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Microsoft is actually a great Android developer - 'To-Do' is another reason why!

It may seem suprising to some, but Microsoft is actually a fantastic Android developer. In fact, I'd go as far to saythat their app offerings for Android are far superior to than their offerings for the Windows App store. For starters the full suite of Microsoft Office apps are great, as is one drive and one note, and the Arrow App Launcher is actually one of the best custom android skins available (seriously - check it out!).

To round this out, over the last few days Microsoft has released 'To-Do' which as you've guessed it - is a to-do list. It really could not be simpler - the app allows the creation of lists and then as part of each list allows tasks and items to be added.

The design is simple and clean, and a nice move away from the boxy interface design that still dominates some of the earlier Windows apps for android. It's fast, lightweight, cloud based (of course) and has a widget - so there is not much more you could ask for!

Of course there is lots of co…

Review: Fallout Shelter


Check out my first ever video review!

With the release of Fallout 4, I thought it only appropriate to review Fallout Shelter for Android as my app of the day. It is of course well and truly no longer a ‘new’ app, but for those who haven’t yet played it, I strongly suggest getting on board and giving your hand a try at vault management.

In Fallout Shelter, you play the role as the overseer of a vault. As overseer the fate of the vault and its dwellers is entirely in your hands. The core objectives of the game are to build the size of your vault and increase the number of dwellers - all the while trying to keep everyone happy by appropriately managing your core resources – water, electricity and food – and by completing tasks

Each resource is generated by building rooms (such as a kitchen, a power plant or a water generator) and appointing dwellers into the room. Once the room is up and running it will periodically release resources that you can collect. So long as your resource metres are full your dwellers  should generally be happy.  If you are impatient in your wait for resources, you can ‘rush’ rooms, which will cause resources to appear immediately, though there is a chance that the rush will have a negative effect, such as an outbreak of mole rats, a fire, etc. The more times you rush a room, the more likely disaster will strike. These ‘events’ can usually be contained or killed by the inhabitants of the room, but they will affect the happiness and health of all involved (and sometimes result in death!)

Each dweller will gradually increase their skills in certain areas depending on which room you allocate them too. For example a power room will increase a dwellers strength and a water room will increase a dwellers perception.  Likewise, the more skilled an individual is, the better they will perform and the happier they will be in those rooms.  There are 7 different skills in total – that spell S.P.E.C.I.A.L. ‘S’ equals Strength, ‘P’ equals Perception – you get the idea. To further level up characters, training rooms can be constructed (such as gyms, bars, etc) where dwellers can go to level up certain attributes.

Further adding to the gameplay is the wasteland. In this regard you can equip inhabitants with weapons and protective gear and send them out to collect resources. Likewise, raiders from the wasteland can try and enter your vault, making it important to keep everyone armed and wearing protective outfits (or at least for those dweller close to the vault door!). In another twist, dwellers will fall in love and your female dwellers will fall pregnant  – for example if you place a male and female in a living quarters and come back a day later, there's a good chance there may be a baby wandering around the vault. 
The core gameplay hook is based on the collection of coins for completing tasks, rushing rooms, or exploring the wasteland. Coins can be used to build new rooms or upgrade existing ones. Completing tasks also can reward with lunchboxes which can be filled of a mixture of coins, outfits, weapons and new dwellers.

With this many layers of  micro-management, things can get a little hectic in the initial stages of building a vault but it doesn't take too long to get things under-control. It helps that the game is addictive, with plenty of ways to expand the vault and a seemingly unlimited number of challenges to complete. 
My only complaint about Fallout Shelter is that there's no end game. It didn’t take me too long before I had reached the max number of dwellers available (being 200) and almost filled my entire building space with rooms. That's my core criticism of Fallout Shelter – being its longevity, and that it does not have a true finish. I am practically ‘done’ with the game only because other than earning more money, there is not much else to do. Hopefully this gets addressed in future updates.

That aside, my time with the game was enjoyable. It looks fantastic, controls well and sounds great. It could have benefited from a few more long term objectives, and some form of ‘conclusion’, though these are minor qualms, especially considering the game is free, with little need to resort to in-app purchases.

All in all – a fantastic android game. 

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