While war is a very common theme in gaming these days, few games have dared to do what 11 bit studios‘ This War of Mine ($13.99) has done. Instead of empowering the player by turning him or her into a rifle-wielding superhero, This War of Mine puts the player in the shoes of those who are simply collateral casualties in most war games, the civilians trapped in warzones. Inspired by the Siege of Sarajevo in the early 90s, this survival game has you controlling a group of civilians trying to survive one day at a time while having to negotiate the horrors of modern warfare, be that hunger, snipers, or other survivors.
The game feels like a much grittier and realistic version of Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville but with more emphasis on the survival aspect rather than exploration and reclamation. This War of Mine offers randomized worlds and characters for each playthrough, extensive crafting, and plenty of difficult decisions that more often than not force you to choose the lesser of two evils. The game has received dozens of awards and great reviews when it came out on the PC. This War of Mine is iPad only, costs $9.99 (the game’s running a week-long 33% discount to celebrate its launch), and is guaranteed to force you to see wargames differently.