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blackdog

This War of Mine

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The game was originally released in 2014, but I've only started playing it last week as a design study kind of thing... but I got really into it!
It always got me curious when it came up on the storefronts, but at the same time never investigated it because I gravitate towards shooters and generally action games. I think this was one of the first free games on the Epic Store --at least is one of the first I redeemed-- so it's been sitting in my library for a while, but is actually the game that convinced me to install the Epic Launcher! after watching a couple episodes of the Marshall Dyer's playthrough and I'm really enjoying to keep watching it to see the different approaches. Another thing I like is that this game doesn't hold your hand with tutorials before or during (a big surprise for such a mobile-friendly game), the hints are subtle and delivered through descriptions of places or the chat-baloons the survivors display now and then. It's frustrating at times, but rewarding when you understand the mechanics.
So I would recommend it!

~

Steam page
Epic Store

GOG

~

This War of Mine is a management/survival game with permadeath. You start with 3 survivors from the war (heavily reminescent of the Jugoslavia civil war) and have to scavange your own refuge and other locations for resources you will turn into food, utensils and appliances. It's a simple point-and-click with timers applied to every operation, in a fashion that really suits mobile/touch interfaces -- in fact I'm surprised this wasn't released first on there and then ported to the big brothers (I'd speculate that Fallout Shelter was heavily inspired by this game).
The game works well with gamepad too though, which is actually the way I'm mostly playing with.

The game is divided between day and night: the day is used to multi-task between survivors, making sure everyone is healthy and your sanctuary is upgraded with the resources found in the night, when you control just one scavenger in increasingly dangerous locations. You also return to previous locations a lot to properly harvest what you couldn't carry... this is the kind of game that makes you want to get a notepad out to take notes of where to find stuff, as descriptions get muddled together after playing a long session.

Behind such a simple control scheme, there's quite a complex system, as there are stealth components as well. Survivors all have different backgrounds, which I think work as passive perks that will improve resource usage. Locations are unlocked just with the passage of time but are not always accessible as they are disabled throughout the story to give a sense of the evolving war.


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If you have doubts watch a bit of play through like the one I linked... I don't know in terms of content what's been updated in which versions, if the complete edition is available to everyone or is a separate edition. The complete edition I'm playing as had some edges smoothed out I'm sure, I have noticed a few minimal graphical touches here and there (like an icon) but I don't understand if and how the additional content affects the original game. There are options to force certain content, but I'm not sure you can force a "legacy" mode.

For example, in the playthrough I've been watching, new locations have become available to Marshall slower than they did for me, I'm not sure if that's just game balance that was altered, if is because I stole some stuff right away and she didn't...

Whatever the case though, I think you will enjoy and doesn't require a big commitment, I mean you can just play a couple day cycles in your lunch break. I got really sucked in the other night because I got one survivor killed and with the winter coming I had to hang teeth and nails to survive, but got through the cold in one sitting.

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