CHANGE is a thought provoking and emotional roguelike survival game in which you make tough choices and attempt to survive as a homeless person on the streets of an endless procedurally generated city.
CHANGE is being created by Delve Interactive, and draws on their own fears of homelessness brought about by nearly going bankrupt developing their previous game – PONCHO. You start the game alone and on the streets, with no form of income other than begging from passers by. Some will offer cash, some will offer food, but mostly they’ll just ignore you and carry on walking by.
The Alpha demo build offers a taster of what to expect in the full game, with three days of gameplay. There’s a lot to deal with when you’re homeless, and it mostly involves trying to procure the necessities that most of us take for granted – such as a warm bed to sleep in for the night or a hot meal. You get a small amount of cash through begging and can make a little more by selling the ‘Daily Issue’ to passers by, but have to be careful not to buy too many copies as left over stock will the discarded at the end of the day.
Cash you make can be used in the shops you pass to purchase food, drink and items that can make your life on the streets a little easier (such as a guitar for busking or new clothes to make you more presentable). Those ‘luxury’ items are nearly impossible to save up enough cash for though due to the fact that you make so little money and that you constantly have to buy food to keep your energy up. You can also buy beer, which will lift your spirits a little, but there’s always the chance it will lead to addiction, which would require checking yourself into a clinic (and more expense).
Finding a bed for the night is another challenge. You can sleep in a hostel if you get to one before 8pm, but failing that you’ll need to find a bench or just sleep in the pavement. Obviously the hostel is preferable, but there’s always a chance someone will steal your hard earned cash while you sleep.
Much like in real life, once you find yourself on the streets, rebuilding your life and escaping them will be a real challenge. It’s a tough and emotional game that paints a bleak and all too real picture of the struggles homeless people face every day. An all too real survival sim that we highly recommend checking out.