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This War of Mine – An Experience

This War of Mine is not glorious, nor is it satisfying. It is real. War is what makes us into the creatures we’ve chosen not to be in order to exist for one more day.

11 a.m. – Only five days have passed since war decimated our city. The first few scavenging trips were successful, but the supplies didn’t last long and I only found food enough for two people. One of us won’t eat until tomorrow. There’s little we can do during the day except for sleep and upgrade our equipment… well, what little we can upgrade. Tonight has to be a big score otherwise we’ll be in serious trouble. Our one saving grace is that the weather is still warm.

8 p.m. – It’s time to prepare for the night ahead – and in that darkness, monsters lurk. We have only one crowbar, a shovel and a lock-pick. I leave the only weapons we have with Pavle and Bruno and set off toward the “quiet house” hoping I’ll encounter no obstacles. I don’t have long.

This War of Mine. 6jpg-min

10 p.m. – I arrive at my destination and explore the area outside the building where I pick up scrap and building materials. So far, so good, but we need food more than anything. Crouching down in front of the door, I peek inside the house and notice an elderly couple sitting by the fire. The woman doesn’t look well. The door opens with an unrestrained creak and I set foot inside, startling but not frightening the couple. Not yet. I descend the ladder in front of me while the old man approaches, asking unthreatening questions. I do not answer. Instead I look inside the wardrobe and find some jewellery and canned food. The man starts shouting but I pay him no attention as I pocket my findings; they’ll trade well and may come in useful to secure a hard bargain later.

12 midnight – I’ve searched the house and taken what I needed, including all of the food in their fridge. I feel guilty but we needed it and they didn’t put up a fight. A couple as helpless as they are must have others looking after them, otherwise they wouldn’t have lasted this long. A full backpack weighs me down and I head on back to our shelter, trying to forget the man’s voice as he shouts after me, asking me how I could have done this to them. I tell myself they’ll be fine.

6 a.m. – I arrive at the shelter and the sight of my haul has overshadowed the residing guilt in my belly. We have enough food for the three of us to eat for a couple of days and enough supplies to board up a window and build a rain collector. We eat and sleep well that day, ready for the next night to come.

This War of Mine 5-min

10 p.m. – A few days later the “quiet house” still contains a backpack full of hard supplies that will come in useful for defending the shelter so I decide to return, hoping the couple won’t be too distressed by my second appearance. Perhaps they’ve stocked up on more food. My stomach growls inadvertently. All is still in the darkness. Inside the fire has burned to ashes in the hearth but something else is strange as I peer through the letterbox again. The old woman isn’t in her chair. Cautiously, I open the door and push my way forward, scavenging the piles I previously ignored as I go. The minutes tick by and a cold feeling descends, tracing an icy finger down my spine until I open the bedroom door and finally realise my sin.

6 a.m. – I return to the shelter in the early hours, my backpack once again full of building supplies and nothing more. We were raided but Pavle fended them off while a wounded Bruno protected our supplies with his life. After very little time I tell the others of the harm my actions have caused the older couple and despite their looks of despair and my own growing depression, a little part of me – the part that’s still human – wanted to believe that their family came for them, to take them away and protect them; to love them in these times of desolation.

Or at least, that’s what I chose to believe. I chose not to see their bodies. I chose not to choke on the smell of a three-day rot in the air. At least they went together, free from pain in each other’s arms. I don’t sleep. Instead I build, I guard, I protect, and then when the night comes again I join the other monsters in the dark, ready to chip away at my soul to protect the only ones I have left.

This war of ours is destructive.

This war of mine is unforgiving.

This War of Mine is available to buy digitally on PC and iOS/Android. Read our review of the game here.

This Queen of the button bash was first christened by the Mega Drive back in the 90s, playing games such as Golden Axe and Primal Rage which lead to her somewhat unhealthy obsession with video games. Now she's a monster, spending more time gaming and writing than she does eating or sleeping. Emily loves daiquiris and games that make you scream - or leave dents in your controller from a crushing white-knuckle grip.