This War of Mine tells the story of a group of survivors as they try to make it in a war-torn country.
Food is scarce, the world is cold, and there are hostiles threatening to raid your home every moment. This War of Mine: The Little Ones adds an entirely new outlook to this already very real topic: the perspective of a child. The Little Ones puts you in charge of taking care of not only adults, but the children of this world and their struggle to understand the complexities of war.
I am a huge fan of This War of Mine and was very excited to hear about this new DLC. Once you learn the mechanics of the main game – build, eat, stay warm, scavenge, survive – the game moves slowly and can get a little bit repetitive. That isn’t to say that I haven’t sunk another half a dozen or so hours into it once again in order to master The Little Ones. It’s a fantastic game on its own but The Little Ones really adds something interesting and new to it.
The biggest thing that The Little Ones adds to the game is the player’s ability to control a child. The child is very attached to the adults in the game and they can talk to each other and play with each other during the day. The child that you control can also build simple toys for themselves using things that the adults scavenge at night. For example, the children can build a jump rope to entertain themselves. Without something to entertain them, the children can get very sad and eventually depressed. Eventually the child can also learn to make their own food or add fuel to the heater in the shelter. An adult has to teach them this but it can be very useful not having to prepare food for them (as an adult) when they’re hungry.
A child almost always comes with an adult. If you start a new game you will usually be one parent and one child; there is also the possibility that an adult and a child will show up at the door of your shelter begging to be brought in. Having a child in the shelter adds an extra mouth to feed but they also add a bit of a cheer to the bleakness in the shelter. The adults cheer up the children and the children cheer up the adults; it’s a mutual profit.
There are also of course, downsides to having to take care of/be a child in This War of Mine. The child cannot go out and scavenge at night, it would be very dangerous. They also cannot guard the shelter at night so if your shelter is raided then much of your stuff may be gone and it is likely that your child will be injured upon your return. It often made me think twice about scavenging at night if I wasn’t out of food or in desperate need of something. It definitely helps when there’s more than one adult to take care of the children.
A really great part of The Little Ones is that part of your purchase goes towards the War Child charity. War Child helps support real children all over the world that live in conflict areas. That is perhaps the most heartbreaking reality in relation to this DLC that these children torn apart by war are real: The Little Ones is a true picture of what they have to go through.
This War of Mine: The Little Ones is a welcome addition to an already seriously good game. The addition of children to the game adds an element of realism that is refreshing for the type of game that it is. Having to take care of children and watch them be saddened by the loss of their friends and be so reliant on other people in order to survive in this brutal world is a brilliant (if not heartbreaking) addition. Long time fans of This War of Mine will definitely love the challenging and heartwarming moments that this DLC adds to the main game and newcomers, after a little practice, should come to enjoy it as well.