This War of Mine

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This War of Mine
This War of Mine logo.png
Developer(s)11 bit studios
War Child (Android & iOS)
Publisher(s)11 bit studios
Director(s)Michał Drozdowski
Przemysław Marszał
Designer(s)Rafał Włosek
Programmer(s)Grzegorz Mazur
Artist(s)Dominik Zieliński
Writer(s)Based on inspiring idea of Grzegorz Miechowski
Composer(s)Piotr Musiał
Krzysztof Lipka
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
14 November 2014
  • Windows, OS X, Linux
    • WW: 14 November 2014[1]
    • WW: 14 July 2015
    • WW: 15 July 2015

    The Little Ones

    PS4, Xbox One
    • WW: 29 January 2016[2]
    • WW: 1 June 2016

    Complete Edition

    Nintendo Switch
    • WW: November 27, 2018

This War of Mine is a war survival video game developed and published by the Polish game development company 11 Bit Studios.[3] 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).[4] An expansion pack called This War of Mine: The Little Ones was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 29, 2016,[2] 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.[5]


This War of Mine is a survival-themed strategy game where the player controls a group of civilian survivors in a makeshift-damaged house in the besieged fictional city of Pogoren, Graznavia. The main goal of the game is to stay alive during the war with the tools and materials that the player can gather. 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. The player must maintain their characters' health, hunger, and mood levels until the declaration of a ceasefire, which occurs after a randomized duration.

In the daytime, the survivors will have to stay inside because there are hostile snipers 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 go out and search nearby areas for valuable resources to survive day by day. During their excursions, the survivors, controlled by players, can encounter other NPC survivors of the war, who they can choose to assist by offering 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.[6]

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.[7] 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 a separate 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.[8] 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.[9]


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.[10]

Player-created content was released freely via the Steam Workshop as of update 2.0.[11]

A Cooperative board game version was released in 2017 by Galakta in cooperation with 11-bit studios.[12]

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.[5] 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.[13]


Critical reception[edit]

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.[32][34][35][36][33]

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."[37] 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."[38] 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."[39] 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."[30] 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."[40] 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."[31]

The game reportedly made back its development costs in its first two days for sale,[41] and had sold over 4.5 million units by April 2019.[42]


The game sold about 700,000 copies during its first year of release. The game's release on consoles and mobile device helped expanded its audience, and the game was able to maintain steady sales and growth five years after its initial launch, according to 11 bit's publishing director Paweł Feldman.[43]


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[44][42] during the academic year of 2020–2021.[42] This is the first initiative in the world to add a video game to recommended readings in school.[44][42]


  1. ^ Emanuel Maiberg (November 2, 2014). "War Game About Innocent Civilians This War of Mine Gets Release Date, New Trailer". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Ozzie Mejia (August 27, 2015). "This War of Mine tells 'The Little Ones' tale on PS4 and Xbox One in January". Shacknews. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  3. ^ Emanuel Maiberg (March 14, 2014). "Survive the horrors of war as a civilian in This War of Mine". PC Gamer. Future plc. Retrieved April 29, 2008.
  4. ^ Karol_11bitstudios (July 14, 2015). "This War of Mine is out on Play Store!". Reddit. Retrieved December 21, 2015. Hey guys, it's Karol from 11 bit studios, one of the devs behind the game. Currently, the game is dedicated to tablets, but I want to assure you, that we are already working on bringing it to other devices as well, including before mentioned smartphones. Hopefully, soon we'll have some good news about it.
  5. ^ a b Nosuupu, Iggy (November 7, 2018). "This War Of Mine: Complete Edition Heading Exclusively To Switch". NintendoSoup. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  6. ^ Nathan Grayson (March 13, 2014). "Heavy: This War Of Mine Is A War Game About Civilians". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  7. ^ Kuba Zgierski. "Characters". GRY-Online S.A. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  8. ^ 11 bit studios (November 14, 2014). "This War of Mine Launch Trailer - The Survivor". YouTube. Alphabet Inc. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  9. ^ Andrzej Kała (November 17, 2014). "11-bit Studios wygrywa internet!" [11-bit studios win the Internet!]. PlayingDaily (in Polish). Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  10. ^ Brenna Hillier (April 29, 2015). "This War of Mine update 1.3 adds scenario editor". VG247. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  11. ^ Logan Booker (December 12, 2015). "This War Of Mine's 2.0 Update Brings Modding Tools To The Game". Kotaku Australia. Gawker Media.
  12. ^ "This War of Mine: The Board Game". Galakta. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  13. ^ Lim, Gabriel (November 26, 2018). "This War Of Mine: Complete Edition Is Getting A Physical Release In Europe". NintendoSoup. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  14. ^ Nic Rowen (February 29, 2016). "Review: This War of Mine: The Little Ones (PS4)". Destructoid. Enthusiast Gaming. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  15. ^ Edge staff (January 2015). "This War of Mine (PC)". Edge. No. 275. Future plc. p. 118.
  16. ^ Martin Robinson (November 25, 2014). "This War of Mine review (PC)". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
  17. ^ Daniel Tack (December 2, 2014). "This War of Mine (PC): Despondent Days, Nihilistic Nights". Game Informer. GameStop. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  18. ^ Gil Amogi (November 24, 2014). "This War of Mine Review (PC)". Game Revolution. CraveOnline. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  19. ^ Gil Amogi (February 8, 2016). "This War of Mine: The Little Ones Review (PS4)". Game Revolution. CraveOnline. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  20. ^ Justin Clark (November 17, 2014). "This War of Mine Review (PC)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
  21. ^ Justin Clark (January 29, 2016). "This War of Mine:The Little Ones Review (XONE)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
  22. ^ Michael Huber (December 9, 2014). "This War of Mine Review (PC)". GameTrailers. Defy Media. Archived from the original on January 18, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  23. ^ Matt Liebl (November 21, 2014). "This War of Mine Review (PC)". GameZone. Archived from the original on November 26, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  24. ^ Rob Zacny (November 24, 2014). "This War Of Mine Review (PC)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
  25. ^ "This War of Mine: The Little Ones". PlayStation Official Magazine – UK. Future plc. March 2016. p. 93.
  26. ^ Tom Stone (January 25, 2016). "This War of Mine: The Little Ones review". GamesRadar+ (Official Xbox Magazine UK). Future plc. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  27. ^ Tamoor Hussain (November 19, 2014). "This War of Mine review". PC Gamer. Future plc. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  28. ^ "Review: This War of Mine". PC PowerPlay. No. 237. Next Media Pty Ltd. January 2015. p. 54.
  29. ^ Ford, Eric (August 17, 2015). "'This War of Mine' Review – A Perfect War-torn Port". TouchArcade. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  30. ^ a b Scott Nichols (November 14, 2014). "This War of Mine review (PC): Bringing the war home". Digital Spy. Hearst Communications. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  31. ^ a b Jed Pressgrove (February 9, 2016). "This War of Mine: The Little Ones (PS4)". Slant Magazine. Slant Magazine LLC. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  32. ^ a b "This War of Mine for iPhone/iPad Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  33. ^ a b "This War of Mine: Complete Edition for Switch Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  34. ^ a b "This War of Mine for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  35. ^ a b "This War of Mine: The Little Ones for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  36. ^ a b "This War of Mine: The Little Ones for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  37. ^ Steven McCullough (January 23, 2015). "This War Of Mine Review (PC)". The Digital Fix. Poisonous Monkey. Archived from the original on January 30, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  38. ^ Edd Harwood (February 9, 2016). "This War of Mine: The Little Ones Review (PS4)". The Digital Fix. Poisonous Monkey. Archived from the original on February 10, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  39. ^ Stewart Lange (March 9, 2016). "This War Of Mine [The Little Ones] (Xbox One) Review". 411Mania. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  40. ^ "This War Of Mine: The Little Ones review - suffer little children (PS4)". Metro UK. DMG Media. January 25, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  41. ^ Wesley Yin-Poole (November 27, 2014). "It took just two days for This War of Mine to make its money back". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  42. ^ a b c d Matthew Handrahan (June 18, 2020). "This War of Mine will be added to school reading list in Poland". Gamer Network. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  43. ^ Feldman, Pawel (August 6, 2019). "This War of Mine: Five years later". Retrieved May 9, 2021.
  44. ^ a b Tilles, Daniel (June 18, 2020). "Poland puts computer game "This War of Mine" on school reading list". Notes From Poland. Retrieved June 18, 2020.

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