A strategy game about rebelling against the Nazis
Through the Darkest of Times is a historical resistance strategy video game that allows you to lead the secret resistance against Adolf Hitler’s campaign during the rise of his power in 1933. Developed by Paintbucket Games and published by HandyGames, Through the Darkest of Times plays out like a visual novel steeped in various dramatic events and tense strategy-making. This game relies on historical accuracy, which means that World War II atrocities will still happen and devastating tragedy will still occur despite your efforts as the resistance. However, Through the Darkest of Times’ goal isn’t to change the future but rather, to show you how life had been during the lead-up to the war.
Down with Hitler
Through the Darkest of Times guides you through its sorrow by way of intense strategy gameplay. The game takes place in Berlin, Germany during 1933. Adolf Hitler has just been declared the new chancellor of the country and much of the people had celebrated. However, there remained a small group of people who knew that dark times were coming. You play as their leader, who must make tough decisions in order to both further the resistance’s cause while avoiding getting caught.
There are two game modes: Resistance Mode, which is immediately the hard difficulty and has no save states; and Story Mode, which is more forgiving as it focuses on the drama of the story. Your avatar’s minute appearance can be customized—however, their name, occupation, and political belief can only be randomized. The gameplay is heavy on story events, dialogue, and assigning tasks and decisions. Much of the game is about the narrative, giving you the chance to select dialogue options, which can influence your situation a bit.
The game feels like an RPG, with an inventory system, a map to take quests from, and time-limited decisions. You to gain supporters and deal small blows to the enemy without getting caught. The art style is cartoonish but delivers the somber mood of the game well. However, the game’s replayability isn’t great, with the lack of challenge to the quests and the player choices having no lasting consequences to the story. This is a title meant to be played for the drama rather than the mechanics.