Australian Council on Children and the Media

Fallout Shelter - Bethesda Softworks LLC

app image

Short takes

Fallout Shelter is a quest and timer building game

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Fallout Shelter was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 7 September 2015.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Fallout Shelter
Developed by: Bethesda Softworks LLC
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: Mature, Violence, Suggestive Themes; iTunes Store: 12+.
ACCM suggested age: 16+ for in-app purchases, animated violence, mature themes, references to substances use
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Fallout Shelter contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This app was played for approximately 1.5 hours

App description

Fallout Shelter is a timer-and-quest building app. The objective of the game is to construct rooms in an underground survival vault, where dwellers must live and thrive on their own produce and resources. There are limited skills needed, but an understanding of strategy and problem solving may be useful.

Reviewers comments

When the app is initially opened, players are brought to a central homepage where they can Enter the Vault, view the Vault List, access the game settings, or visit the Fallout website online. The background music is in the style of 1960s jazz music, and the graphics appear to be done in an old-fashioned style also. Players are shown a range of picture animations, which incorporate information on how to play the game. They are told that the Vault keeps people safe, and that their job as an overseer is to expand the vault. Each room has a special attribute it uses, and players must assign dwellers in an appropriate fashion to make the vault better.

Players are then taken to a side cutout view underground where a vault has begun being built. Players are told to tap on the hammer icon in the top right-hand corner in order to build a new room. They are instructed to build a power generator first, which will produce power. Players must tap to confirm the specific location of where they wish the room to be placed. After this, dwellers are required to make use of the power generator. Dwellers appear outside the vault doors, and players can tap on specific individuals to see their stats and information (this includes what level these characters are, how much health they have, special powers, etc). Players can then tap and hold, whilst dragging the dwellers into the room they wish to place them in. They can then watch as the small characters make their way through the vault to their allocated room. Once there are dwellers in a room, the room will begin producing resources.

Players are also informed that they can use the Rush mode when they are in need of resources immediately – this means that players can avoid and skip waiting periods by utilising the Rush feature. Players require in-game currency in order to use the Rush feature.

Players are also informed that male and female dwellers within the Living Quarters have a chance of making babies. The app does contain mature themes, in relation to sexual content as well as the use of substances. Characters within the living quarters often discuss issues of this nature: ‘And beer – don’t forget beer’; ‘We make such as cute couple’; ‘I’d be so lonely here without you’.

Players must also make sure that they have enough power, food and water being produced for the dwellers, in order to keep them happy and productive. If they do not do this, dwellers will start losing health and rooms will begin shutting down. Disasters also occur within rooms when a Rush fails – players must drag dwellers into and out of rooms whilst they fight the disaster, to keep them from dying.

In App purchasing

The app contains an in-app purchases store, where players can purchases ‘lunchboxes’ containing 4 Fallout shelter cards. These can be purchased in packages of 1 card for $1.33, 5 cards for $5.74, 15 cards for $14.38, or 40 cards for $28.86. The lunchboxes contain extra dwellers, in-game currency, as well as additional resources. All of these features make gameplay easier, and allow players to progress their vault building more quickly

Online information

Before gameplay can begin, players must sign in via a Google+ account. Players are also able to take in-game photographs of individual rooms, which they are then encouraged to share online via social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. 

Gambling

No gambling content was found during this review.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

The extensive in-app purchasing and time-lag features may encourage the spending of real-life money in order to deal with potential impatience.

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About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

Most games contain elements of risk, chance and knowledge, that is why they are fun to play. There is growing concern about the impacts of simulated gambling games on the health and wellbeing of children. That's why we are identifying games that contain gambling elements on our site.

The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.