I approach the garage cautiously. I know a family used to own this place, back before the war, but there's been rumors they're gone. Or maybe not gone, but dead. "That would be perfect," I think to myself, and then I feel bad for thinking it. "Perfect that someone's dead? How messed up is that?"
I shake my head. No time to think about it. I approach the front door as stealthily as I can.
"Hello? Who's there?" says a voice from inside the garage. I start to bolt for the exit, but I hear the man call after me. "If you have medicine, I'd be so grateful! Please, my father is sick. He needs medicine. We can help you in return."
I pause. He's just another civilian — not dangerous. And by the sound of it, he has valuable supplies to potentially trade to us. We have medicine back at the base, but I'm loathe to part with it. We've already had multiple people take sick since the war broke out. That medicine is worth more than...well, worth more than a man's life.
"Sorry, man" I say out loud. I shoot him.
Ends and means
This War of Mine gives you about a dozen days to retain your soul. There's a war going on and you control a group of civilians stranded in the middle of it, the city crumbling around you. All you have to do is survive until it's over.
The game is split into a day/night cycle. "Days" are spent playing what amounts to a post-apocalyptic version of The Sims. You're shown a side view of your entire base, which is full of random supply caches to loot and debris to clear when you stumble upon it on Day 1 — a valuable start to your survival effort.
Supplies are then used to craft other, more advanced items, many of which are placed around your base. Wood, for instance, can be converted into boards for the windows, into beds, into fuel for a stove, into a rain-catcher, into a workbench, into an animal trap, et cetera. Items range from utilitarian — the aforementioned stove, for instance — to morale-boosters like a guitar or a comfortable armchair.
As you can imagine, with that many things to craft you're quickly going to burn through (maybe literally) the supplies in your own base. At night you assign your characters to different roles. Sleep is necessary, but rare. You'll have to cycle people on and off sleep each night, with those remaining awake fulfilling guard or looting duties.
The latter makes up the second half of the game. Each night you'll have the opportunity to send a single character out into the city to loot derelict buildings or not-so-derelict buildings. You can only hit one location every night, and once you've picked over a place those items are gone forever. Not only that, but over time locations will gradually lose their items to simulate other people looting those locations.
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