This War Of Mine by 11bitstudios is a very grim, unpleasant and even depressing experience, which is exactly why you should play it.
Most war games put you in the boots of a hardened elite soldier who has to win a war, which he will if you finish the game. Even the more serious war games that go for a ‘war isn’t pretty’ approach, are always focused on the military aspect of it. This War Of Mine developed by 11bitstudios has little to do with soldiers, it is about the people who live in these war zones and can do nothing more than survive.
The side-scrolling game puts you in control of a handful of people who have to survive in a torn and half demolished building where there are not even enough supplies to survive for two days. You will have to send people out at night and hope they find food while they avoid getting shot by snipers and stay away from other scavengers as much as possible. This seems like a lot of dangerous variables, but you actually have a bit of control of how your characters react on events while scavenging. In contrary to the shelter and people you leave behind, because after a “good” haul you can come back to a raided shelter with wounded people or even worse.
Everything you do in This War Of Mine is only good for the bare minimum of survival. You should forget about building a comfortable well defended shelter, because either way it will suck and will only keep your people from being shot by snipers or freezing to death. Also upholding some sort of moral standard will be futile as you eventually will have to steal from an elderly couple and take up weapons to rob or even kill other survivors.
With very simple and basic game-mechanics and graphics 11bitstudios goes against everything other games thrive by; this game is not satisfying to play, it will not make you feel like a hero, you will accomplish nothing but barely surviving and it is actually not that much fun at all. It does however give you a slightest understanding of what war is really like and what people – like the makers of this game – go through. This War Of Mine is a very intense and depressing experience and is therefore the most interesting game I have played in years.