Platform reviewed on: PC
Also available on: –
And what exactly do we have here?? This game is undoubtedly one-of-a-kind (at least I have never played something similar). Frostpunk is a Real Time Strategy title where your opponent is one and unforgiving. His name is frost, and yes i mean the weather effect. You start with a group of 80 people trying to survive the extreme cold conditions that have covered the entire planet in ice and snow. Your group finds a reactor which is the only mean of producing heat in order to survive another night. During your journey to the end of the times you will have to put your minions to work in order to collect resources, research technology and establish communication with other settlements where you will find survivors and resources. Every now and then you will come across a vast number of agonizing dilemmas where your decisions will affect positively or negatively the survivability of your settlement and will ultimately affect the ending of the game.
For a Real Time Strategy title, the graphics of Frostpunk are serviceable. The camera focuses on a large crater where your settlement is established and can zoom in or out in order to swift your focus to wherever you want. The reactor you power on early in the game is a welcome change from the constant white and light blue of the environment, due to its fiery glow that cracks the frost and heats your workers. The pixel quality of the workers is close to earlier Total War games and it is nothing spectacular. I really liked the graphics of the cut scenes, they seemed a lot like a top quality graphic novel. You build your settlement in what seems like a radial grid and after some construction time, you zoom out the camera and you can see it in all its pixelated glory.
For an indie title, the sound design is also good. In general, the game has a melancholic soundtrack that fits the atmosphere perfectly. The sound effects of the game are also good but nothing extraordinairy. There is also a bit of voice acting in the game but is restricted to a few sentences mostly coming out of the mouth of your assisstant, for example when he is about to anounce a new law you decide.
The developers have done a terrific job in creating a very stressful game. You really feel like the governor of the last city on earth and every decision you make counts. It is a game for every potential manager because without careful planning and decision making, you will either be expelled from the settlement or your civilians will die. There are 2 meters in the game: Hope and discontent. As you might have guessed, the latter will make your minions send you out of the settlement into the frozen wildlands. You will have to face a large number of events: Your people will get sick due to cold weather if you stress them to work for prolonged periods of time in the cold without proper heating and relaxation. This might even result in them getting amputated due to gangrene.
As a governor, you will be able to force laws to your citizens in order to fulfil your goal. For example, you can force a law that obliges children to become workers thus increasing your workforce. Such an action though will significantly raise the discontent bar. To tackle amputated workers and sick people, you must build medical posts and infirmaries and even factories that can create prosthetic limps in order for them to be able to continue contributing to the total effort
Some of your workers will have to become hunters or work in hothouses in order to provide raw food to the cookhouses. You can also research a large number of facilities like sawmills, coal mines, coal thumpers to name but a few where your workers will provide all the necessary resources in order to survive another night. The game relies on a very steep learning curve and it is highly unlikely to see the end credits on your first go.
I only would have hoped that, there was some randomness in the scenarios. After a number of failed attempts, every time you start over, the trail of events is entirely the same and it becomes tiring after a while.
Value for money:……8
You can find Frostpunk on Steam for about 30 Euros. Its uniqueness and very good gameplay justify this price tag espescialy if you value this type of stressful game. There is no other game like it and you will surely have a very good time playing.