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Nintendo Switch  header logo

Fallout Shelter Switch review - The same base builder you've played before

For: Switch   Also on: Android, iPhone, iPad

War literally never changes

Product: Fallout Shelter | Publisher: Bethesda Game Studios | Format: Switch | Genre: Simulation | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Fallout Shelter Switch, thumbnail 1
It's been three years since Bethesda surprise launched Fallout Shelter on mobile at E3, and clearly someone thought that was a great idea because they've just done it again on Switch.

The new edition is the same as the mobile version in basically every way – you're still building vaults, looking after dwellers, exploring the wasteland, dying a lot, and so on.

In fact, it's identical to every other edition of the game that's been launched so far. Which ultimately begs the question, why should you play this version over the mobile version?

New dwellings

As an Overseer in Fallout Shelter, it's up to you to construct one of Vault-Tec's well-known "Vaults" to keep everyone safe when the nukes start falling across the world.

You need to make sure you have enough dorm rooms for people to sleep, power generators, water pumps, and diners so that you've got food, water, and the energy you need to run these things.

These require warm bodies to keep them running, so you recruit potential dwellers who queue up outside your vault for a shot at a new underground life.

Fallout Shelter Switch Screenshot 1

Each dweller has their own stats to take into account, and putting the right people in the right jobs decreases the time it takes to generate resources, so you really need to dig into the nitty gritty to get the best civilisation going.

You also need to contend with random events like fires and radroach infestations, as well as raiders and other creatures trying to break in and kill everyone inside for fun.

This means you also need to equip your dwellers with outfits and weapons, which are largely obtained through loot boxes earned either by completing missions in game or buying them with real money.

Or you can send out one of your dwellers to face off against the nasties of the wasteland, watching their text diaries and keeping a close eye on their health before calling them back in case they die and lose all your precious loot.

Old stories

It's a lot to take in, and the last three years has seen numerous additions to Fallout Shelter that make the early game slightly more overwhelming than it used to be, though the experience also feels like it's been sped up to accommodate the fact that there's so much more content to get through.

It is also a wonderful game, with plenty of drama, panic, and tension offset by delightfully silly dialogue and the gorgeous art style.

Fallout Shelter Switch Screenshot 2

That said though, it is still the same game you've played on mobile, or even on PC or Xbox. There's nothing here to differentiate from previous editions – it's just the same experience on a new device.

There's nothing inherently wrong with that, of course, but it does make you wonder why you should bother when you can get a much more portable version of the game on your phone or tablet.

No surprises

If you're new to Fallout Shelter and don't have a phone capable of running it, this is the best way to jump in – and you really should, if you haven't already.

It's incredibly easy to lose hours of your life to the game, and you won't regret a second you spend building up your vault and getting everyone killed by roaches.

But if you're still playing on mobile, or you've got a decent device, there's really not much point in making the jump to Switch.
Fallout Shelter Switch review - The same base builder you've played before
Reviewer photo
Ric Cowley | 11 June 2018
Fallout Shelter on Switch is the same great game it's always been, but it's unclear why you'd jump from mobile to this version
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