shelter is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store. Since release late Sunday evening, the game has already hit the No. 1 spot on the top Free iPhone Apps chart on iTunes. On Twitter, Bethesda’s vp of public relations and marketing, Pete Hines, said details about an Android version will come “later.”

Check out more of our E3 2015 coverage: