Gaming has a torrid love affair with wastelands, whether they’re brought on by nuclear warfare, zombies, disease, or any other one of the multiple ends humanity could suffer. Mojo Bones’ Impact Winter is the latest to explore this trope, a survival RPG that pits players against the frozen wasteland the world has been transformed into after Earth collides with a massive asteroid. Fighting against the icy winds and the deadly blizzards, you and your team of survivors (plus one robot) must hold out hope of being rescued before death comes for you all.
You take up the role of Jacob Solomon and company as you and some of the last hopes for humanity huddle together to brave the hostile weather inside a derelict church. When your robot, Ako-Light, detects a distress signal, there’s a new mission: Stay alive for 30 days until rescue arrives. Luckily, Solomon hast an eclectic gaggle of skilled companions — boasting talents from mechanics to computer geekery — to help him weather the storm.
The in-game timer portentously counts down the days while you eke out an existence until help shows up. It doesn’t count down in real time, however, instead going down when you earn experience and begin to explore the world around you. It’s an interesting mechanic that’s becomes encouraging rather than ominous, pushing you forward while offering a glimmer of hope.
You’ll be assigned missions to complete as well as gathering supplies that you and the team need to survive. You’ll help out total strangers, gather supplies, happen upon abandoned posts rife with items you can utilise for your own camp, and learn about the others left out in the frozen world. You can’t save everyone, but you can try and make what time they have left a little easier.
You can upgrade each teammate’s skills as you complete new tasks and missions for them, which will help you create traps, cook better meals, upgrade Ako-Light, and heal the rest of the team when necessary. Each crewperson needs to be looked after just like Solomon, and can succumb to depression or arguments that result in their leaving the team. As in real life, you’ve got to strike a balance between doing what’s right as a survivalist and doing what’s right by your crew.
Despite some niggling problems, there’s a lot of heart to Impact Winter. It sets up a memorable, somewhat daunting world for you to explore, populated with characters you quickly come to care for. If you're in the market for an engrossing apocalypse adventure that hits some of those Fallout and Wasteland sweet spots, Impact Winter will fill the void nicely.