Through the Darkest of Times is a historical resistance strategy game taking place in Berlin during the Third Reich. You are the leader of a resistance group as Hitler comes into power and onward.
I was provided a copy of this game for the purposes of this review.
As you can imagine, this is a dark game. You have to grow your resistance group and attempt to weaken the Third Reich while the Nazis come into power and the events of the Holocaust unfold. You will raise funds from supporters, grow your network so you can acquire resources, and go on varying difficulty missions. It has choices matter elements along with strategic planning based on the strengths of your group members and risk factors. You will experience actual events of the time, such as book burnings. But through your fight, you do have the ability to change history for the better.
The strategy is very well done overall. You have to balance the mission requirements with your members’ skills and traits as well as the danger rating. Members of your group will also have traits that could negatively impact a mission. As the game goes on, danger increases and makes you have to choose to run, hide, or fight the enemies. Your members can also be seen and the risk of danger increases the more seen they are. You do have resources that can help you as well as some resources required for certain missions, like paper for making flyers and a bike to help successful escape if needed.
You will also encounter scenes during the chapters that will lead to some choices matter moments. Many of these scenes depict actual events from the time and you will have to choose different actions and statements for your character to navigate the scene to a hopefully good or useful conclusion.
The stylized artwork of the game is really impactful, especially the color palette. The game is all in black and white with red as an accent. It is very appropriate as you navigate the dark times of this era. The game also has a very interesting (and needed) art option: whether or not a swastika will be in your gameplay or not. You have the choice, so if that symbol is too potent for you it can be removed. It is a part of the history of this time, so I respect that they do include it with the option based on the individual.
Through the Darkest of Times does an excellent job conveying the somber mood of the time and creating great gameplay around this era of history. The strategy is impactful and you experience the difficulty increase as the times change with the regime. I will clearly say that this game is mature since it has visuals that can be disturbing as they depict some of the horrors of the time, so keep that in mind. Even with that in mind, this is an excellent game that is definitely worth playing.
Through the Darkest of Times is available on Steam.
What period of history would you want to see as a video game? Let me know with a comment below.