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Marko was in shock when he got back to the apartment. Traumatized. He just kept saying I killed them and I can't do this anymore. He laid down in bed and stayed there until Bruno went to talk to him. It was awful. And I felt every inch of Marko's remorse because, really, I'd killed those men. Or made him do it. So rarely does a game make you feel the weight of the awful things that you do. But This War of Mine won't let you forget that even when all the choices are bad, some are worse than others.
We'd eaten the dead men's food. That night, everyone stayed home. And that night, the bandits came. They had guns. We had knives and a hatchet. Marko's shovel. None of it mattered. They took all the food we had left. The water. The cigarettes. Pavle was shot. We used our last bandage on him, but it wasn't going to be enough. In the morning, Bruno checked the rat traps and found a little food, but we saved it. Marko wanted to kill himself. He couldn't stop talking about the men he'd murdered. Pavle just lay there dying. The storytelling in This War is heartbreakingly present. There's no way you can play and not see yourself in it. And there was no way this story was going to end well.
This War of Mine: The Board Game is a fully co-operative, open and play, survival experience. In this challenging, story-driven game for 1-6 players, you will play as a group of civilians trapped in a city torn by a military conflict.
In life, every choice we make has consequences. We translated this into the aftereffect mechanics, where the game remembers the decisions you make and forces you to face their consequences when you least expect it.
Interactions with other people can go all sorts of ways here. My first encounter with another person was at a supermarket--a gun-wielding man with a bandana over his face, telling his people what to look for. When he turns and sees me, there's a moment of dread where I don't know how, or even if, I should take a swing before he pulls the trigger. To my complete relief, he says there's plenty for everyone, and to feel free to explore. He and his people completely leave me to my own devices the whole night. There are occasional surprises like this in This War of Mine, where your faith in other people is rewarded. People remember when you're good to them, and come to your aid when you least expect it. People randomly share what they have if you do the same. More than once, a couple living a few doors down came by with vegetables right when things were looking their darkest, thanks to sending someone to help clear the debris in their home a few days before.
But of course, there's the other side of things. Late in my first playthrough, I happened upon a woman trying to barter for supplies from a soldier, who ends up asking for sexual favors in return. Unfortunately, the game's simple nature gets in the way, here. There's no way to knock, or sneak up behind someone, or even grab a chunk of rock to throw. So, when it becomes obvious this isn't going to go well, I barge in, crowbar in hand. I'm promptly shot dead for my efforts.
Is this a game you want to play No. Is it a game anyone with a beating heart should play Yes. A million times yes. It's a longform exercise in empathy, a sobering piece of work that fills in the blanks left when all we see of war are the headshots. It's a much-needed course correct in the current shoot-first-ask-questions-never gaming landscape that supposes war is won because one supreme badguy caught a bullet through his brainstem. No: It's won when the people who lived under his boot get to go home.
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Each day is spent in an abandoned, damaged house which serves as a shelter from the elements and the dangers outside. The days are spent reinforcing this shelter, collecting water, cooking, brewing moonshine, crafting makeshift furniture and other essentials as well as the occasional comfort to make survival possible and, occasionally, slightly more bearable. When night falls, the shelter must be guarded. It is also possible to send someone on a scavenging trip to different parts of the city in the hope of finding valuable supplies or a potential trade. Even at night there is a risk of running into sniper fire or getting on the wrong side of a gang or solider.
This is so in order to conserve resources. Survivors won't just eat a bit of the food supply when they're hungry or lie down when they're a bit tired. Players will have to check up on them regularly. There are instances where they'll act on their own but this is usually due to compulsion or addiction or some psychological condition; it's usually negative when that happens.
The bad news is that this very same moral compass makes them susceptible to depression, especially if they committed the \"wrong\" action. So if players refuse to help any neighbor or needy outsider, there's a big chance the survivor group will incur a depression penalty. Consequently, helping them offers a huge boost to morale.
Speaking of other necessities, food is certainly a priority since survivors' productivity wavers when they're hungry. It can sometimes be tempting to feed the very hungry or even starving ones with canned food but this is a costly mistake. Canned food in This War of Mine is one of the most precious resources or barter currencies in the game.
Apart from helping neighbors, another test of the player's morality is scavenging. It's wartime so there are no rules in this ruined urbanity but again, the survivors have a strong moral compass and also a semi-intact sense of community. Most of them are still innocent people and will become saddened by their desperate actions, including indiscriminate theft.
Combat isn't exactly impressive in This War of Mine but that was on purpose. Players control only civilians, after all, so they're clunky and blunderous fighters at best. This doesn't mean players should shy away from assaulting guarded places. Locations like those tend to have the best loot. While most survivors will also incur a heavy depression penalty when killing others, this depends on who they kill.
I'm a big big fan of the game. I've all the content available for the PC version, and I also have the board game, which is amazing and I love playing it. I've been waiting for months for this one to come to the Switch, but the price tag is just too high. I'll have to wait.
I have this game on PC and it is a fantastic game. If you havn't picked it up and you like this type of games were you have to make tough choices then it is a must buy. I don't see myself double dipping on this game though.
Picked this up in a recent sale for around 3 on Switch, despite having previously owned it on PC, iPad and Android. Never actually put much time it over those three systems though, and this seems great so far on Switch.
When This War of Mine successfully funded on Kickstarter it was seeded with various stretch goals. Since then, this franchise has been handed over from Awaken Realms to Galakta Games, who have released two expansions as of yet: Tales from the Ruined City and Days of the Siege. Some of the Kickstarter exclusives have made their way into these boxes.
Hi great blog! I play alone most of the time and this war of mine is one of my favorite board games. I have bought Days of the Siege and the campaign is neat. What do you think about the first expansion I liked the children and dog from DotS, but are the first expansion really good
Emilia is the definition of mediocre. While in a game about survival and resource management, being a jack of all trades sounds great, Emilia is not a good example of this. She doesn't excel in any category and is average at best.
This War o' MineDetailsLocationMight's Outpost(Primal World - Story Mode)Level100Boundary LevelShifting Sky IMaximum BoundaryPious Sky XReceived FromCommander Feng (Story Mode)This War o' Mine is a daily quest available in the Primal World. It is available to players that are level 100 and Shifting Sky I to Pious Sky X, meaning that the player must also have reawakened at least twice. In order to unlock this daily quest the player must first complete the original This War o' Mine quest to get a permit, which can be picked up from the Light Emperor Alexander in Primal World (404 521). The quest requires you to talk to Commander Feng at Might's Outpost.
This desperate struggle for survival is what drives the gameplay in This War of Mine. Scavenging for food each night and trying to stay warm feels dark and real. And that is how it should feel, as this is a game about the forgotten many. The civilians trapped unwittingly in the middle of a warzone.
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Was hoping Push was going to do a review of this, it has me really interested. Heard nothing but praise for this when it released on PC last year and was really excited to hear it was coming to PS4. Delighted to hear that the port was well done and the game is excellent on console
@Quintumply it is bleak but it's also weirdly engagin