Frostpunk

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a game by 11 bit studios S.A.
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 9.5/10, based on 2 reviews, 1 review is shown
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 4 votes
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See also: Base Building Games, Steampunk Games, Post Apocalyptic Games, Life Sim Games
Frostpunk
Frostpunk
Frostpunk
Frostpunk

The year is 1886. Things aren’t looking good in New London. The temperature has dropped to an absolute frigid -50 degrees Celsius and I still haven’t upgraded the homes to provide better insulation. Food supplies have reached zero and due to extreme hunger across the city, deaths are starting to rack up. Now there is a group of upset survivors asking for me to resign so new leadership can take over. Where did everything go wrong? When you finally get your hands on 11 bit studios’ Frostpunk, you’ll be asking yourself that same question.

New London: Humanity’s Last Hope

Frostpunk tells the story of a band of survivors, led by you, as they survive a worldwide volcanic winter in the late 19th century. With civilization crumbling all around, you seek one of the generators that were built by the government in preparation for this sort of event. After a long journey, you find the coal-fueled steam generator and fire it up, thus starting your career as the leader of New London.

From here, you’ll be making your own story. We’ll go more into how exactly you do that later, but just know that your decisions matter. At the end of a campaign, you’ll be shown a sped-up montage of you building your city, while seeing your decisions appear on the screen, reminding you of the sacrifices you made to get there. It’s a great way to look back on the progress you made over the hours of playing.

Ice Age, Meet Steampunk

When first getting into Frostpunk, it’s hard not to appreciate the graphics right away. As soon as your fire up that generator, you’ll see the snow slowly melt away. Meanwhile, your workers are trudging through the snow, making little paths as they do. If you zoom in the buildings, there’s quite a bit of detail that went into each one, with workers going in and out. Each building truly gives of the impression of steampunk meets the ice age, so 11 bit studios nailed that feeling. As you play and continue to feel the pressure of leading one of humanity’s last hopes, violins play in the background. It was hard not to feel like a survivor on the Titanic, sinking to the bottom of the ocean as the band plays Nearer My God To Thee. Along with the sounds of the loud clanks of steel, burning sizzle of coal, and various other well designed sound effects, you’ll feel completely immersed in the world.

We Live in a Society

At its core, Frostpunk is a city-building sim mixed with a survival game. Think Civilization meets The long Dark. Your ultimate goal is to build you city from nothing, while you manage the many tasks before you.

The most basic of these tasks is gathering resources. Using workers, engineers, automatons, and even children, you’ll gather up four major resources: coal, food, wood, and steel. Coal could be considered the most important as it fuels your generators and heat sources. Food must be processed after being gathered, adding a layer to it. Wood is used in all sorts of activities, such as constructing buildings, roads, and converting to coal. Then you have steel, which is needed to construct the more advanced buildings.

Another great way to gather resources is by sending out scouts, which are unlocked after building a balloon. These scouts can be sent out to find vital resources, but also other survivors. You can even set up a trade route between certain locations, which are very much needed when supplies are dwindling.

Scouts can also find a rare resource called a steam core. Steam cores provide you further depth into the tech lab, which is used to unlock new buildings and technology. They are also used to create automatons – massive spider robots that can take over the production for an entire building. Not only that, they work all day! You’ll learn to love automatons.

As you slowly build your city in a symmetrical circle around the generator, you’ll be asked to solve issues by the survivors. For instance, you might be asked if a worker can take the day off to recover from an injury. However, that worker is crucial to coal production. If you let them rest, you’ll gather less coal. Do you decide to let him rest or do you make him work to increase coal production? These sorts of decisions occur often, with some drastically altering your hope and discontent. As you might assume, you’ll want to keep hope high and discontent as low as you can. That way, you won’t have to worry about your followers revolting against you.

One way to manage hope and discontent is through laws. These laws are chosen from a skill tree that offers various routes you can take. Once a law in enacted, you’re asked to complete a task to start reaping the rewards. During one of my runs, I noticed a big drop in temperature was coming, so I would need to run my generators at a higher steam level than normal. However, I was low on coal at the moment. I was going to need to gather more coal if we were to survive the storm. So, I ended up enacting a law stating that made 24 hours shifts possible. Discontent rose, but now I can make sure our coal reserves are full for the upcoming storm. They’ll thank me later, I’m sure of it.

9

Frostpunk took me by surprise since I wasn’t quite sure if there were any innovative city-building games left. However, I came out of my playthrough tired, grizzled, but definitely looking forward to my next run. Hopefully 11 bit studios continues to update Frostpunk with new scenarios as times goes on.

Pros:

  • The mood is perfectly set by the graphics, music, and sound
  • For a city simulation game, the story is excellent and provides multiple routes
  • Multiple layers of gameplay, but all work together well
  • Multiple scenarios with great replay-ability

Cons:

  • The UI can be tough to decipher at first, make it tough to find important info

Download Frostpunk

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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PC Screenshots

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