Get lost in the Siberian wilderness as your party of strangers struggles to survive the dangers that surround them, including each other.
Genre: Strategy, Survival
Developer: Arclight Creations
Release date: 21 April, 2020
Help Will Come Tomorrow is the latest in the rather niche strategy-survival genre that reminds me the most of Dead in Bermuda and Dead in Vinland. Its setting is a fresh take and brings along a number of new mechanics that differentiate it from its predecessors while still feeling familiar enough that fans of those will pick it up quickly. I struggled with the overall challenge of surviving Siberia, which is exactly what I was hoping for, but there are difficulty options that you can change to tailor the experience to your liking.
Tickets Are Non-Refundable
Help Will Come Tomorrow begins with your train going off of the rails in the wilds of Siberia under particularly unforgiving circumstances. Civilization is too far for a quick hike to be possible, the temperatures are low enough to be lethal with extended exposure, and the outlaws that derailed the train are still roaming the area. As a matter of fact, they’re so active on the first day that you’ll be hearing their gunfire throughout the day as the other passengers are being gunned down. Your party of four will have to work together to clear enough snow from the small area they are hiding out in to set up a campsite. A fire to keep warm, filter water, and cook food is a must and is needed quickly, though you’ll want to construct as many structures as possible to survive the challenges ahead. A shelter will keep the survivors rested and warm, Palisades will protect the camp from outside threats (human and otherwise), a quarantine post provides sorely needed medical care, and a workshop developed the tools of survival that make many tasks more efficient and less taxing on the survivors. It’s important to note that each of these structures has a number of other actions that can be taken outside of their primary functions, such as being able to fraternize at the campfire to build relationships among party members, and progressing down their development trees will drastically improve your chances to make it out of this experience in one piece.
Setting up a functioning camp isn’t the only requirement for survival as you’ll need to put together frequent expeditions to gather the supplies needed to expand its functions and sustain your party. These are where the vast majority of your resources come from, though they carry with them dangers of their own. Getting lost is a very real possibility if you push survivors too far beyond their limits in the wilds, as is getting injured, or simply shot outright by the outlaws.
Proletariat & Bourgeoisie: A Motley Crew
The party of four is randomly selected from the pool of surviving characters at the start of a new game. Each has around half a dozen traits that define their capabilities, what pleases or displeases them, and their general beliefs. These beliefs and personality traits combine with their overall ideology (aristocracy, revolutionary, and neutral) to determine how well they get along with the others by default. Spoiler: it takes quite a bit of work to get the aristocratic army captain to get along with the revolutionary socialist leader. Health, morale, and statuses are more gameplay-oriented features than the narrative traits, but if you let any of them get out of control, you’re likely to lose a companion in one way or another.
The characters are easily my favorite part of Help Will Come Tomorrow and they’re written well, though they often share lines when discussions are taking place. You wouldn’t notice this unless you played through multiple times, though this title certainly stands out as one that needs plenty of replay value to stand out as a great experience. I would’ve liked to see unique lines for every member of the party for each scenario that unfolds, not just a ‘primary’ character in the scene who says their unique lines followed by other characters churning out backup lines instead of representing themselves more accurately. I’d also like to see a significantly larger pool of candidates that are drawn from at the start as it currently seems that each playthrough is more defined by the characters that you don’t have than the ones that you do.
Help Will Come Tomorrow is a strong showing in the narrative survival-strategy genre that brings some interesting new ideas to the table. I found it to be particularly challenging, which is a huge plus for me, and if there were a few more characters added, along with unique dialogue, I’d be fully satisfied with what’s on offer here thanks to the increased replay value and depth. If you are into the genre, you can’t go wrong with this title; if you’re not, this one is unlikely to convert you. If you end up deciding to get on the train, though, good luck, you’ll need it!