Game: Help Will Come Tomorrow
Genre: Adventure | Strategy | Simulation
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, Xbox and PS4)
Developers | Publishers Arclight Creations | Klabater
Age Rating: EU 16+ | US 10+ |AUS M
Price: EU $19,99| USA $19.99 | AUS $30.00 |CAD $26.45 |UK £17.99
Release Date: 21st April 2020
Review code used with many thanks to Klabater.
After a successful campaign on Kickstarter, Help Will Come Tomorrow has been released on Nintendo Switch, Steam, and consoles.
Help Will Come Tomorrow is a story-driven survival game about a small group of passengers who survive a catastrophic crash on a Trans-Siberian railway train during the onset of the October Revolution in 1917 pre-Bolschevik imperial Russia.
As the game begins you witness a group of strangers travelling on a train across the cold and frosty landscape of Siberia, Russia. All of a sudden there is a squeal of the train’s brakes, and the train crashes due to a blockage on the track that was placed there by revolutionaries.
It’s your job to keep the remaining survivors of the train crash alive in the harsh conditions of Siberia until help comes. There are nine unique characters who survived the train crash and they all come from different social origins and groupings in three society classes: aristocracy, revolutionaries or politically uncommitted. Though you only ever start the game with four of theses characters and each time you start a new game the characters will switch randomly.
There are three different difficulty setting to chose from and my advice would be to chose the lowest setting first, as even on that setting the game is hard enough, so give yourself a slightly easier time. There is a tutorial which explains the basics of the game, unfortunately the way the tutorial is presented is by bombarding the player with lots of info at once; it’s a lot to take in and left me in a state of confusion at times.
Help the Survivors
Hearing the gun fire from the rebels reverberating around the forest, your party of four will need to work together to clear enough snow from the area they are hiding out in to set up a campsite.
They need a fire to keep warm, and will need to filter water to drink, and cook food to survive, and also clear away snow to build a shelter to keep the survivors relatively safe. Along with all that your survivors are going to need a few more essentials if their going to survive any length of time in the harsh conditions: a workbench to create new tools, and a nursing station to help take care of members of your group who become sick.
You have a limited amount of supplies and resources and each character generates around three action points per day, so it’s up to you to decide which of their needs is the most pressing as you don’t want to waste action points. The action points needed to perform tasks vary from one to three points, so you really do need to chose wisely on the tasks they have to perform.
Expeditions and Mixed Backgrounds
By sending out two survivors on expeditions into the wilderness the party will be able to gather valuable resources. They can come across certain events as they go and explore their immediate surroundings. Characters may also encounter other survivors, and if they are really unlucky meet some of the not so friendly wildlife in the shape of bears and wolves. There is always a chance they can meet some of the revolutionaries roaming around the forest as well. These journeys are necessary for resource gathering, however, you also run the risk of one of your characters being killed while hunting for resources. It’s a dangerous world outside of camp.
Since all the survivors come from different political or social backgrounds they don’t all get on, and some characters will not work together with other members of the camp. If they are forced to work with someone they don’t like, or have different views from, their morale can go down and this can have an adverse effect on them and the rest of the survivors, even leading to death.
Each character has their own individual traits that unlock as you progress through the game. These traits can either help or hinder the gameplay, as some characters like doing repetitive tasks and others don’t, such as filtering the water they drink.
Juggling this group dynamic is an interesting aspect of the game as you don’t always know how each character can react to a situation. Of course, once you do learn more about their individual traits, it’s best to try to match the character to the tasks they like doing best otherwise their moral will drop.
Night Time Chats
Once night comes and all your characters are gathered around the camp fire keeping warm, they will talk though the night. This talk can build relationships, or destroy them, with dialogue and stories of past lives being told. I found the night time chats between the characters interesting enough because you learn about each character’s backstory and their political viewpoints. Though they are marred somewhat by the odd spelling, grammatical mistakes, and small writing which I struggled to read unless I constantly used the zoom feature on the Switch.
Visuals and Controls
The visuals of the game are quite nice, though it’s mainly a point and click style of gameplay; none of the actions of the survivors are animated, and they do every action sitting down, which took a bit of time for me to get used to. The music is suitably somber to match the harsh and dangerous situation that the survivors find themselves in: death lurking around every corner.
The game is controlled via the joycons and it works fine, though the UI could do with some work as it’s messy and very cluttered. It gives me the impression the games UI wasn’t changed much from the PC version to the Nintendo Switch.
In Help Will Come Tomorrow the basic concepts of survival are straightforward enough: camp, heat, water, but the greater challenge will be dealing with prejudice and class conflicts between the game’s characters. The game suffers from not explaining some of the actions well enough to the player, and of course the small writing that I’ve already mentioned doesn’t help in that area. Long load times as the game starts up are also a problem when your waiting to get into the gameplay.
Be prepared to have all your camp survivors die, as it’s not an easy game. I’m even wondering if it’s possible to survive, as I’ve never managed to get the camp to survive until help comes. If you’re new to the genre I would look elsewhere for a easier game to start with.
Final Verdict: I’m Not Sure