This War of Mine Review
This War of Mine Box Art
System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Dev: 11 Bit Studios
Pub: 11 Bit Studios
Release: November 14, 2014
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p

These decisions weigh heavily on the morale of the other members, and you'll find yourself dipping into a depressed state because of them. This War of Mine has no cheerful interludes, no happy endings, just a constant struggle to survive. That said, I found it incredibly hard to pull myself away from it. The constant fluctuations of strategy, the prospect of finding useful items each day and upgrading household necessities, or perhaps simply my desire to cling to the hope that I may overcome the dire odds, all kept me playing just one more day in the game, just one more night to scavenge, just one more chance that a dealer would come knocking on our door with a gun to trade so we could defend ourselves better, or some food so we wouldn't starve to death.

This War of Mine Screenshot

This dreariness is heightened through the game's presentation. The screen is bathed in monochromatic backgrounds and sketchy pencil effects as background animations. As a character's condition grows dire, he or she moves more slowly with their head hung low. Quick flashes in the distance are followed by the booming sound of exploding mortar shells. The music score is somber, softened only if you build a radio and change the dial from the morbid news channels to the classical music station, which I found myself doing everyday just offer a shred a respite from the horror of war.

This War of Mine eats away at your sanguine disposition, and yet you are compelled and determined to keep trying to survive. Each fresh start provides new characters, new locations to scavenge, and new obstacles to overcome. As bleak as the world is portrayed, 11 bit studios has a well polished title that does a masterful job of never letting you feel safe in your home and secure in your belongings. No matter how many hours you invest into bettering your situation, it's a constant struggle to survive in This War of Mine.

Sean Engemann
Contributing Writer
Date: November 14, 2014

There's nothing vibrant in the war-turn cityscape, but the original pencil scratch animations and nice detailing of the environments helps present a bleak and challenging backdrop.
Icons and characters can sometimes overlap, and the camera lacks boundaries at times, but the control scheme of simple clicks helps you stay focused on your crucial objectives.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sounds of conflict in the background paired with somber orchestrations solidify your struggle throughout the game.
Play Value
You'll find yourself wanting for a smile, but the addictive gameplay to see what the next day brings will hold your gaze to the screen.
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • This War Of Mine provides an experience of war seen from an entirely new angle. For the very first time you do not play as an elite soldier, rather a group of civilians trying to survive in a besieged city.
  • During the day snipers outside stop you from leaving your refuge, so you need to focus on maintaining your hideout. At night you get a chance to scavenge nearby locations for items that will help you stay alive.
  • Make life-and-death decisions driven by your conscience. Try to protect everybody from your shelter or sacrifice some of them to endure the hardships.

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