Rummage through trash cans, beg, steal, consort with criminals – do what it takes to survive the harsh winter.
This is the content of the new Czech computer game Hobo: Tough Life, in which players take on the role of a homeless person in the streets of Praslav, a made-up city located in the center of Europe.
Perun Creative, a small independent team of Czech developers, was inspired by the reality of Prague, as well as by real stories of homeless people while developing the game.
The authors have been working on the game for almost four years and plan to continue improving it. Hobo: Tough Life is out on PCs and available on Steam; later it should also come out on game consoles. Up to four players can participate in the survival.
“Welcome to Praslav, a cold Central European city that grows even colder with the coming winter. Praslav is recovering from the political turmoil that followed the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Communist regime, which held the country in its iron grip for decades. While most people eagerly awaited the coming of democracy and capitalism, some were unable to adapt to the new socio-economic climate. Soon they found themselves on the streets with nowhere to go. You are one of those people,” says the game description on Steam.
According to the developers, it is necessary to pay attention to a number of factors that may affect survival on the street. The enemy is not only hunger but also cold weather, as well as cleanliness.
“Poor hygiene and dirty clothes produce odors, low temperatures increase the risk of disease, and every piece of eaten food must also sometimes come out,” the creators note.
To successfully survive, players can build improvised shelters made from materials that they find in various corners of Praslav. The authors took heed of the know-how they received when interviewing actual homeless people.
However, other means of survival should not be neglected either, the creators claim. Begging, pickpocketing, raids on shops are all viable options to get by in the fierce world of Praslav.
Some situations can be resolved diplomatically, some will require brute force – that is, of course if there are no police patrols in the vicinity.
Hobo: Tough Life is highly rated by players. As of April 19th, 76% of player reviews on Steam are positive.