This War Of Mine


Pub­lisher/de­vel­oper 11 Bit Stu­dios For­mat PC, iOS

A lot of games con­ceal a se­ri­ous mes­sage about con­tem­po­rary is­sues, but few make their point con­vinc­ingly with­out com­pro­mis­ing play in the process. 11 Bit Stu­dios builds its har­row­ing theme into ev­ery­thing you do, im­pli­cat­ing the player in ev­ery tragedy and ev­ery act of self­less­ness. Build­ing your base is fun, but fail to build enough heaters by the time win­ter hits and your party will suf­fer ter­ri­bly as a re­sult. Ex­plor­ing build­ings in search of sup­plies is also en­joy­able, but you’ll have to deal with the guilt if a later re­turn re­veals its oc­cu­pants have died as a re­sult of your klep­to­ma­nia.

But for all its clev­erly im­ple­mented me­chan­ics, it is This War Of Mine’s sub­ver­sion of a hoary gam­ing tra­di­tion that most en­thralls: your de­ci­sions don’t fill or de­plete a moral­ity me­ter, and your ac­tions aren’t judged ( out­side of char­ac­ters’ in­ter­nal mono­logues). You just have to sur­vive, and how you achieve that end is en­tirely up to you.

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