Fallout Shelter’s underground bunker-building mobile economic strategy game took the world by storm upon release, shifting the focus from exploring the deadly wastelands outside of the vault to keeping those who live in the vaults happy and content.
The mechanics of the game fit well, including the tabletop format, and the Fantasy Flight Game company decided not to miss a great opportunity to make a worthy desktop product for a group of friends. As a result, the world saw “Fallout Shelter: The Board Game”. And the game was completely translated into Russian by the Russian company Hobby World, widely known to all fans of the “board games”.
And although some elements here are still different from their mobile counterpart, in general, the atmosphere of the game is conveyed perfectly. So if you’re looking for a fun way to introduce new fans to the Fallout universe and have fun, then you’ve reached your goal.
Let’s find out what the “offline” version of survival in the post-nuclear world is like.
The chicly designed tin “lunch box” contains the following items:
- 30 room cards.
- 31 item cards.
- 5 elevator cards.
- 18 cards of various threats.
- 2 six-sided dice.
- 4 resource boards.
- 72 resources.
- 28 figurines of inhabitants.
- 42 happiness tokens.
- Brochure with rules on 12 pages.
For a comfortable game, you will also need a fairly large flat area so that there is where to build a shelter. It can be either a table or a regular floor.
The game is designed for a company of two to four people. Players take on the role of Deputy Overseer, and their task is to lead the survivors in this difficult time for everyone. After all, the Overseer died, and people without careful and wise supervision are likely to ruin both themselves and the entire shelter. The winner is the one who can be the first to fulfill the required requirements and become the Bunker Supervisor.
“Fallout Shelter: Board Game” is very easy to learn. Players choose the color of their inhabitants, six cards of starting rooms and elevators personal for each participant are placed. Next, resources and other cards are laid out according to the rules, and the game begins.
Essentially, Fallout Shelter is a resource gathering game with a fixed but growing distribution of workers. You start with a simple storage infrastructure that produces energy, food, and water. Using the resources you collect, you build new rooms, each of which opens up access to greater treasures and more opportunities. Dwellers can be trained in certain abilities, allowing for an increase in the often meager income associated with rooms.
These learning opportunities come from the objects you build. But the wider and deeper the vault becomes, the more it becomes a target for various threats, and each of them will need to be dealt with before the new rooms can be safely used.
As I mentioned above, this is a pure worker placement game, so those of you who are familiar with this mechanic will immediately understand how this game works. For the rest, I will briefly explain.
Each player performs one action by placing one of the small Waltboy figures of the chosen color on an open space on one of the available cards that make up the play area. Once placed, you will take the action indicated by that specific location (usually collecting a resource cube). All players start with two workers that can be placed, although there is room for additional workers, up to seven if you can muster them.
Fallout Shelter is played over several rounds. Each round, players take turns sending villagers to action spaces. For example, the player can send a villager to a water purification room to replenish supplies. Some locations have costs that must be paid before receiving rewards. For example, in the wasteland, where the player must pay 1 water to get an item card in the available market. Players will do this to stockpile energy, food and water, as well as welcome new residents and build rooms.
New rooms are being built from the available market. As one room is built, the market is replenished with a new one, and there are always three rooms to choose from. The built room must be placed by the player in their storage level. It can be placed next to any of the rooms in the level, but within 6 columns of rooms, as indicated in the starting row of the vault. After building, anyone can send residents to action spaces on the room card. However, when other players send residents there, the owner receives a resource from the supply.
Players compete for rooms early on, but as new rooms are added, your options expand significantly, and the more options you have, the more difficult decisions you have to make. You can play the long game and train someone beforehand to get double the resource the next turn, which is great if it works, but someone can take the spot you need and leave you with nothing. Similarly, you can draw a threat card and fight the intruder for some happiness and an item, although if you fail, you’ll end up with a wounded villager that you’ll have to spend a turn to heal.
Of course, some rooms require wounded villagers as a resource, so it might be worth it. As well as a chance to get an important item, like a weapon or armor. You can also work on getting more villagers, but early on they won’t have much to do without access to more rooms.
Personally, I prefer to take risks from the very beginning of the game, while there are not so many resources and rooms. Thanks to various threats, you will be able to gain an advantage over other players and have time to harm them more than yourself. But this is not the most noble tactic…
In any case, if luck is more or less favorable to you, the indicators of happiness, as well as the resources of the inhabitants, will grow, bringing victory closer.
Visually, the game looks completely in the style of Fallout Shelter. Even the figurines of the inhabitants are made in the form of Vaultboys, the mascot of the series. The quality of the images on the cards is excellent, the translation is of high quality. The only thing I would like to criticize is the size of the item and threat cards. They are quite small, and the font on them is small. People with vision problems will be a little uncomfortable.
But otherwise, “Fallout Shelter: The Board Game” is a good way to have fun with a small company and show your strategic and tactical talents. Of course, you always want something more, and in this game there are moments that could be expanded or deepened (for example, arrange external sorties), but these are more subjective desires and ideas of a person who is well acquainted with the world of Fallout. And a beginner may not even imagine that such options were in the mobile version.
The game session is designed for an hour and a half, depending on the number of participants. And this is not a long time at all, so for one gathering you can play several times in a row, trying new tactics for winning.