This War of Mine Articles RSS Feed | This War of Mine RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network PSA: Moonlighter, This War of Mine Free on Epic Games Store Thu, 25 Jul 2019 17:35:28 -0400 GS_Staff

Despite how one might feel about the Epic Games Store, there's no doubt the fledgling storefront has gone completely bonkers with its free offerings. 

This week, Epic is offering up the criminally-good Moonlighter alongside the depressing, yet equally excellent This War of Mine for absolutely free. That's zero dollars, folks. Zilch. 

Interested parties need only sign up for a free Epic Games account, install the launcher, sign in, and nab the complimentary game(s), no purchase necessary.

Well worth noting is that free games linked to an Epic account are currently linked to that account forever. Players will not lose access to any free games. Games do not have to be downloaded to qualify, yet simply claimed on an account. 


In our 9/10 review of Moonlighter, we said: 

Moonlighter is an exciting dungeon crawler that offers a change of pace as you run the town's shop by day, making for an impressive adventure.

Moonlighter wants players to have a good time while they tend their shop and fight endless dungeons of foes, and both make for a fantastic adventure.

Developers Digital Sun give you something different from the traditional dungeon-crawling experience with Moonlighter. Not only must you explore the various dungeons in the small commercial village of Rynoka, but you must act as the town's shopkeeper and sell the many treasures you find from the ruins you've explored.

The game introduces wonderfully woven-together mechanics throughout your entire experience to give you a genuinely enjoyable adventure. These enjoyable mechanics will easily drive you to complete all four of the unique dungeons, and to at last open the final and mysterious fifth dungeon.

This War of Mine

In our 9/10 review of This War of Mine, we said: 

Where Spec Ops: The Line made me question being The Good Guy, this game made me question just how far off the reservation I was willing to go to preserve life.

Presented in a manner not unlike the jaded lens of Papers, Please, This War of Mine hits you with a series of life-and-death decisions driven by your own conscience. Do you protect everyone in your shelter to your utmost or do you sacrifice some of them for the good of others in order to endure?

This is an experience that requires a certain state of mind - that is, mindfulness of a slow start, openness to a bit of self-reliance, and willingness to be immersed in something depressing and thought-provoking all at once.

There is very little to find wrong with this game: combat is not a star feature of this survival game, nor does it feel like it should be, and the lackluster story is more than made up for by the fact that its minimal narrative puts all the power of decision-making into your own, often incompetent, hands.

Since the Epic Games Store launched eight months ago, it has given away 23 games. None of the games are slouches, with many being highly-popular, highly-lauded titles. Included in that list are Subnautica, Super Meat Boy, Rime, Enter the Gungeon, Rebel Galaxy, Limbo, Transistor, Slime Rancher, Axiom Verge, and What Remains of Edith Finch

According to the storefront, Alan Wake and For Honor will be given away for free starting next week. Yet another bonkers giveaway. 

While it all hasn't been roses for the EGS over the past several months, with furor around exclusives dominating early conversation around the store and some theorizing it was spying on gamers for Tencent, a contingent of gamers didn't let any of that bother them.

In March, Business Insider reported that 85 million had signed up for accounts and were using the store.

Epic has also taken it upon itself to reimburse gamers for crowd-funded projects that become EGS exclusives. The policy was enacted following news that Shenmue 3, a crowd-funded project originally slated to launch on Steam, would be a timed EGS exclusive. 

This War of Mine Complete Edition to Bring Horrors of War to Switch Wed, 07 Nov 2018 12:49:11 -0500 Jonathan Moore

This War of Mine is one of the most harrowing survival sims you'll ever play. Outside of a handful of options, the game from 11-Bit Studios does it's best to lay bare the visceral violence of war in the most morally unnerving ways possible.

On November 27, Nintendo Switch players will find out why there are no good or bad decisions in war, only survival when the complete edition releases in both physical and digital formats for $39.99. 

The collection will include both the base game, as well as both The Little Ones and War Child DLCs. It will also include the expansion episodes Father's Promise and The Last Broadcast alongside access to all future DLCs and expansions. 

With its heavy anti-war message, This War of Mine thrusts players into morally ambiguous scenarios where life and death decisions aren't black and white. Players aren't super soldiers laying waste to countless unnamed enemies but instead civilians struggling to survive in a world ravaged by the war mongering elite. 

This War of Mine's 2D gameplay centers around scavenging for food and supplies, properly assigning NPCs to tasks they're good at, raiding other camps, and deciding whether to trust your companions or kill them before they kill you. Players struggle with hunger, illness, and depression alongside the constant threat of being attacked, looted, and murdered. 

To see what we thought of the game when it originally released back in 2014, head over to our review

Three Indie Games that Deserve More Love Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:31:14 -0500 buymymixtape123

Indie games have really gained a lot of popularity and quality over the years, with games like Cuphead and Stardew Valley being some of the best games to come out in the past few years. Here are some indie games that deserve more attention and love than they already get. 

The Banner Saga

The Banner Saga

Developer: Stoic
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Android, iOS

The Banner Saga is something special in the world of tactical RPGs. The game follows its two protagonists, Rook and Hakon, as they fight through an onslaught of Dredge soldiers in this Viking fantasy universe. What is different from this game to other tactical RPGs is the survival element implemented in the game. You have a caravan of fighters and regular civilians with you most of the time, and you must buy or scavenge food and supplies to support these people. As days go by, your supplies will deplete, and once your supplies are depleted to zero, your caravan will lose morale, and people will start to die. This leads you to be cautious when making decisions like taking new people in your group because you might not have enough supplies to take care of them.

In combat, you can pick six different characters in your caravan to fight, each usually having different skillsets or fighting styles. For example, Jarls, who are giants with horns, can take more damage than human characters, and it is best to lead battles with them because of this. Also, some characters only use bows and magic while others just use melee, so it’s best to really think about your team composition before heading to battle.

Overall, it is a great game that will have you immersed in its world for 20 or more hours. 

The Dishwasher

The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai

Developer: Ska Studios
Release Date: April 1, 2009
Platforms: Xbox 360

The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai is a beat ‘em up game where you play as a Dishwasher as he exacts his hatred of cyborgs by killing them and destroying their leadership. The gameplay is like other beat ‘em ups, as you use combos to do massive amounts of damage to cyborg hordes. Doing combos and grapples can lead to gory finishers, like ripping a body part of a cyborg. These finishing moves give you health after completing them. The Dishwasher uses a variety of weapons, ranging from machine guns to a sword.  

There is also a minigame in which you get to play a guitar solo of a rock song, and you earn points to your overall level score during it.

This game is available only on Xbox 360, but its sequel, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, is on PC, and it is just as good as the original.


This War of Mine

 This War of Mine

Developer: 11 bit studios
Release Date: November 14, 2014
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

This War of Mine is a survival-strategy game that really immerses you in its war-torn world. You control a group of survivors in an abandoned shelter that you get to explore to unlock new rooms and other secrets. The game is about survival, so you must gather supplies like weapons and food to survive, which you can only do at night since there are soldiers outside during the day that will shoot on sight. This means you must go to other people's shelters and other abandon places to steal or gather these supplies.

You will encounter other groups of survivors that can be hostile to you. You can sneak up on them and kill them with a stealth attack, which usually is an instant kill. When in combat with the other person, it is randomly generated who will win, meaning that you can lose or win the battle depending on your health and the weapon you are using at the time. Also, your character has different traits that can either help the group or negatively affect the group.

This game is an emotional experience that is worth picking up, and you should also check out its DLC, The Little Ones, which adds children to your group. 


Did we forget to include one of your favorite underappreciated indie games? Let us know in the comments below.

Steam Summer Sale 2017 -- The Best Games Under $5 Mon, 26 Jun 2017 18:37:09 -0400 Adreon Patterson


Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition 


Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam


As the OG of the Batman Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Asylum follows Batman as he must fight his way past nefarious foes in order to stop the Joker from once again trying to destroy Gotham City. It would be unjust for any gamer to sleep on this hallmark game with its detailed world design, revolutionary combat system, compelling storyline, and stellar graphics.




All of these games are just a sampling of what the Steam 2017 Summer Sale has to offer. Make sure to check out our other Steam Summer Sale articles for even more savings on great games. 


Shadowrun Returns


Regular Price: $14.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 1.49
Buy it on Steam


This PC version of the tabletop game allows players to join any five races and six classes as they hunt down the Emerald City Ripper in this gritty, futuristic CRPG. Despite a sparse saving system, Shadowrun Returns showcases smooth character development, excellent combat scenes, and highly interactive gameplay in a cyberpunk, turn-based atmosphere. 


Mass Effect 2


Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam


Bioware's follow-up to the highly successful Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 once again puts players into the space boots of the stoic Commander Shepard as he must assemble a diverse team in order to stop an alien species known as the Collectors. The spectacular melting pot of diverse characters, stellar interactive storytelling, excellent voice acting, stunning visuals, and improved gameplay will hook any gamer interested in science fiction RPGs.




Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 2.99
Buy it on Steam


In Outlast, a first-person survival horror game predicated on stealth and strategy, players become investigative journalist Miles Upshur as he maneuvers his way through the dilapidated Mount Massive Asylum. The top-notch horror elements and thrilling gameplay would be great for any gamer to experience, especially horror fans and fans of SOMA, Amnesia, and early Resident Evil titles.




Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 2.99
Buy it on Steam


This indie sci-fi action game lets players become the famous singer Red as she battles the robotic force of The Process, all while keeping the sword-like Transistor from those who would seek to acquire it. Players are thrust into a futuristic city where they battle enemies, solve puzzles, learn new skills (or Functions), and journey through a story rich with RPG undertones. Any gamer will fall in love with the effervescent visuals, stellar combat system, and lush soundtrack.


Borderlands 2


Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam


In the sequel to 2009's Borderlands, players (as four new characters) once again must complete missions while acquiring loot on the planet of Pandora. This FPS is worth any gamer's time (especially fans of the first-person shooter genre) as it manages to build upon the original's strongest points -- humor and role-playing systems -- while adding a sense of world structure that fleshes out the Borderlands mythos. 


Life is Strange Complete Season (Episodes 1-5)


Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam


As an episodic adventure, Life is Strange showcases twelfth-grade photography student Max Caufield's strange ability to rewind time and how it influences the butterfly effect of her universe. Following the episodic drama format, gamers are swept up in some truly great character development, tackling of taboo issues, and novel gameplay mechanics.


Tomb Raider


Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam


This retelling of Lara Croft's origin story follows the iconic heroine as she helps herself and her friends escape the island of Yamatai while being hunted down by a strange cult. Despite some qualms about the multiplayer mode and sometimes disconnected narrative, gamers should still enjoy this game with its splendid graphics, excellent third-person gameplay, and amazing character development -- especially for Croft. This action-adventure title from Square Enix reinvented the Tomb Raider brand and has overwhelmingly positive Steam reviews for its hard work. 




This War of Mine


Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 3.99
Buy it on Steam


This war survival game based on the Siege of Sarajevo deals with civilians surviving a post-war society through everyday decision-making. The player must keep various characters' health, hunger, and mood levels stable while gathering tools and materials for survival. Every decision can make or break survival -- and some of the decisions with which players are faced range from difficult to excruciating.  


Metro 2033 Redux


Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam


Set in post-nuclear war Moscow, Metro 2033 Redux deals with survivors living underground, having to kill human and mutant enemies in order to get ammunition and other resources -- as well as survive. This game can be endless fun; with an enthralling plot, realistic, detailed environments, and graphic horror elements, this is an FPS that has seen a cult following develop around it -- and for good reason.


Garry's Mod


Regular Price: $9.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam


A devil-may-care sandbox game, Garry's Mod allows players to manipulate ragdoll physics and props during gameplay. With its bizarre nature, user content is able to flood the game with the Physics Gun (manipulating ragdolls), the Tool Gun (creating buttons and controllable props), and the Havok Physics Engine (creating contraptions with props). Its openness allows players to roam free without any constraints. Garry's Mod is a zany sandbox creation game that focuses on creativity and mental agility. 


Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor


Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 3.99
Buy it on Steam


Taking place between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor follows the combined body and soul of dead ranger Talion and Elf Lord Celebrimbor as they take revenge on Sauron for the death of their loved ones. This Tolkein-based, Peter Jackson-influenced action-adventure game boasts stellar combat scenes, great lore, an expansive open world, and the Nemesis System, which allows non-playable characters to uniquely react to the protagonist accordingly through each playthrough.


Endless Space: Collection


Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam


Endless Space is a turn-based, 4X sci-fi adventure game allows players to choose or build a civilization and expand their empire to conquer the galaxy through a series of victories. This edition collects both the Endless Space base game and the DLC, Disharmony, providing players a great user interface and great accessibility for endless replay.


After what's seemed like an eternity, summer has finally arrived. Sunny beaches. Scorching, hot weather. Family vacations. Weird tan lines. 


But there is another image that's conjured when talking about summer -- the Steam Summer Sale. Summer truly doesn't begin until the gaming community can buy some amazing games and other items on the cheap. 


The true pull for the sale is the incredible discounts gamers can get on some of their favorite games. There are individual games, expansion packs, DLCs, bundles. Any and everything a gamer could want or need is available with discounts of up to 80%.


This is not only a big deal for the gaming community but for the online community as a whole. Articles, blurbs, and blog posts from indie sites to major players are written up days before the sale. Just like offline life, the internet goes crazy over discounts.


Let's take a look at some of the best games under $5 for Steam's 2017 Summer Sale.

5 Classic Works of Literature that Would Make Great RPGs Wed, 30 Nov 2016 11:00:01 -0500 Justin Michael

Growing up I was that nerdy kid in the group. I was the kid that got excited to sign up for the local library summer reading program. For me, books were my first love, long before gaming, because it didn't cost me anything to borrow a book from the library -- and my only limit was my reading level.

Now that I'm older, I think back to some of the great books I've read over the years and wonder, "With so many book-based movies, why aren't there more classic books getting their own games?" I mean, out of the hundreds of amazing stories I've read in my life thus far, why not make the medium more interactive and turn some of these great stories into games? 

With this burning question on my mind, I set out to find five books I really enjoyed reading while growing up and to explore what about them would make them great games. Here are 5 classic works of literature I think would make great RPG titles.

1. 1984 - George Orwell

For those who aren't familiar with this Orwellian masterpiece, it follows Winston Smith, an unremarkable citizen of war-torn Britain. A worker for the Ministry of Truth, it's Winston's job to edit history to suit Big Brother's agenda and ever-changing interpretation of the truth.

I feel as though 1984 would make an interesting stealth game with a mix of puzzles and exploration, very similar to Dishonored. Given the job that Winston has, he would be able to piece together the truth that Big Brother doesn't want the people to know, but he must be weary as Big Brother is always watching, listening. 

During the game, you could level up by being able to blend in and cover your questioning nature. Perhaps there would be some sort of suspicion meter that raises or lowers depending on your actions and, if it gets too high, you are captured and "rehabilitated." This could add in a really interesting "Ironman" mode to the game.

2. The Shining - Stephen King

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

The first Stephen King novel I ever read, The Shining was my introduction to horror. In the book, we follow Jack Torrance, writer and recovering alcoholic who just landed a gig as an off-season caretaker for the Overlook Hotel -- a very remote resort nestled in the Colorado Rockies. 

With his wife, Wendy, and son, Danny in tow, Jack hopes to use the seclusion of this new job to finally finish writing his script for a play. The Overlook Hotel, however, is far from normal and a series of paranormal events soon start to take their toll on Jack and his family. 

While there are a number of fundamental differences between the novel and the movie, The Shining would be one hell of a scary game. I could see this being a survival horror styled RPG, with elements like the early Resident Evil games and plenty of exploration throughout the sprawling Overlook Hotel, where the majority of the novel takes place.

This game would be great to have set up in a manner similar to the Telltale style of games, like The Walking Dead, where there would be separate chapters and you'd take control of different characters from the novel. Add on a psychological health system and character-specific skills and you have one hell of a time on your hands. 


3. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

The only survivors of a plane crash near a remote island, Lord of the Flies follows the story of a group of adolescent boys and their struggles to survive -- not just survival against the environment, but also their own base, primal instincts. Between the struggle for power, food, and shelter violence is only a wrong step away.

Lord of the Flies would make an amazing RPG/Simulation game. You'd have to establish groups, manage resources, assign duties and struggle for power over your rivals. In addition, you could take elements from games like This War of Mine and try to hold out for rescue or the "cease-fire."

You could progress in areas such as knowledge, intimidation, negotiation and survival to give you an edge over your opponents. Would make for a great multiplayer game.

4. Hatchet - Gary Paulsen

Hatchet was a book I read sometime in my early teenage years that I think makes a great addition to this list. You'd take on the role of Brian, a 13-year old boy whose plane crashes during a flight to visit his father who works in the Northern Canadian oil fields.

Armed with nothing but a hatchet, you'd have to learn to survive in the forested wilderness of Northern Canada. There is tons of room for great story and RPG elements in the game as you learn to hunt, fish, construct shelter and to survive the elements. If I had to compare this to a current game on the market it would be very similar to Hinterland Studio's game The Long Dark -- due to the perk system, having both temporary perks for the current life and persistent ones which carry over between lives.

Depending on the actions of the player, the game could end a few different ways. There is also the possibility of DLC in the form of the follow-up book, Brian's Winter.

5. Beowulf - Seamus Heaney Translation

I had to save my favorite for last. Beowulf is a tale that I've been in love with since my high school days, and it could very easily be an RPG great -- if tackled by the right studio. 

A peerless warrior-hero of the Geats, Beowulf comes to the aid of Hrothgar, who is the king of the Danes. The Danes are plagued by the fearsome monster Grendel, who attacks Heorot, the great hall of king Hrothgar. This alone is the trappings of a great adventure -- a mighty hero, a troubled king and a fearsome monster.

I don't want to spoil too much of the story but it has adventuring, dragon fighting and much more. There is so much that could be done with a story like this. Personally, I'd love to see this game developed by CD Projekt Red, the masterminds behind The Witcher Series.

What books do you think are worthy of their own game? Let's talk about it in the comments below.

This War of Mine: The Little Ones DLC Review Mon, 13 Jun 2016 10:12:56 -0400 Jack Einhorn (skullkid)

I first played This War of Mine a few months ago, and can honestly say I had a lot of fun with it. That being said, I can absolutely see how this game would not appeal to the masses, and can envision many people flatout disliking it. But, who’s to say it was made for the masses? If you like a heavy narrative over gameplay fluidity, and like games that force you to make difficult decisions, you’ll absolutely dig This War of Mine -- and its new DLC, The Little Ones.

This War of Mine, developed by 11 bit studios, is a war simulation game that has you playing as survivors and refugees of war, rather than the soldiers on the frontlines. It actually plays very similarly to The Sims, in that you have a group of characters you control at once, instructing them to do things like cook and eat. However, as you can imagine, the tone is much darker.

The Game

Your characters start off in an old abandoned building, waiting for your instruction. You can make them craft things like chairs, beds, and shovels, or make them forage the house for supplies. Once the house is dry of goods though, you have to start searching other buildings. The catch here is that during the day, snipers prevent you from leaving your house.

So, the game operates on a day/night system, where during the day you craft and cook and at night you send survivors out to forage for goods.

Tough decisions arise, like who to feed if the food supply is low, who gets the bed if there’s only one, and whether killing fellow civilians in town is justified if you need their supplies. Every choice you make affects your characters a great deal. For example, one of my characters was searching for supplies when he was attacked by the resident of the house he was in. Defending myself, I had my character beat the attacker with a shovel, to death. Then the deceased’s wife appeared -- mourning how I had just murdered her husband in cold blood. I didn’t know what to do except run away with the stuff I found.

Decisions like these hang around your characters, causing them to become depressed and even verbally lament their actions later. If not comforted by other survivors, your character will even eventually hang themselves. Darker than The Sims, huh?

So there you have it -- an emotionally intense survival sim where every decision you make is heavily weighted. The gameplay is a bit clunky, since it is entirely point-and-click and you’re sometimes controlling several characters, but the gameplay isn’t really the focus here. These developers wanted you to feel the horror that wartime refugees feel everyday, trying to survive in combat zones on minimal (if any) supplies. And this, I think, is achieved.

Now, let’s talk about The Little Ones, the first official DLC for This War of Mine. This expansion pack costs $9.99 (compared to the $19.99 for the base game). The purpose of this expansion was to expand the repertoire of characters by adding in children, since in the base game the only playable characters were adults. The developers wanted to stress the way children are affected in wartime survival situations, and I suppose they have also succeeded...sort of.


New groups of survivors are available to play as (I played as a father and his daughter for my playthrough) and while the additions are interesting… I don’t really see the expansion being worth 10 bucks. From what I can tell the only thing that’s been added is playable child characters, who are no different from the adult characters except for they can perform fewer functions (they can’t clear rubble, pick locks, etc). Every so often my “daughter” would come up to my father character while he was building or cooking, and ask for a hug or to play patty-cake. This was just an annoyance if anything, and I don’t even think it’s particularly realistic.

The child character will beg your parent character not to go out and scavenge at night, forcing you to disappoint the fictional child since scavenging is the only way to get any supplies once your house has been stripped clean.

This War of Mine is a great game, well worth its own price if anything just for its emotional value, but The Little Ones could have been a free patched update -- not an expansion that’s half the price of the original game. The main redeeming factor of the expansion, to me, is that 11 bit studios donates $1 from every purchase of The Little Ones to the War Child charity, which helps war-affected children across the globe.

I implore you to play This War of Mine… just don’t sweat the expansion (unless of course you just want to donate that $1).

This War of Mine: The Little Ones Expansion Is Now Available On PC Wed, 01 Jun 2016 12:19:17 -0400 Cody Drain

This War of Mine, the survival game by 11 bit studios wherein players are tasked with protecting survivors in a war-torn society, has received a new expansion for PC players. This War of Mine: The Little Ones (previously available on the PlayStation 4) adds a new layer of complexity to the game with the addition of children that players are expected to provide for and protect.

According to the developers, children come with their own set of needs and concerns, which will make players' decisions more difficult when it comes to prioritizing which survivors are taken care of and when. They also explained why they made the decision to add children to the game:

"From our perspective, adding children to the experience was the most important puzzle to complete the big picture. The creation of it required respect for the victims of war. So, understandably, we wanted to present the topic without any gore that could serve only for shocking players. In fact, our goal was to show how little ones perceive the reality of an armed conflict."

In addition, the developers will donate $1 from each purchase of This War of Mine: The Little Ones to the War Child charity, which works to help children across the globe affected by war.

From now until June 8th, the DLC will be $8.99 instead of $9.99, as well. Interested players can take advantage of this deal at Games Republic, a part of 11 bit studios. This War of Mine: The Little Ones requires This War of Mine on Steam to play.

This War of Mine: The Little Ones survival tips Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11:29:47 -0500 Serhii Patskan

Your main priority in This War of Mine is to survive as long as you can. In The Little Ones expansion, you have kids who can help you cope with hard times in a much better way. However, approaching this task still requires some preliminary knowledge.

This guide will give you basic tips on how to manage all the important aspects of the game that are necessary for survival; such as crafting, trading, scavenging, combat and other useful tricks.

You start playing the game by refining your shelter. You can find out everything about the proper shelter management in this guide to This War of Mine: The Little Ones. After you are all set and ready to move on with your game, follow these simple instructions.

Crafting tips and tricks

There are things that need to be crafted as soon as possible in the game - they are essential for the survival of your group.

  • Craft some beds. The more characters you have in your shelter, the more beds you’ll need. They will allow your people to take a rest after a long day of working or a long night of guarding. Resting also helps healing wounds.
  • A metal workshop is necessary for crafting important tools like crowbar, knife and some other weapons.
  • Make a stove. Cooked food is much better for your people’s health than anything else. So, get a cooking stove and be sure to have Bruno, the game’s chef, in your rotation.
  • A rainwater collector is another essential workshop you should build. Your need for water will grow every day, so as soon as you can make another one – go for it.

The following items are not particularly necessary for survival, but they can have a significant impact on your gameplay experience.

  • If you have a child in your story, then be sure to make a few toys. They will keep them busy and happy.
  • Craft a radio. This little thing will give you all the necessary information about the weather, military fights, raids, etc.
  • A vegetable garden is a great addition to your nutritional needs. One such garden can provide enough raw food for at least four survivors.
  • An alcohol distiller can be used for making medications that will cure your characters in the case of sicknesses.

Trading tips and tricks

This War of Mine: The Little Ones trading

You can always find traders by locating their position on the map. Also, a travelling trader named Franko will visit your shelter time from time. You need to know which things to buy from traders and which to scavenge.

  • You should always trade for components, parts and wood.
  • You can make great deals by buying bandages and medications at the Central Square and then selling them for a higher price at the Garage.
  • Also, if you need tools, you can always trade for them at the Garage as well.
  • Use Katia to bargain with soldiers, she always gets good deals.
  • If you need weapons, use Franko and Viktor for trading, as they have the best rates for weapons.
  • If you already have a radio at your shelter, you can catch the news about deals on the black market. There you can buy stuff like cigarettes, alcohol and coffee.

Scavenging tips and tricks

This War of Mine: The Little Ones scavenging

The rule of the thumb here is to never leave your shelter without valuable items that could be scavenged by the raiders at night. Then, you don’t have to worry about losing something important.

Now, if you go scavenging with your group, follow these simple steps:

  • After you find a suitable location for scavenging, always plan to visit it multiple times. Usually, you will not have enough space in your inventory to be able to carry everything with you in one night.
  • Before looting try, to clear as much debris as you can using your shovel and crowbar. In this way, you can obtain more resources.
  • You can hide valuable items inside crates, come back for them next day and collect everything without wasting any time.
  • Also, some traders will not buy stolen items from you and can even become hostile, so keep this in mind.

Combat tips and tricks

This War of Mine: The Little Ones combat

Some of you characters, such as Boris and Roman may be very good in combat due to their strength and agility. However, other group members may not be suited for combat, so choose your fighters carefully.

  • In the case mentioned above, when you need to fight a hostile trader, try not to kill him, just fight until he begs for mercy – traders are still very valuable in this game.
  • The most effective type of kill is a stealth kill, as you make the least amount of noise and waste less time in this way. The best characters for this type of kill are Marko and Roman.
  • If you want to clear out a lot of enemies quickly and effectively, then look for the ladder, go up top, lure all the enemies to go after you and shoot them from the top.

Other tips and tricks

This War of Mine: The Little Ones talking to a child

  • Always pay attention to a child in your group and try to teach him or her some useful things -- like crafting or water distilling.
  • Some of your characters may have harmful addictions, such as coffee or cigarettes. It’s important to satisfy their addictions in time, or they may fall into depression and commit suicide, which you obviously don’t want to happen.
  • Always prepare more food than needed and leave the rest for the next time – in this way your chef will spend fewer resources on cooking.
  • Also, don’t touch canned food before the winter, when raw vegetables become hard to come by.

This is basically everything you need to know about the game. In time, you will understand many other smaller details that will make your gameplay more enjoyable. But that’s up for you to discover.

Tell us about your thoughts on This War of Mine: The Little Ones in the comments section below!

This War of Mine: The Little Ones shelter management guide Fri, 05 Feb 2016 09:47:39 -0500 Serhii Patskan

Your shelter in This War of Mine is the main hideout place for your group of survivors. There are a couple of locations that can be used as a shelter and with The Little Ones expansion two more alternate shelters have been added – an apartment and a large mansion.

It doesn’t matter which one you will choose to be your hideout, as all of them have basically the same functions and the difference is purely cosmetic. Your shelter needs to be taken care of and it must be protected by setting up guards.

At the start of the game you will be given the right to choose the type of the shelter with the default conditions: simple workshop, fridge, medicine cabinet and certain types of furniture. From this point on you will be able to manage your place as you wish, but this shelter guide will help you do it in the most efficient way.

Start by clearing your shelter

This War of Mine: The Little Ones shelter

In the very beginning, your hideout in This War of Mine will be a mess with piles of rubble and other waste lying around. Some of it will be blocking doors to the rooms, so you have to clear this out as well as you can.

It is highly advisable to use the metal workshop for crafting a crowbar and a shovel at the very start of the game. It will significantly help you deal with all the waste quickly.

During the clearing, you will encounter several lootable crates that may or may not be locked. Don’t waste your lock picks on them just yet, as you will need them for your further scavenging – use your crowbar instead.

You will also gain enough resources for the beginning of the game just by getting rid of all the unnecessary debris. They will include food, medicine, tools and even weapons. You can also use axe to chop up wood for heating purposes.

Continue to refine your shelter

This War of Mine: The Little Ones inventory

Your characters will get tired and hungry after a long day of work, so it’s important to create the best possible conditions for them with the available resources. In order to get the best out of your people and tools, assign various tasks during daytime to different characters.

You can make one of the characters to start crafting some useful items, while another character can start cooking food, and if you see that somebody got tired - make them take a rest.

The best way to understand the current condition of your shelter in This War of Mine is to regularly check "Some Thoughts" note on the inventory screen. This is where your characters will leave notes about their condition and the state of the shelter. Use it often and follow any hints given.

For example, if your characters need to be cheered up, they may ask for some books to read. Another alternative is a radio or some comfortable furniture that will help them rest more efficiently. So, you need to get these things inside and keep your people happy.

Time from time a travelling trader or a new survivor may come to your home. You will also have neighbors who will ask for help, and they may give you some resources as well. Use all these opportunities to refine your hideout and keep your group in good shape.

Protect your shelter

This War of Mine: The Little Ones raider attacks

Your shelter will be constantly raided by looters. For this reason, it’s important to set everything up prior to the attacks.

In the beginning, the raids will happen occasionally, but they can become as frequent as every night. During these raids your people can be wounded and depressed, if they are not able to effectively protect themselves and their resources.

You have no control over the raids that will happen at night, and you will learn about the consequences only the next morning. So, in order to prevent the raiders from injuring your people and scavenging your items follow these instructions:

Set up guards

You can assign certain characters from your party to guard your shelter. If you wonder which characters fit this role the best, then be sure to check out our character guide on This War of Mine. In short, you want to look at characters such as Boris, Roman, and Arica.

You should always leave some weapons and tools in your inventory. In this way, the guards will be able to use them and protect the shelter with a much higher chance of success.

Reduce the amount of losses by:
  • Using the advanced workshop to board up holes and windows in your shelter.
  • Then as the game progresses be sure to craft a reinforced door and set up a simple alarm system.
  • Leave at least one melee weapon for each guard in your inventory. Better have a few good fire weapons as well.
  • Never assign just one character to guard at nighttime - use as many as you can.
  • Search for additional armor and helmets for your guards - these will protect them well.

With this simple advice, you will prevent any raiders’ attempts at scavenging your home. In the case your people get injured, always keep some healing items in the inventory and never forget to cheer them up afterwards with a guitar.

Come back soon for more This War of Mine: The Little Ones guides at GameSkinny!

This War of Mine: The Little Ones character management guide Mon, 01 Feb 2016 11:13:59 -0500 Serhii Patskan

The updated version of This War of Mine titled The Little Ones for PS4 and Xbox One involves the same set of characters as the previous version, but this time players have the choice to add children into the mix. However, you can choose only one child to be present in the game at a time.

If you choose to do so, you will have an additional task of taking care of the kid of your choice, for example, a girl named Lydia, or a boy named Sergei. Children play quite a significant role in your household, as they can keep the morale of your three grown-ups high.

Additionally, kids can be taught some useful things, like helping the neighbors, setting traps, filtering water, etc. If they have questions, it’s important to answer them. But if you ignore them, they will close down, which will create a dreadful atmosphere. They generally don’t need much: some toys to play and a bit of kindness.

Other than that, the rest of the gameplay mechanics haven’t changed and you still have to manage everyone healthy, happy and keep them out of trouble. This guide will give you all the necessary information on how to manage all 12 playable characters of the game.

Each character has their own strong and weak points. You have to take them into account before creating your own party. Be sure to satisfy their addictions, if they have some, and cheer them up by playing a guitar, if you see that the mood got sour.

All characters in This War of Mine: The Little Ones are divided into three groups: Scavengers, Supporters, and Others.



This War of Mine Boris

Boris is the strongest male character in the game. He has the highest degree of sympathy, which gives him the best chance to cheer people up.

He is always very concerned about the conditions of other people and has high level of morality. This means that he doesn’t like to see people killed or robbed, but rather is always happy to help them.


  • He can hold the largest number of items due to his inventory size (17), which makes him a perfect scavenger.
  • Boris is very good in combat using his backstab ability and he can be a great guard due to his strength and high health.


  • His drawbacks are slow speed of movement and high level of noise. This means he is not good for stealthy approach.
  • Boris is addicted to smoking and when his needs are not satisfied he can get really depressed.

This War of Mine Marko

Marko is the second strongest character in the game after Boris. He is considered a highly sympathetic character and a skilled combatant.

Just like Boris, Marko is very sensitive to the state of other people and has a high sense of morality. However, there are a few traits that might make him a better scavenger than Boris.


  • He is much faster and stealthier than other strong characters in the game.
  • His inventory size is not the biggest, but it is sufficient (15).
  • He can be a good guard and has no addictions.


  • Marko has almost no drawbacks except that he could get easily saddened by unfortunate events.

This War of Mine Pavle

In the past, Pavle was a football player, so this makes him the fastest running character of all. He can experience some strong emotions, both positive and negative.

Pavle is considered a character with high morality values and he likes to take care of people. All this makes him a good scavenger, but not as good as his other peers – Boris and Marko.


  • Due to his high speed of movement, Pavle is indispensable in combat.
  • His best combat tactics is hit-and-run, which makes him super efficient even when he gets wounded.
  • He has no harmful addictions and can be a good guard.


  • Just like Marko, Pavle is very sensitive and can get easily depressed.
  • His inventory size is average (12).

This War of Mine Katia

Katia is a great choice if you want to have good bargain deals at the Garage or Central Square during night time. She is considered to be highly sympathetic person by other characters.

Due to her increased sensitivity, Katia can get very depressed, especially if her coffee addiction is not satisfied. Also, she is not very good in combat, unlike other scavengers.


  • Katia has excellent trading skills and can get better prices for items than any other character in the game.
  • She has high moral values and is always concerned about her people.


  • She is not particularly good at combat or guarding, but if you give her a good weapon, she will be able to protect herself.
  • Katia is emotionally more vulnerable than other Scavengers.
  • Her inventory is of an average size (12).

This War of Mine Zlata

Zlata is an odd character. She is considered a scavenger only due to her decent inventory size (12). However, her main role is the psychological support of the group.

She has the strongest morality of all other characters, which makes thievery in her presence a big mistake, not to mention a murder.


  • Zlata can always cheer her people up, especially because she can play guitar very well.
  • She has absolutely no harmful addictions and is always concerned of others.


  • This character is not very good at combat and is slightly worse as a guard than other scavengers.

This War of Mine Arica

Arica is arguably a scavenger, as her inventory size is quite small (10). But due to her high combat skills, on par with Boris, she can be very useful.

This character has a very unstable emotional condition and can easily fall into depression. She is also a less sympathetic and more selfish character than others, probably because she was abused as a child.


  • Arica can be a perfect thief due to her almost noiseless movements.
  • She is very strong in combat and can serve as a great guard to your shelter.


  • Due to her mood swings, Arica can get into fights with her party members.
  • She is addicted to smoking and has low moral values.



This War of Mine Roman

Roman is the most skilled fighter in the game. It’s good to have him in the party, if you want to clear the area before sending your scavengers to do the rest of the job.

Roman’s personality is the least sympathetic to other characters. He can get very angry; he frequently argues with his mates and almost never shows concern for others.


  • Roman can be an excellent guard and his fighting skills allow him to stealth kill a target with his bare hands.
  • Due to his low morality values, he can kill as many bandits and soldiers as needed.


  • Roman has a low inventory size (10), so he can’t be an effective scavenger, but he can assist others well.
  • His very selfish and cold-hearted personality often puts others down.
  • Roman is addicted to smoking.

This War of Mine Marin

Marin is an exceptionally skilled handyman. He can craft and upgrade items using the least amount of resources.

Marin can be either very useful or a completely useless character, if you don’t find a way to handle him properly. It’s important to constantly keep him at work or he will get easily depressed and it’s not going to be easy to cheer him up.


  • Although his personality doesn’t allow him to be very useful in any other area of the game, his fixing and crafting skills can be vital.


  • Marin doesn’t have an ability to cheer others up and has a coffee addiction.
  • His inventory size is quite small (10).
  • He is bad at combat and not a good guard.

This War of Mine Bruno

Bruno is the game’s chef. Prior to war he had his own restaurant and his cooking skills can be well utilized in your shelter.

Unfortunately, he is a bad mannered, weak and selfish character. He will never show concern for others, but will instantly fall into depression, if he gets wounded or hurt.


  • Besides cooking, Bruno can craft alcohol, which can be used for some valuable trading.


  • He is not good for combat or guarding purposes.
  • Bruno has low sympathy among his peers and he is addicted to smoking.



This War of Mine Anton

Anton and other two characters can be neither scavengers nor supporters. Anton is a mathematician and he can’t protect himself or others too well.

He is old and weak. His personality traits are almost useless and he is not good at cheering people up. Anton can be selfish and insensitive to other party members.


  • Anton’s only strength is that he can catch rats faster than others, no kidding.


  • He can perform moderately in combat, but you should not put him as a guard for your shelter.
  • Anton has the lowest inventory size in the game (8).

This War of Mine Emilia

Emilia was a lawyer, so she is not very useful in terms of survival. But you can send her commit various crimes, as her level of morality is very low, so she won’t get affected afterward.

Her personality is quite resistant to any kinds of unfortunate events. However, she can get depressed if her coffee addiction is not satisfied.


  • Emilia is passable in combat and can withstand psychological pressure well.


  • Her inventory size is very small (10), so she will be of no use for scavenging.
  • You don’t want to see her as a guard either, as she can be easily wounded.

This War of Mine Cveta

Cveta is the character that fits The Little Ones expansion the most. She loves children very much and would be a perfect companion to the kids in the game.

She has a great personality and can cheer up even the most depressed party members. She has high morality values and has no addictions.


  • Cveta can be very good at aiding and supporting other characters during hard times.


  • She is not good for combat or guarding purposes at all.
  • Just like Anton, Cveta has the smallest inventory size in the game (8).

This War of Mine gives you a number of stories you can choose from.

Start playing and try out different conditions including those with children; or create your own custom scenario in the “Write Your Own Story” menu.

In the beginning, you may choose only one group by default: Katia, Bruno, and Pavle, which is a decent start. Later you will be able to unlock other features and characters as well.

Come back soon for more This War of Mine: The Little Ones guides at GameSkinny!

Zack Reviews: This War Of Mine The Little Ones Thu, 28 Jan 2016 03:25:44 -0500 Zack Thompson

Most games that put you in the middle of an ongoing war let you run and gun for your chosen alliance. This War of Mine: The Little Ones deviates from the usual formula of military shooters by making you play from the perspective of civilians caught in the middle of intense warfare.

Your heartstrings will be tugged, and you’ll repeatedly question your actions throughout the harrowing trials of your survivors. This console version of the previously PC exclusive title adds an important factor that ups the ante even more than before.

A new type of War

This War of Mine: The Little Ones has the perfect visual style for its overall tone of sadness and desperation. The 2.5D art design brings to life the environmental destruction caused by ongoing conflict. Peering into the past lives and current problems of your survivors hits hard, thanks to the implementation of photos of actual humans. Although they’re most certainly hired actors, you’ll begin to envision them as actual civilians due to their hurtful facial expressions and personal observations.

Your daily struggle involves living in a once-abandoned building, keeping the people who live with you alive. Upgrading your home with a myriad of helpful items is your main concern during the daytime, but the gameplay truly shines once nightfall hits.

Once darkness falls, you choose one survivor and travel to your chosen location. You’ll have to rely on your stealth prowess in order to invade houses, schools, churches, and buildings that house military personnel. The stakes are high. It feels immensely satisfying when you scavenge a ton of helpful items and escape a home full of gun-wielders unscathed, but you’ll truly feel bothered when you lose one of your survivors after being clipped by sniper fire.

Every time you leave your fort, you’ll have to weigh your options and select the right place to run into with the appropriate survivor. With the inclusion of children, these daily proceedings are more important to your success than ever before. Providing the kids within your settlement with teddy bears, keeping them alive, and reading their thoughts about what they’re going through increases the melancholy factor of the game.

Limits on Run and Gun

This game is definitely not for everyone. The high difficulty and reliance on stealth are two big factors that may keep most gamers at a distance. And for those who tend to let their emotions get the best of them more than usual, playing through this game might just be a bit too painful to do. If those aforementioned factors aren’t an issue, then This War of Mine: The Little Ones must be experienced in order to be fully understood. Console gamers should take a journey into a world that’s despairing, but deeper than most games of its ilk.

Zack's Verdict: Solid Buy

This War of Mine: The Little Ones ports over one of the finest PC exclusives to the Xbox One and PS4. On top of the newly added factor of keeping young children alive, the game’s core experience still excels. Keeping your group alive, constructing household items, dodging numerous threats, and scavenging for food and assorted gear at night make up the core activities of this morose experience.

This title’s theme and gameplay may be too morbid and difficult for most gamers, though. And even though I put my biggest gripes about this game in a different article, I say keep an open mind and hop into a great game that offers a fresh (if difficult) perspective on war.

This War of Mine's invincible children are a serious flaw Wed, 27 Jan 2016 17:41:03 -0500 Zack Thompson

This War of Mine is a brilliant game -- I want to get that out of the way first and foremost. It deals with issues that most games shy away from, like how far will you go when pushed to the brink and need to survive. It's a story about war, but not from the overpowered super-soldiers' view that most games give you.

You are simply a civilian, a survivor who needs to scrape and scrounge whatever resources they can to get through the day and make sure that a simple cold doesn't wipe out the whole house. You fight to survive, and through interactions and random events you start getting attached to the group of survivors around you. When the finite resources in the game start dwindling, you start doing unthinkable things to try and keep your group alive. The game was a PC hit, and soon it's getting a release on PS4 and Xbox One.

But this game that is supposed to be an unflinching look at the horrors of war, flinches.

War comes to the consoles 

In the console ports, called The Little Ones, developers Deep Silver and 11 Bit studios introduced children into the groups of survivors. As a fan of the game and a father, this idea excited and terrified me. Ever since becoming a father myself, I've had a soft spot for kids in bad situations. But it also makes the decisions in This War of Mine easier in my eyes, as I'm willing to commit atrocities in the game to keep my Little One alive.

Therein lies the problem. Children in the game can't die -- if they get too sick or hungry, they just run away. In this excellent game that's all about being a dark and gritty look into the horrors of war, they shy away from children's lives being on the line.

This choice kind of confused me. As I've said, this is a game that prides itself on its dark grittiness, and other reviewers and YouTube personalities rave about it for its ideas, gameplay, and realism. Yet it's to scared to allow the possibility of kids dying.

[Spoiler Alert]

The next few sentences are going to discuss spoilers of the Telltale Walking Dead game, where this issue comes up. So if you don't want to be spoiled, then skip ahead.  The Walking Dead Universe is another dark, gritty horror story where you can see how far you are willing to go to protect your people. The difference is that TWD raises the stakes in the game by putting the lives of the children characters on the line. In that game, the kids can die -- and one does in what I've always called the most heart-wrenching scene I've seen in any video game. In season two, the protagonist Clementine can be killed in some of the most brutal death animations I've seen since Dead Space.

The Art of Suspense 

I feel The Little Ones takes away some of the suspense and emotional attachment to the kids by treating them as nothing more than buffers (if they stay they eat more food, but boost the moral of the group).

I don't get to say this often, but the death of children in this game can add a whole lot more to the tension of the nighttime raids, when you need to add just a little more food so your Little One doesn't die. But this is a small complaint in an otherwise amazing game, one that I can't recommend enough.

Pick it up on PC, or wait for the console port when it drops this weekend on January 29th.

What do you think? Should This War of Mine add children's deaths in the game to add to the suspense and emotional conflict? comment below!

Are good graphics actually ruining games? Fri, 15 Jan 2016 07:20:48 -0500 Engela Snyman

For the gaming industry, graphics and visuals make a grand statement to the budget and over all production value of a game. It's a status symbol for the PC gamer (look what it can do!) and 'buyer's relief' for the console gamer (thank god it can do this). But is our race for better, smoother graphics and textures slowly suffocating the 'game' part out of gaming?

It's a fair question seeing as most people who play games will eagerly point out “Look at those graphics!” and a lot of us seem to think better graphics equal better games. 

Just mentioning Minecraft, Terraria and Don't Starve hammers the counterpoint home quite effectively, though: graphics aren't everything, but we all knew that of course.

We can't really deny the appeal of a good looking game. It takes our experience to that next level, makes it feel all the more realistic, and draws you into a world you would never be able to see otherwise. Star Wars: Battlefront III has some of the best graphics seen to date in a game and hot digitty damn they're beautiful.

Great graphics encourages PC gamers to upgrade computers and helps to sell consoles to the casual gamer. Selling consoles or upgrades for PCs means more games and more money, which adds up to potentially better games, and yet people are still buying broken games on launch – so, what's the problem?

The problem is that graphics can't carry a game, the gameplay does.

Sadly, Star Wars Battlefront III is our example here.

Star Wars Battlefront was created by Pandemic Studios in 2004. It has been an active online game for over 10 years and has generated a dedicated fanbase. Rightfully, these fans were excited for the chance to play an updated and better Battlefront, what they got instead was a beautiful porcelain ball. Pretty to look at, nice to hold but it had no bounce.

DICE clearly put way too many resources into the look of Star Wars Battlefront III and completely forgot to add the actual game. Players are okay with that, and there in lies another problem: we don't seem to care.


Developers, designers, and publishers are pushing to better the graphics of games every day because that is what we demand. Graphics get dated very quickly and apart from the initial 'oh my gosh' moment when seeing the details and textures for the first time, the appeal very quickly wears off, and we are left with very pretty but broken games.

Arkham Knight from Rock Steady was rushed to the finish line long before it was ready for it.

The game had glaring story issues as well, and the DLC to date has been underwhelming. But if you ask anyone about the graphics, they'll tell you it's great, amazing and 'the best to date in any Batman game' and for some reason, this seems to excuse the developers for releasing a broken game on PC.

They had to entrust the port to another company because they didn't have the time and it shows. Far Cry 4 also had glaring issues, and despite the very popular The Witcher 3 snagging game of the year, it too had terrible bugs, broken quests and other issues still being reported by gamers.

Are these games even being tested beforehand?

Most games go through beta testing, which is a great way to fix many problems a game might have before launch. It offers players the chance to push the boundaries of the game, to make it crack open and let all the ugly bits fall out for the developers to clean up. But clearly these tests aren't being performed as thoroughly as they used to be, and patches aren't helping.

Patches allow publishers to push for earlier release dates. If the game has a problem on launch, they just release a patch. So, even if we turn our focus away from graphics and push for game-play it probably won't fix the buggy launch issues. But it might just ensure better games.

We need to start reminding the game publishers that at the end of the day that's what they are making, games, not quasi-movies.

But what are the benefits for a game that does not have spectacular visuals? Well for a start, companies will add more to developing a game that is fun which might add to more play time, better variations in items, and maybe even ease out the bugs. But we don't have to drop visuals entirely, there is another way of approaching this.

Instead of focusing on the detail of a game's visual perhaps we could instead focus on the effect that visual has. A lot of graphics today are only stunning or pretty, which is not exactly what we should be going for in games. Graphics should be practical; they should create atmosphere, characters, ambiance and effects that better the experience of the player. This Wars of Mine is a stunning example of simple stylistic graphics that not only create excellent atmosphere but builds the world in the tone it was supposed to be made in.

Immersion has a lot to do with the visual, but it's the smart visuals that pull us in.

It's clear that the graphical aspect of gaming is too far ahead for its coding counterpart. Developers just need to pull on the reigns for a bit. Hold up the graphics so that game design can catch up, having them in sync is much better for gamers and developers alike. There is nothing wrong with letting graphics run a head from time to time, keep pushing those boundaries and make games with excellent graphics - let's just not make that the norm.

11 bit studios announces This War of Mine board game expansion Sun, 29 Nov 2015 04:35:44 -0500 Michael Falero

This War of Mine, the acclaimed 2014 war survival strategy game, will soon be coming to your living room table.

In an announcement on its blog, developer 11 bit studios said that the board game will not just be a repeat of the game in a new format, but instead serve as a deeper dive into the world that the previous game created:

The board game significantly broadens the original game’s universe and emphasizes the depth of the plot, yet its main focus will be on human interactions driven by survival instinct and group decision-making.

The board game will allow for up to six players and also include a solo play option. The blog post made a point of the "hundreds of new challenges and difficult choices" that players would face in the new game, suggesting that it will be just as re-playable as the original title.

Furthermore, 11 bit studios emphasized that it wants players to jump right into the new game and try to survive as best they can: it will be "omitting the usual board game threshold":

...this project will be extremely ambitious because it aims to omit the usual board game threshold - TTWOM the board game will be an INSTANT-PLAY game, with no need to read the manual before starting the adventure.

The upcoming game will be a collaboration with veteran tabletop designers Michal Oracz and Jakub Wisniewski.

Haven't played This War of Mine? Take a look at at GameSkinny contributor Kate Reynolds' first impressions review and Stephanie Tang's full review of the game.

This War of Mine: The Little Ones on PS4 Fri, 28 Aug 2015 20:54:27 -0400 Dalton White I

It seems that 11 Bit Studio’s This War of Mine will be bringing its special brand of grittiness and dark choices to the PS4 next year.

The game, titled This War of Mine: The Little Ones will include a complete edition of the original PC edition however it also features an additional perspective, that of a child while living through war, famine and other such grizzly fates. Pawel Miechowski, senior writer at 11 Bit Studios, shed some light on TWoM: The Little Ones will be a new experience, one that focuses on “not only the reality of enduring war, but also the fact that even in times of conflict, kids are still kids-they laugh, cry, play with toys, and see the world differently.”

Miechowski also revealed that to protect and save the younger members of your group the player will have to undertake different challenges and quests. The original game focused on making extremely difficult choices to simply survive day-to-day life during the nameless war. The Little Ones will be coming to the PS4 on January 29th; the question is will this be a simple port or its own unique experience?

This War of Mine Review: Are You a Sociopath? Sat, 29 Nov 2014 19:40:46 -0500 Stephanie Tang

In this latest game from 11 Bit Studios, the story of war is writ small - through the eyes of a small band of civilians simply trying to survive in a besieged city. In this dreary, wartorn landscape, the snipers outside prevent you from leaving your shelter during the day, and at night you are forced out into the streets and other people's homes to scavenge for items that will help you stay alive.

"What's mine is mine. ...And what's yours is also mine."
-- A friend

Presented in a manner not unlike the jaded lens of Papers, Please, This War of Mine hits you with a series of life-and-death decisions driven by your own conscience. Do you protect everyone in your shelter to your utmost or do you sacrifice some of them for the good of others in order to endure?

This game helps to underline the blurring of ethical lines that happens when civilization is pulled into war. As per 11 Bit Studios:

"There are no good or bad decisions; there is only survival. The sooner you realize that, the better." 

"Not gonna lie, I would probably kill everyone else too."
-- Another friend

As far as This War of Mine is concerned, winning means staying alive to see the dawn of the last day, whereupon you're faced with a recap of all the highlights of your journey - when you killed someone for the first time (often brutally, with makeshift weapons), or when you first helped someone who comes to your door.

How you do this is up to your own conscience.

I did my best to keep my people healthy - although on the outset I didn't realize how difficult that would be, and how many ways it meant looking out for them. A few bad choices on my part in one playthrough made all of my characters horribly depressed and lose all hope in living - they killed themselves. In another, I lost one to sickness and hunger. And in another my characters became ravaging animals - silently creeping into other shelters and murdering the homeowners in their sleep for the few things they'd managed to scrounge together and which my little family desperately needed.

These decisions had an effect on me - and they were meant to. In much the same way Spec Ops: The Line made me question my position as The Good Guy, This War of Mine made me question just how far off the reservation I was willing to go to preserve life.

Nuts and Bolts

Presented as a side-scrolling point-and-click adventure, the background story is only nominally fleshed out - a war may be happening, but you are not a part of it. Your world is shrunk down to the subsistent life of a scavenger, and that's all you need to know. In the context of this game, the lack of information works well, because it mimics the limited knowledge that a real civilian would have.

It's probable that the advent of Telltale's The Walking Dead and its take on morality ("Clementine will remember that.") influenced the making of this game. When you make a decision, it cannot be changed. Devoid of quicksave options, an auto-save function is built into the day-night cycle. The upshot of this is that there is no going back - if your scavenger dies while foraging at night, that's for keeps.

(Unless you Alt+F4 and try again, but that'd be pixying out of the spirit of the game. And I would never do that. Honest.)

Furthermore, the game doesn't make the choices easy for you. In order to make a point, and to effect any real playability, it couldn't possibly do so. This game was made to be hard. You may not finish it, but you certainly won't forget it.

In accordance with its may-the-consequences-be-upon-thy-head approach to play, very little is spelled out in the tutorial. You learn by doing, and it can be frustrating to learn that some of the actions you make on the first day while still figuring everything out will grossly affect you in the future (e.g. the placement of appliances and upgrades). The point-and-click system fails somewhat, but only during combat against other bandits - where clicking a tiny circle over an opponent's head can feel clumsy and inaccurate.

What ultimately ties the game together, however, is a positively wonderful soundtrack that follows you through the tense moments of fire, blood, nighttime violence, and the cold, hopeless nothingness that pervades your days. You listen and you feel.

(Authored by Piotr Musial, you can buy the soundtrack exclusively on Games Republic for $2.99.)

The Final

This is an experience that requires a certain state of mind - that is, mindfulness of a slow start, openness to a bit of self-reliance, and willingness to be immersed in something depressing and thought-provoking all at once. There is very little to find wrong with this game - combat is not a star feature of this survival game, nor does it feel like it should be - and the lackluster story is more than made up for by the fact that its minimal narrative puts all the power of decision-making into your own, often incompetent, hands.

People have been throwing around the words "Game of the Year" in association with this game. I am hard-pressed to find anything to prove they're wrong. A definite staple for my recommendations list, it can be found on Steam for 10% off right now ($17.99 USD).

First Impressions Review: This War of Mine Thu, 16 Oct 2014 19:39:57 -0400 Kate Reynolds

When Grzegorz Miechowski, the founder and managing director of 11 bit studios brought an article to the office entitled, "One Year in Hell" it sparked a creative storm within the dev team. The article, about a man surviving a military blitz in Bosnia during the '90s, served as the impetus to do further research into modern siege survival stories which fuel their game This War of Mine

Unlike your typical AAA game that focuses on war, This War of Mine ignores the military combatants and instead focuses on the non-combatants, the civilians just trying to get by in battered war-zones. Since the closest I've been to a military siege was the last time I watched Red Dawn (the original) I went into the This War of Mine beta build with no idea what to expect. 

The first thing that hit me as the game began were the stark graphics. In order to make the game feel as real as possible, all characters involved are based off of photo-real people and that bleak realness shines against the murky backdrop of the abandoned building your characters call home. 

There is no tutorial for war

- and therefore there was no tutorial to explain the game to me after the first screen opened. Considering how tedious tutorial sections can be these days, I found the lack of direction to be a blessing. Without too much trouble I discovered how to loot, clear rubble, and use my workbench. All of this while counting down the hours until darkness, when my characters would be free to explore the outside world more safely. 

Scavenging at night is one of the most important aspects of the game. Without wood, parts, or food the scope of your daytime activities is severely limited and your characters will die quickly. So at the beginning of each night, you can choose which character you want to scavenge, based on their special talents and item storage capabilities. 

Though the game gives you a brief description of each location available to visit, you never quite know what kind of opposition you'll meet in the dark - or what you'll be willing to do to get the items you need. 

Like most games where I'm able to control multiple characters and slowly build up a base, my goal was to win. To me winning meant that all of my characters survived, and that I was able to keep them warm and fed each day. I looted a house while a girl was being raped in another room, I stole all the food from an elderly couple, and once I obtained weapons no one was safe. 

In its current state, the This War of Mine lacks a real connection to main characters

Despite the very realness of the characters (have I mentioned they're modeled off of real people? It's uncanny) I had a difficult time taking their plight seriously. I took their care very seriously -- murdering multiple NPCs for my characters' well-being -- but was unable to connect with them or their situation from my godly station. 

With little narrative and not quite yet fleshed out bio's, I couldn't connect with Marko, Bruno, or Pavle. The mechanics of taking care of my characters were difficult, but only mattered to me insofar as I wanted to "win" the game. When I accidentally got Bruno killed while scavenging a dangerous location, I was only sad to lose him because he could carry the most items. In short, I never had one of those "OMG WHAT WOULD I DO IF THIS WERE ME???" moments. 

However, my lack of emotional connection to the game wasn't an absolute deal-breaker. I was playing the beta version of This War of Mine which didn't come with a full cast of characters, locations, or descriptions. Plus, looting locations truly forces you to weigh all your options - in a fun way. Which would you need more, a bed or a way to make moonshine?   

When it comes down to it, This War of Mine plays as an excellent survival game replete with resources management, exploration, and combat. Yet as a game which aspires to offer a serious glimpse into the lives of besieged people, it comes up short. Not all games can be all things, and I'm still incredibly thankful that this one was just fun. 

If the game interests you, be sure to follow 11 bit studios on Facebook, follow the game's store page on Steam or even pre-order it through Games Republics. 

Programmer to Priest: Bringing Real People to This War of Mine Fri, 03 Oct 2014 06:41:21 -0400 Amanda Wallace

This War of Mine is a game about conflict unlike any you've seen before. The focus in this game is not on the guns or the conflict, but rather on the civilians trying to survive day to day. 

To really focus on the reality of the situation and to highlight the struggles civilians go through on a regular basis, the developers chose to incorporate themselves, their families and friends into the game. 3D models in games are usually from actors or other professionals, but 11 bit wanted This War of Mine to feel more authentic and so they chose to 3D scan themselves into their game. 

In the video above, you can watch as programmer Olek is transformed into a priest in the game. It's worth a watch if you're interested in-game development or This War of Mine. 

Currently the release date is set for Q4 for PC, Mac & Linux, with the open possibility of mobile applications in the future.