This War of Mine Review - Is It Worth It?

This War of Mine Review
The game's protagonists are ironically the ones who have nothing to do with the war.

This article will review every aspect of the game This War of Mine with no bias. If you’re considering playing it but still asking if the game is worth it, this might be for you. We’ll help you find the answer!


About This War of Mine

In most war video games, we either play as heroes or villains. But in a real war, how many of us would actually fight?

This War of Mine is a 2D platformer survival game that lets you experience the civilians’ lives in wartime. The game was released by 11 Bit Studio on November 14, 2014, for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux.

Unlike the typical combat-heavy war games where the objective is winning, in this game, you play as civilians at war who are just trying their best to survive. Because of its unique and realistic depiction of war, it has gained tons of positive reviews.

Despite its unconventional premise, it sold about 700.000 copies in the first year of its release. Now the game has reached more than 7 million players worldwide.


This War of Mine Story

Some characters, especially children, can be burdensome. But you need to hang in there no matter what.

Some characters, especially children, can be burdensome. But you need to hang in there no matter what.

How this game can emotionally affect you

The game takes place in a fictional city under siege called Pogoren. In this city, a group of people somehow ends up together in a run-down shelter. Each person has a different background and special skill. They must cooperate to create the most comfortable living space and survive as long as possible.

Apart from its story mode DLC, you can’t really call this game story-driven. But even if it has no plot structure, this game can easily manipulate your emotions. 

Every now and then your characters will experience little events that will impact their well-being, positively or negatively. For example, a harsh winter will make your characters more prone to illness. Or you will be forced to choose between saving yourself or another girl during scavenging. 

Not only these events will affect your characters, but they are guaranteed to also affect you as a player.


This War of Mine Gameplay

The description that goes with the inventory allows you to assess how good your living condition is.

This War of Mine's clips of gameplay

First, players choose a group of characters they want to play with. They will start the round with these characters. There are 12 playable characters, and each character has different traits. 

For example, Marin the Handyman can build appliances with fewer resources. He’s also a coffee drinker. Arica has the ability to sneak quietly, and she’s a smoker. This game challenges you to make the most out of these traits to create the best living condition.

Sometimes, as the game goes on, a new character will appear. You can choose whether to welcome this new character to the household or not. If you do, this character will become playable.

The main objective is to survive until the ceasefire. The length of the round depends on the group of characters you choose in the beginning. Usually, you will go through 20 to more than 40 days until the war ends.

Every day, from morning to dusk, the game expects you to do house activities. You can build stuff to improve your house like beds, stoves, heaters, etc. If you’ve gathered enough supplies, you can build more advanced equipment such as water filters, weapons, mouse traps, or even an herbal garden. 

During the day, you also need to take care of your characters. If they’re hungry, cook them a meal. If they’re sick, give them some medicine. The survival part of the game mostly happens during the day.

At night, you can assign people to sleep, guard, or scavenge for supplies. If you pick one character to scavenge, you will play him/her throughout the night. 

This is not an open-world game. On your first few nights, there will only be a handful of places you can go to. But as you progress, more places will show on the map. One place can be more dangerous than the other, so make sure to have a good preparation before going.

Optionally, you can do other activities such as bartering supplies, combat (if necessary), and sending out a character on a mission. Remember, every decision will affect your characters’ morale which can have a domino effect on the whole progression.

If you expect something new to always happen in each round of play, you might be disappointed. Some people find this game boring after a few rounds because of its repetitive gameplay.

You might hope to at least something will happen with the endings. Well, sorry that you have to be disappointed.

After the war is over, you’ll get a summary of important events you had gone through and a screen explaining the aftermath. Yes, the ending is no more than written text. Still, if you’re curious to explore each combination of characters this game serves, it’s possible to spend hundreds of hours in this game just like me.

The developers have added DLCs to add characters and stories. But if they still don’t satisfy you, there’s a workshop center where you can create mods. This allows you to customize characters, stories, graphics, and many more aspects of the game.


This War of Mine Combat

An example of how combat works in This War of Mine

You really need to have a strong purpose for combat. Killing any person you want would only result in bad karma. It will make the characters sad or even depressed.

Since this game’s main point is surviving rather than fighting, you can’t really complain about the combat elements. They’re pretty lame, not gonna lie. Weaponry is also limited. You can have a knife, a pistol, a shotgun, a rifle and that’s all.


This War of Mine Quest/Mission System

Occasionally, an NPC will knock on your door and ask for your characters’ help. If you agree to help, one of your characters will be gone for one night. 

They’ll come back either with or without rewards. Either way, it will still boost their morale. This happens pretty rarely, though. Other than this kind of event, the quest/mission system is basically non-existent.


This War of Mine Graphics

The color tone definitely contributes to the dismal mood of the game.

This War of Mine's graphics preview

For a 2D platformer game, the graphics are surprisingly impressive. Black and gray dominate the color palette. Its unique pencil sketch art style adds more points to the graphics. 

The graphics are also nicely detailed. If you zoom in, you can see that each element has its own depth. It would even pass as a 3D game.


This War of Mine Developer

This game is developed and published by 11 Bit Studios, the same studio that made Frostpunk and Anomaly series. 

Few people have expressed their experience with some bugs. But since it’s not graphic-intensive, and the gameplay itself is not extravagant, a simple restarting or reinstalling should fix the problems.

The developer released its first DLC, The Little Ones, in June 2016, around two years after the game’s release. In 2017, the Season Pass was released. From 2017 until 2019, they released one story episode each year.


This War of Mine Price

The standard edition costs $19.99 for PC. The complete pack including all DLCs costs $27.7. Although originally released for PC, you can now play it on Android, iOS, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.

It has no pay-to-win elements or in-game purchases.




  • Realistic story
  • Decisions do matter
  • Impressive graphics
  • Huge crafting options


  • Slow-paced
  • Repetitive gameplay
  • Weak combat mechanism


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Gamer Since: 2012
Currently Playing: This War of Mine
Top 3 Favorite Games:Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, This War of Mine, Assassin's Creed 2

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