5 Great Post-Apoc Games (That Aren’t Fallout)

I’ve been pretty hard on Fallout lately. Calling the series’ main antagonist stupid. Calling the merchandising insulting. Then someone asked, “if not Fallout, what post-apocalyptic games would you recommend? What other game has that same level of freedom and worldbuilding?”

Well you know what? Let’s stop tearing things down and start building up! Continue reading

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Nuka Dark Rum Is Insulting

Fallout Nuka Dark Header

Alright… this isn’t going to win me any fans, but I think someone in the Fallout community needs to say it. Nuka Dark rum is insulting. It is symbolic of a big rusty nail in the coffin of the Fallout franchise.

What do I mean by that? Fallout is bigger than ever. Its games are incredibly popular and review really well. That’s kind of the problem. Bethesda has taken a Disneyesque approach to branding. The focus is not on Fallout, the video game, it’s on Fallout the Lunchbox, Fallout the doll and yes… Fallout the dark rum. Continue reading

The Enclave Is Stupid and Embarrassing

Fallout Enclave Logo

The Fallout franchise has a lot of memorable factions: The Brotherhood of Steel, the NCR, the Khans, the Institute, the Kings, and the list goes on. Then there’s the Enclave. A lot of people like this faction and I’m not really sure why. Their ambitions are far worse than Caesar’s Legion and it seems there’s a lot of misinformation about what the Enclave actually does. Chalk that one up to bad writing.

The Enclave’s end goals are dubious, their plans poorly thought out and their leaders are morons. Ultimately, they have no stake in wasteland politics. This isn’t entirely Bethesda’s fault. Truth is, the Enclave was broke from the start. Continue reading

Wasteland Weekend Survival Guide: #1 The Approach

img_6225.jpgThe Rad-Lands had an incredible time at Wasteland Weekend VII! Ben and I had been looking forward to this event since we first started the Wasteland Survival Guide show, but we never felt the time was right to actually participate. I had seen plenty of YouTube videos providing an overview of Wasteland Weekend, but the press coverage simply cannot compare to the feeling of standing at Wasteland’s rusty gates. As we pulled into a camping spot, Ben and I were completely overwhelmed. With a population of 4000 people and too many tribes to keep track of, I figured newcomers could use a helping hand navigating Wasteland Weekend VIII and beyond.

Disclaimer: This bi-weekly series will explore The Rad-Lands’ experience at Wasteland Weekend and will hopefully provide content both entertaining and informative. By no means is this an expert guide to Wasteland Weekend, but rather a write up for friends and future attendees.


At 11:30pm on Wednesday night, I was finally in bed after a grueling six-hour flight from Buffalo. By 4:00am, I had my costumes stowed, my gear packed, and had just set off to meet Ben somewhere out in the Mojave Desert. Hours before sunrise, the blinking red lights of the Mojave Wind Farm led the way.

Ben wanted to leave his ranch around 5:00am. After waiting for over hour for the rest of our group, we actually left for Wasteland around 6:30. We all decided it would be better to costume up after arriving. That was a good decision as we were in the car for nearly four hours. Continue reading

Deconstructing Fallout 3: Blood Ties

Deconstructing Fallout 3

When I first played Fallout 3 on my Xbox 360 way back in 2008, I found myself drawn to the hubs and the quests. Exploring the wasteland was fun, but ultimately I was looking for structure and a story. I’ve recently booted up Fallout 3 again, but this time on the PC. With extreme (but lore friendly) modding, I’ve found the exploration aspect far more enjoyable and the quests frankly lackluster. I want to deconstruct the quests in Fallout 3 to think about how they work in relation to an open world map and the player character’s development choices.

Let’s start with the basics. Not counting the three childhood quests, Fallout 3 has a total of 66 quests in the base game: 10 story quests, 18 side quests, 22 unmarked side quests, and 16 repeatable fetch quests. Again, I want to briefly break down each of these to see how they’ve made use of the new environment and the RPG elements. We’ll start with the story quests.


I LOVE “Blood Ties.” I think it’s the best quest in Fallout 3. I think the reason for that is because it’s the closest thing to a Fallout 2 quest in the entire game. The premise is a bit silly, but meaningfully fleshed out through dialogue and written exposition. Still, “Blood Ties” has a great sense of progression and discovery; this ensures that the more you learn and investigate, the better your chances of reaching the best ending. Story aside, it succeeds as a great, traditional RPG quest; combat is completely optional, the ending has a lasting impact on the game, and “Blood Ties” has (in my opinion) the single greatest skill check in all of Fallout 3. Continue reading

Player Agency and 60 Seconds!

60 Seconds Game Header

We previously looked at 60 Seconds!, a game I described as a combination between a point and click adventure and a sticker book. I criticized the game for being based around discovering random events, but not having enough to avoid repeating them in a single session. You’ll see the same few events over and over and over again, the only difference being whether or not you have the item needed to succeed. The more I thought about this element of game design, the more I thought that I had seen it before. Today, we’ll pitch the event-based gameplay of 60 Seconds! against two games with different settings, but similar design.

Repetition in 60 Seconds! was bound to happen as a consequence of basing the gameplay entirely around a limited number of events. You’ll get a note saying “we should have taken that trip to Nevada” 10-20 times per game. After two years of DLC, 60 Seconds! only has 40-50 events. However, I want to look at another 2015 title which has more in common with 60 Seconds! than anyone might initially suspect.

Continue reading

60 Seconds! – Revisited

60 Seconds Game Header

I originally bought 60 Seconds! when it first came out, back in the summer of 2015. After about two hours of play, I requested a refund. However, after hearing that the developers put a lot of work into upgrading and balancing the game, I was willing to give it another try. Unfortunately, 60 Seconds! did not age like a fine wine, but rather like a discarded hunk of smoldering cheese left at the bottom of a radioactive crater.

Continue reading