I only heard of this game yesterday, and I'm on my third game. I decided to go with "awful" conditions as a challenge, got pulled away for a half an hour, and when I got back all but three of my population had died.
There's now two left, and weirdly enough they started to stabilize. They stopped starving, their happiness improved from -200% to -60% and they've had two kids. I'm on year 11 and I'm starting to wonder if it's possible to bring a civilization back from the brink of extinction. Can this game handle that sort of mechanic?
Of course, the down side is that babies eat food but can't work, so it's entirely possible this is just a death spiral until eventually there's only one left.