Steam Madness #2 - This War of Mine

Hello again, and welcome to Steam Madness!

This time around, we're going to be looking at a game called This War of Mine.

Story

In This War of Mine, you control a group of survivors who are stranded in their home city after the outbreak of war. Some have chosen to stay, others have had circumstance prevent it, but all residents of the city now have the same problem: finding the means to survive until peace is restored.

Gameplay

The interface actually reminds me a lot of an old school C64 game called Little Computer People. You are presented with a cross section of a house, and use your mouse to make characters interact with items and other people. The members of your group, the size of it, and things like campaign length are determined based on which scenario you play - and the scenario editor throws even a little more choice on top.

The aim of the game is to keep your party alive until the end of the war, scavenging for supplies and fending off potential attackers. In terms of what you choose to focus on, there is a lot of strategy involved.

Each night, you have the option to send someone out to check nearby areas in the hopes of finding something useful. It is worth remembering that in this game death is permanent. One wrong move can quickly see you shot dead by another looter, or taken down by the military. This adds a LOT of tension to the game.

Overall, it's quite a bleak and punishing game. Characters generally can't carry a lot, and there are factors like illness and depression which can take members of your group out of action if they aren't handled correctly. As such there is a lot of trial and error involved. Plus when the stakes are so high, winning feels like winning. It's all the sweeter for how tough it can be to get there.

Overall Pro's

  • Brilliant survival game
  • Nice level of challenge
  • Consequences give weight to choices
  • Moments of true emotional resonance

Overall Con's

  • Player inventory sizes can be very frustrating
  • Can come off a little preachy in places

Summary

I played this game for hours. And I mean hours upon hours. While there were moments where I wished the game had a face so I could punch it, it is beautifully put together.

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