Fans of The Oregon Trail will appreciate the high level of difficulty presented by this game. The setting is early 1900’s Siberia where a train has been derailed by bandits and the survivors hunted down. The game makes no bones about showing that this is a life or death situation straight from the start as the exposition in the beginning tells of the marauders hunting down the survivors not in your camp.
Every time you start Help Will Come Tomorrow you are given a random assortment of characters to work with to set up your camp and face the challenges that come up in the game. Several attempts at surviving long enough for help to come have made me unsure there is a win scenario.
Each of them have differing traits that affect their efficacy at different tasks you may need them to perform, as well as determining whether they will get along with the other survivors. You get to make choices each night around the campfire each night that will also affect how the survivors get along, which in turn affects energy usage during the day.
Survivor cohesion, the bar of difficulty that has to be managed alongside shelter, food, and the need to remain hidden from pursuers. Each time you play Help Will Come Tomorrow you get a little further as you come to understand the mechanics of the game a little better, as with any game, but sometimes the dice of chance roll in your disfavor and suddenly you find your camp discovered and the survivors slaughtered.
Each survivor will have personal goals that should be met for them to stick around. If a survivor’s morale, or trust in their comrades declines far enough they can and will strike out on their own. Avoiding this catastrophe is possible as long as you pay attention to their interpersonal stats, which can be found on their character sheets.
Gameplay is a relatively simple point and click affair. Sometimes it is not clear how to do something to help your characters, nor is it explained by tooltips. For instance, the proper use of the medical tent can be extremely difficult even though all the tools are there. Figuring out how to actually use many of the resources available is one of the biggest challenges of this game.
Each survivor has three task points that determine how many different tasks they can do that day. Each survivor has different skills that can help maximize the efficiency of their task points. For example: one of them was a cook and has a chance to reduce the amount of provisions needed to produce meals for the entire camp.
Marauders are not the only challenge that the survivors must face. Starvation, freezing temperatures, dehydration, and predators, and even simple accidents such as spraining an ankle all threaten the camp on a regular basis and managing this takes careful consideration.
If you like very challenging strategy survival games, or those with depressing overtones like This War of Mine, then Help Will Come Tomorrow should be right up your alley. In all seriousness, I am sure the game is winnable. But you need a lot of grit to get to the other side.