This adventure asks players to imagine the heartache of being forced to give up your only child to save your people, and then imagine what you might do to get that child back. In Smoke and Sacrifice, players are dropped into a cursed world with little more than determination to find their lost family and an overwhelming will to live. The open world environment may be full of danger, but it's also filled with opportunity, because resources abound in this strange land, providing what you need to craft the tools necessary to endure these hazards. Smoke and Sacrifice's story puts a more personal spin on the survival role-playing game. As Sachi explores the world, searching for her son, you can't help but care about what she's going through. It's more than just surviving the wilderness, it's survival in all aspects of the world. And the game's living, breathing world feels as vital to the story as Sachi.
Smoke and Sacrifice walks a fine line with its gameplay. On one hand, crafting what you need feels natural and intuitive. Sachi can build many items that can also be customized for different situations. But combat can take a bit to get used to, owing to the game's unique art style. Characters move like marionette puppets, so it can be difficult to judge distances, hit areas, and more. It can be frustrating to try fighting off a creature or harvesting resources, only to keep underestimating their position and constantly miss. Eventually, it's something most players will adjust to, but it can make things harder. This isn't an easy game, either. Managing the basics such as food and light sources while focusing on your quest goals and fighting packs of wild creatures can feel overwhelming. And though you can constantly upgrade your equipment to new and better bits of armor or arsenal, the enemies are always improving what they're capable of as well. It's a true battle for survival, but it's a battle that never feels boring or mundane.