A Ukrainian gaming studio has released a video game called “Twenty-second: Stories of Underground Kharkiv” that depicts the initial days of Russia’s 2022 invasion, taking place within the Kharkiv underground metro in eastern Ukraine where many locals have sought shelter in real life.

The game is currently available on the Steam gaming store for Hr.50 ($1.27). The developers Brenntkopf Studio Kharkiv called it a “quest and a visual novel” that will inform the players “in the first person about the events of 2022 in the Kharkiv metro.”

“You will play as a history teacher. Your task is to try to live an ordinary life in the unusual conditions of a metro station. You will prepare for lessons, prepare places of refuge for people, participate in the life of the station, and help ordinary people. You will live six days in the underground,” the description says.


Although the story is fictional, it drew inspiration from real-life experiences at the onset of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, where thousands of locals in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the Russian border, have sought refuge in the underground metro due to the intense hostilities above ground.

The game also features a faithful recreation of the “23 August” metro station in Kharkiv.

According to initial reviews, the game does not feature any fighting or action; rather, it depicts civilian life in the shelter during the ongoing war.

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President Zelensky has already reacted to the Russian attack, stating: “Extremely brutal Russian attack against Kharkiv and Lubotyn – according to preliminary data, 15 missiles at once.”

“Playing this game is diving into the life inside Kharkiv’s metro at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, but without blood, without action. You will follow the steps of a man who just tries to keep on going, and still tries to understand what is happening around him,” one review reads. 

Amidst the ongoing munition shortage suffered by Ukraine, Russia has stepped up its offensives and launched a large-scale aerial campaign against Kharkiv, which destroyed all critical energy infrastructure at the beginning of April.

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