Missed Opportunities: Fallout Shelter

Fallout shelter, for the few of you that don’t know, is a management game about running a nuclear bunker after the apocalypse on iOS and Android. It’s of course a Free To Play (F2P) game as well, as most games are these days. This entertaining game is let down by a few missed opportunities that without much development time could have notably improved the game.

Mystery Boxes

Like several F2P games it has Mystery boxes containing a select of random items, and again like all successful F2P games the early stages of the game gives you a Mystery box. However Fallout Shelter doesn’t limit the selection of random items you can get from the starting mystery box. This can wildly effect your play experience. One player might get 500 money, while another player gets an awesome weapon that does all the damage. While the money is nice, the weapon makes attacks on your vault take a few seconds, instead of a minutes of painful drawn out combat.


Mystery boxes can give you resources, such as 50 power, which only makes a difference at he start and quickly means nothing as the game continues. It’s a shame the Mystery Boxes don’t progress and change as the game does. This would fix the randomly assigned difficulty at the start of the game and keep Mystery Boxes useful to players later in the game.


In Fallout Shelter you send your dwellers, loaded up with health packs, into the Wasteland to collect items and money. Over time they use up their health packs and you have to choose when to recall them back to your shelter. I was disappointed when recalling a dweller from the wasteland. Nothing happens on their journey home. No more lovely wasteland log updates, no fights, no nothing.


This mechanic is screaming out to have events happen on the way back, they should be able to find new items and fight enemies. Importantly this lets you gamble about when recall dwellers. Will 2 health packs going to be enough for the 10 hour trip back or is it worth the risk leaving them out for another hour? It creates choice and tension instead of bland inevitable non-event of recalling a dweller.

Despite these missed opportunities Fallout Shelter is still an entertaining game filled with charm and isn’t a bad way to spend time while compiling.