This War of Mine: Exposing the evil within us all

As representations of war go, this is tough. Not just in the sense that it’s difficult to stay alive for any amount of time, but also because of the decisions you'll have to make along the way.

Scrabbling around for food and clean water in the collapsed shell of a mortar razed building is very different to, say, stealing the last medical supplies of a cowering old couple. But here survival may well depend on your willingness to abandon your own sense of humanity, and it’s unsettling to discover where that can lead. It’s you or them, right?

your desperation will be driven by the need to feed at least three mouths (others can join your party over time, however). you can make it patch up holes in the walls of your shelter during the day, cook food from the few ingredients you’ve managed to collect, and answer (or ignore) the pleas for help that come knocking at the front door. as winter sets in you’ll also have to keep the place warm. But the most difficult thing to manage is morale, which will plummet in hard times and make the group far less efficient.

When night falls one of your party members can go out scavenging around the city, often encountering other survivors along the way some benevolent, others much less so as you try to prioritise the limited space in your backpack. It’s best to avoid conflict as a severely wounded character may need days of bed rest to recover, and even then only if you can find some bandages. Perhaps you can steal them from the barely operational hospital?

This War Of Mine pulls no punches in its depiction of conflict survival, but it’s all the stronger for it. It’s continually bleak and upsetting, sure, but always compelling and always powerful.

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