In his 2014 review of This War of Mine, Tamoor Hussain described 11 bit studios' sombre survival game as "a stark statement about war delivered through deftly designed stealth survival and resource management." Tamoor goes on to say he feels it's "important, but unrelentingly cruel." I couldn't agree more with this last part. This War of Mine is a fantastic videogame, but it's also one whose subject matter requires determination and resilience in spades.
With Sims-like resource management, every decision matters should you wish to survive the game's war-torn, industrially-scarred landscapes. Day and night cycles pose different threats to you and your family's well being as you scuttle between abandoned warehouses, churches and schools. Empty hospitals have long since been ransacked and if you're lucky enough to happen upon supplies, expect to find hostile civilians hot on your heels.
Here's more from Tamoor:
"This War of Mine explores the harrowing realities of living amid war. Its resource management, life-sim and exploration mechanics are simple but elegantly drive home a message: in modern war you will die like a dog for no good reason. Each day plays out in two phases. In the light snipers confine characters to a musty multi-storey building, displayed through a side-on cross-section and rendered with a hand-drawn crosshatch visual style.
"This War of Mine is one the most thematically interesting games of the year, but it's also a very difficult to play. Its world always has its boot to your throat, slowly increasing the pressure until the inevitable moment where the life is drained from you. There is no happy ending, and that's the point."
If you're up for the challenge, and I'd seriously recommend testing your mettle, This War of Mine is subject to an 80 percent discount from now through Thursday 10am PST/6pm BST on Steam.