This War of Mine
|This War of Mine|
|Developer(s)||11 bit studios|
War Child (Android & iOS)
|Publisher(s)||11 bit studios|
|Writer(s)||Based on inspiring idea of Grzegorz Miechowski|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch|
This War of Mine is a war survival video game developed and published by the Polish game development company 11 bit studios. The game differs from most war-themed video games by focusing on the civilian experience of war rather than front line combat. Characters have to make many difficult decisions in order to survive everyday dangers. There are various endings for each character, depending on the decisions made in the game. This War of Mine was released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux in November 2014. The Android port was released on July 14, 2015, followed by the iOS port on the following day (July 15). An expansion pack called This War of Mine: The Little Ones was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 29, 2016, and on June 1, 2016 for Windows. A version of the game that includes all the content entitled This War Of Mine: Complete Edition was released for the Nintendo Switch on November 27, 2018.
This War of Mine is a survival-themed strategy game where the player controls a group of civilian survivors in a makeshift shelter in the besieged, war-torn fictional city of Pogoren, Graznavia. The main goal of the game is to survive the war with the tools and materials the player can gather with the characters they control. Most of the characters under the player's control have no military background nor any kind of survival experience, and will require constant intervention by the player in order to stay alive. It is the player's responsibility to maintain their characters' health, hunger and mood levels until the declaration of a ceasefire, which occurs after a randomized duration.
During the daytime, hostile snipers will prevent the survivors from venturing outside, thereby offering the player time to craft tools from gathered materials, trade, upgrade the shelter, cook food and heal the survivors. At night, the player is given the opportunity to venture out and scavenge nearby areas for valuable resources for their everyday survival. During their excursions, the player-controlled survivors can encounter other NPC survivors of the war, who they can choose to help with gifts of food or medicine, or rob and kill. The player can also build a radio inside their shelter, which will provide useful information such as weather warnings, updates on the city's economy and news of the ongoing war effort to help the player plan appropriate shelter upgrades and scavenging missions.
The player starts off with one to four survivors whose actions the player can affect. The actions the player makes will change the type of endings each survivor has. Each character has one or two traits that helps/hinders the player, besides hidden, varying stats that affect combat, movement speed, and so on. Some traits are useful during certain days while others are useful all the time. For example, one character named Bruno has a trait called "Good Cook", which helps the player use less fuel and water when cooking meals. There are a total of 12 playable characters. The Little Ones DLC includes the possibility of adding an extra, a child survivor, that cannot defend itself or perform any of the tasks needed to maintain the shelter at first. In addition, the child survivor must be given constant attention to prevent it from becoming depressed, but can be taught by the other survivors to perform small chores like cooking, filtering water or growing crops, and once bonded with an adult, it can sleep with them in the same bed at night, removing the need for separates bed for both.
The game was inspired by the poor living conditions and wartime atrocities that Bosnian civilians endured during the 1992–96 Siege of Sarajevo, the longest city siege since World War II. In November 2014, unlicensed copies of the game were made available online. The developer's response was to post a number of working Steam keys, encouraging downloaders to share them with friends, and buy the game if their financial situation allowed.
A scenario editor was added into the game through update 1.3, which allows players to create and select survivors. The editor also allows environmental conditions and the length of conflicts to be changed.
To celebrate the game's third anniversary, 11 bit Studios released the first of three story-driven DLC's; Fathers Promise on November 14, 2017. The second story DLC, The Last Broadcast, was released on November 14, 2018.
In November 2018, 11 bit studios announced This War Of Mine: Complete Edition exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, releasing later the same month. This version compiles all the content in a single package, including the original base game, the Anniversary Edition content, The Little Ones, and its episodic DLC follow-ups Fathers Promise, The Last Broadcast, and Fading Embers. A physical retail version of the game will be available in Europe for the Nintendo Switch on its worldwide launch day, courtesy of Deep Silver.
The iOS version of This War of Mine received "universal acclaim", while the PC and console versions received "generally favorable reviews" according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.
The Digital Fix gave the PC version nine out of ten and said, "Whether you choose to perceive it through a moral lens or not, there’s a great tactical survival mechanic driving this game beneath the didactics. Although the events it depicts are depressing to contemplate at length, I found myself coming back again and again to try and get it right somehow, beat the odds, and save my people." The same website also gave the PlayStation 4 version of The Little Ones eight out of ten and said, "While better on PC, the PS4 release brings this remarkable game to a new crowd." 411Mania gave the Xbox One version 8.5 out of 10 and said that it was "not a game I will recommend if you like settling down for a visceral experience, or earning XP, or shooting stuff dead. It's not fast paced. It's not much fun to actually play. It'll make you feel terrible about your actions at almost every turn. But in spite of all that, there is something so essential about this gaming experience that I urge you to give this game a try." Digital Spy gave the PC version four stars out of five and said that the "earnest human touch keeps This War of Mine compelling even when you mess up and the rubble all comes tumbling down around you, leaving you just enough hope for the next attempt that you'll dive back in and endure it all again." Metro UK gave the PS4 version seven out of ten and called it "A daring, and largely successful, attempt to show the civilian side of war, that succeeds as an interactive drama even when it occasionally fails as a game." However, Slant Magazine gave the same console version two stars out of five and said that the game "seems interested only in presenting a near-pornographic level of human despair in a warped attempt at edifying players."
In 2020, the Polish Chancellery of the Prime Minister announced that This War of Mine will be[needs update] added to the recommended reading list in Polish high schools during the academic year of 2020–2021. This is the first initiative in the world to add a video game to recommended readings in school.
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Hey guys, it's Karol from 11 bit studios, one of the devs behind the game. Currently the game is dedicated for tablets, but I want to assure you, that we are already working on brining it to other devices as well, including before mentioned smartphones. Hopefully soon we'll have some good news about it.
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