Fallout is a solo to four player, action combat game with mild story elements, set in a post nuclear world. The concept is based on the popular PC game series of the same name.Production -
The artwork is adequate but doesn't encapsulate the feeling of a world that was ravage buy nuclear war. I understand that this is a hard thing to do with same artwork on flat cardboard, but the board pieces don't pop or zing with elements that other titles have done much better to create immersion.
The miniature sculpted character pieces are the usual FFG high standard of quality, and would be ready to paint for avid artists. The only concern I have with the over quality, is with the player boards. You have to regularly move 3 different pegs in and out of the XP, HP and RAD tracks, and after only one play of the store copy, the peg holes were already showing signs of wear and tear.Ease of Play/Learning -
The game comes with the new FFG standard of 2 separate rule books. One for learning to play the first time, and a more comprehensive rules reference booklet. I can't put my finger on what it was about how the rules are explained and set out, but myself and the two other players, really struggled to comprehend some of the very basic rules in this game. A lot of the time we sat their scratching our heads over how to interpret the written text, which was frustrating.
Fallout is a fairly simple game at its core. Explore, fight, gain loot, gain XP, level up and repeat until one player reaches, in this case, 9 thumbs up, to win the game.Gameplay -
You get two actions to spend each turn, and they can be spent in several ways -
Moving - Allows movement of up to 2 spaces
Exploring which involves flipping over a hex and adding any enemies to the revealed map
Combat - Attacking the numerous bad things in the wasteland.
Encounters - Interactions with story type cards that give the player up to 3 choices, ie - Help someone or attack them or walk away
Resting - Set up camp and heal 3 HP and refresh any exhausted item cards
What made the Fallout PC game series fun and unique, was its setting, the V.A.T.S combat system and the characters you interact with along the way. Unfortunately, the board game doesn't carrying any of these elements over. So the experience of playing Fallout is, well, really boring. It just feels like a skin glued over a set of gaming mechanics that are done better in other games.
Other games that offer a very similar experience and do it much, much better that I have played are - Runebound: Cult of the Rune
, Xia: Legends of a Drift System
and Defenders of the Last Stand
.Final Thoughts -
Fallout doesn't capture what Fallout is, and the game suffers as the experience playing it is not very interesting. I could see games of Fallout drag out for much longer than it needs to, and combat can be brutal, with players dying a lot, which sends you back to the starting point on the map.
FFG have missed the mark here, its a very bland game, with some crossroads style story cards thrown into the game in an attempt to create an immersive experience but it fails.
If you are keen on Fallout, I would suggest trying to play a copy of it before outlaying and funds.