Fallout Shelter was an appetizer released a few months before Fallout 4 arrived. A free-to-play mobile game that dropped little hints about what was to come in the “real” Fallout game. This little time waster was fun – for a free game – but it only took a week or so for players to do everything there was to do in it. Updates appeared over the last year, each adding in a few feature, but players could still unlock virtually everything in a short period of time. The latest update includes some substantial improvements, and a new quest system that will keep players actively engaged in ongoing story-based content.In Fallout Shelter, players are the Overseer of a vault, but so far they haven’t actually had an Overseer’s Office, like the ones seen in the other Fallout games. The new update fixes this and, once players unlock their office, they can begin to use the most important feature of the update, the Quest system.One of the basic mechanics of the game has always been sending vault dwellers out into the wasteland to gather supplies. Early in the game, this forces players to decide how many workers they can spare from vital jobs inside the vault, like producing food, water, and power. However, there is a limit to how many dwellers can be sent out of the vault at once, and vaults will eventually end up with more dwellers than productive jobs.Once all the rooms were fully upgraded and the population cap was reached, the vault essentially managed itself, and the game turned into a slow grind as dwellers wandered the wasteland looking for rare loot that wasn’t even needed to maintain the vault. When players hit this point, there would be an abundance of unemployed dwellers, wandering around on perpetual coffee breaks, with nothing to do.The new quest system allows up to three dwellers to join forces and go to new locations where they use new fighting mechanics to explore new locations and fight enemies. As the Overseer’s Office is upgraded, players will be able to send out three different groups on three separate quests, thus having up to nine dwellers on quests at a time (In addition to having twenty five exploring the wasteland with the original exploration mechanic).These quests have ongoing stories that are broken up into smaller parts. For the introductory story alone there are fifteen different sub-quests that involve dwellers tracking down a mysterious vault hidden deep in the wasteland. There is funny text explaining the story, and the dwellers will meet NPCs at their destinations. Dialog sometimes has multiple choices too. It isn’t as elaborate as the dialog in the main Fallout games, but it is a significant step up for Fallout Shelter, which previously had no story, just snips of ambient chatter between vault dwellers.Once at the quest destination, the game uses a new set of mechanics. Players guide their party of adventurers through the destination, room by room, in a dungeon crawl. Each room has hidden loot in the background, and enemies to fight, or perhaps a friendly NPC with expository dialog.When bad guys appear, combat is a little different than in the vault. When on quests, the player can pick targets for each member of the party, and there is a simple mini-game where the player can tap a flashing icon at the precise moment to do extra damage. The party can thus team up on a single target if one enemy needs to be taken out quickly for tactical purposes.The quest parties have a limited selection of supplies, they can only bring 25 stimpack and RadAways between them, although they might scrounge more at their destination. If a member of the party dies, they can only be revived after the quest. The quests can be failed if the party isn’t up to the challenge, so players have to put thought into which dwellers are best-suited for which missions, and how weapons and armor should be allocated.The team has to travel to and from the quest destination in real time. This is the game’s little hook to make players cough up real-world for the dreaded “Premium Currency”. This is a new feature for Fallout Shelter. Players can use special “Nuka Cola Quantum” to speed up events in the game. Parties will instantly arrive at their quest destination, or the currency can also be used to speed up crafting in the vault, to skip “Objectives”, and to recall individual dwellers who are exploring the wasteland.Players will find Nuka Cola Quantum on quests, but it can also be bought with real-world money. Many free-to-play games suffer from a “Pay to win” flaw, but Fallout Shelter doesn’t have any competitive elements (so far), and the quantum soda does nothing more than ask players whether they value their time more than their money.There are some new mechanics that are available on quests and in the vault too. When a character is badly injured, a Stimpack icon appears over their head, and this makes it easier to heal dwellers in the midst of combat. The original system made it very difficult to tap on the right character when six people, four deathclaws, and a Mister Handy were all running around the same room in the heat of battle.New enemies like radscorpions and feral ghouls are included in this update. These enemies will add radiation damage to dwellers that they encounter, and can be particularly tough. The radscorpions are prone to suddenly bursting onto vaults, and are one of the most dangerous foes so far in the game. There is a new set of melee weapons, too. These can be found in the wasteland, or crafted in the same rooms that players use to craft guns.When playing any game, people must ask “Why am I doing this”? Before this update, that was a hard question to answer for Fallout Shelter. There was little challenge, sparse narrative, and players could experience almost everything it had to offer in a short period of time. The new daily quests and long-form stories justify checking back in with the vault on a daily basis. The new combat system and party management require the player to actively engage with the game, rather than passively watching as their dwellers manage themselves. Players who haven’t tried it yet have the best excuse so far to download Fallout Shelter, and there is enough new content to make long-time players unseal their old vaults for these new adventures.Fallout Shelter is available now for iOS, and Android. This update also brings it to PC for the first time, via Bethesda.net.