Trigger warning: The soundtracks contain the sounds of explosions and sirens. If you have recently been in Ukrainian cities under shelling, please, turn off the sound.

I started developing this game while sitting in a bomb shelter in Kharkov. Something was howling and thumping overhead all the time, and I did not want to work on it, but I needed to distract myself somehow, so I did it. I continue working on the game in Lviv, in between volunteer activities (I helped people evacuate from cities where hostilities were taking place). When I finished it, I realized that working in safety brings me joy, and it allowed me to take my mind off my nervousness for at least a few hours. I hope this game can bring some joy to someone too. 

Although the game was not planned to be fun. It was a fixation of the reality, when author can't control it with their works, so they can just be a witness. I was just a eyewitness, spectator of things that happen, and I was too ruined too, to create something new. So I just asked people that lived with me in a bomb shelter, and my friends, who lived in other bomb shelters, how are they - what they think and feel. This is what game is about.


Внимание! Саундтреки содержат звуки взрывов и сирен. Если вы недавно находились в украинских городах под обстрелами - выключите звук в игре.

Я начала делатъ эту игру, находясь в бомбоубежище в Харькове. Над головой все время что-то выло и бахкало, и работать над ней не хотелось, но нужно было как-то отвлечься. Заканчивала работу над игрой во Львове, в перерывах между волонтёрской деятельностью (я помогала людям эвакуироваться из городов, где велись боевые действия). Работать в безопасности было даже радостно, и это позволило отвлечься от нервозности хотя бы на несколько часов. Надеюсь, она может кого-то порадовать.

Хотя концепция игры была не в весельи, а в фиксации действительности, на которую автор не может влиять, но может быть разве что свидетелем. Я была слишком растеряна, чтобы что-то создавать, поэтому просто спросила у людей, которые были со мной в убежище, и у тех знакомых, кто прятался в других бункерах, как у них дела - что они думают и чувствуют. О том и игра.


Увага! Саундтреки містять звуки вибухів та сирен. Якщо ви недавно знаходилися в українських містах під обстрілами - вимкніть звук у грі.

Я почала працювати над грою в бомбосховищі в Харкові. Над головою завжди щось завивало та гупало, і працювати було важко, але треба було відволіктися. Закінчувала гру у Львові, в перервах між волонтерською діяльністю (я допомагала людям евакуюватися з міст, в яких йшли бої). Працювати у безпеці було навіть радісно, і це допомогло мені відволіктися від нервозності хоча б на кілька годин. Надеюсь, она может кого-то порадовать.

Хоча ідея гри була не в радощах, а у фіксації дійсності, вплив на яку автор втрачає, і тому може хіба що бути свідком. Я була занадто розгублена, щоб створювати щось нове, і тому просто запитала у людей, які жили зі мною в бомбосховищі, та у знайомих, які ховалися в інших бункерах, як у них справи - що вони думають та відчувають. Про те і гра.

* * * * *

Sounds - https://freesound.org/
Made with Bitsy - https://ledoux.itch.io/bitsy

PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux, HTML5
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(20 total ratings)
GenreInteractive Fiction, Adventure
Made withbitsy
Tags8-Bit, Bitsy, Comedy, Indie, minigames, Narrative, Pixel Art, Retro
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
LanguagesEnglish, Russian, Ukrainian


Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

what_s_up_in_a_kharkiv_bomb_shel (dl).zip 44 MB

Development log


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

Hope all is well. You guys are strong. Am so greatful to God that he gave you the strenghth and courage to make this game. I hope it will give understanding to the suffering that is going on in Ukraine and help the youth be strong in such as a time as this war. May God bless you and all the people in Ukraine.  Keep in touch please and thankyou 

Maria and Eric Cvetanoski 


(1 edit) (+1)

I don't seem to have sound... I don't know if I am doing something wrong.

I saw the article in the Guardian and donated/downloaded straight away. I hope you and your family are okay. Slava Ukraini.


Дякую за ідею! Я хочу зробити схожу гру, но там говриш з загиблими у війни дітьми.


Well done, I found this game very moving to play. It's hard to imagine how difficult it must be to live in a bomb shelter, but this game helps to understand. I also particularly liked the music and sound design, it really brought the whole thing to life. I hope that the person who made this game is doing ok.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I feel for your people and hope this will end soon.

I loved how you are using gaming as an activism medium. (Also would like to ask a practical question: is it possible to have this many colors on bitsy?) Thanks

Гарна гра) Мені сподобалось, як було передано атмосферу. Спочатку виникло двояке почуття із-за графіки, але тут це не головне. Такою грою можна передати те, що відчуваєш. І в тебе вийшло.  P.S Не звертай увагу на дурнів (як знизу мене), в них не лишилось нічого людського. За них російська область, за нас увесь цивілізований світ)

Урааа, рада, що вдалося передати те, що відчувала) а чому в тебе графіка викликала двояке почуття?

Та вони теж є в цій грі) кумедні ролі

Deleted 1 year ago

Ukraian nazi - stop shooting Donetsk


Russian fascists - get the fuck out of Donetsk!


Sometimes what comes out of people is nothing but shit. I'll leave it here for clarity

Eerie snapshot of the current reality.

Experiencing in an interactive form, the events we see in the media, is both surreal, and that much more powerful. Thank you for sharing it with the world.

Support from Poland.

(I delivered the bread! I am a hero!)

Glad you liked it. Everything is ok and it will get better. Because there has never been a war in history that has not ended.

Cool, now the NPC also has a hero from Poland <3

(1 edit)

how is there so many colors if this is bitsy?

it's a mode, you can usee too 


I am fond of this game. Dahuanna, thank you very much for such representation of your feeling of this horror

I'm glad you liked the game.  thanks for the comment, I was warried about how players would react to it

Гідна робота! Все повернемо та відбудуємо. Все буде Україна.

Дякую! Так. Дуже на це сподіваюся

Thank you for making this interactive game! Very moving.

thank! you mean that the game is "touching", am I right?

Yeah, moving or touching, it means you feel an emotion (sadness, empathy) strongly.

thank you <3


I gave everyone bread :D

yay bread for everyone :)

дуже сподіваюсь  з авторкою все добре

все добре) наразі живу у львові


This was very moving! I hope peace comes to Ukraine soon.


thank! I also hope that the war ends soon. last weeks it is my most cherished dream





dont like it

it's ok. thanks for being honest!


The best anti-war game I have ever experienced. The quality of the dialogue, the artwork, and the soundtrack, all of them come together and construct a unique experience. The anti-war message resonates with every creative inch of such a masterpiece. 


thanks for the feedback!


So privileged to be able to sit safely at home and experience this Bitsy. Because that's all it's for me, and a lot of other people. I close this tab and it's gone. Poof! But no. It's so many people's reality. They can't escape. I can turn off the news when I'm sad. But what about millions stuck in awful situations all over the world?

Breaks my heart. Wish peace and love to everyone and sending all the good vibes I can gather.  Thanks for volunteering <3 Hope all of this ends fast and everyone gets to have some semblance of normalcy. Much love.

thank you very much for your feedback. I now also have the opportunity to close the news and stay safe (relative security - and yet it is security). but still often someone calls or write to me, and this sweet illusion breaks. people still need help, and the horrors continue only a few hundred kilometers away from me. I'm just lucky to get out from there. I hope that every day we are closer to a happy ending


Well done. I hope this helped you a little. The whole situation is terrible and crazy :(


yes, it helped me because I felt that I am not just a victim, but a person who can create something


This moved me.


I didn't even expect that kind of response. it's nice. thank!


Great work!