Steam Library: Frostpunk

Cities and many of their residents froze to death, factories stopped, and traditional rains were replaced by traditional snowfalls.

To fight the disaster, radical measures had to be taken. Local lunatics and scientists, and seemingly no less crazy politicians, came up with nothing better than to build the largest stove-heater in the world somewhere far across the sea and unite the survivors around this marvel of engineering.

In short, the world of Frostpunk is beautiful.

Frozen post-apocalyptic city management

Famous case

So, we have been entrusted with the responsible and honorable mission of being the keeper of the lighthouse of civilization. And, at the same time, the head of the local settlement administration. The task is simple – to survive. In this particular case, it means keeping the world engine running and feeding it with coal. Of course, not with our own hands. The settlers will run to the nearest quarries, forests, and other sources of valuable resources, build buildings, pave roads, and do other real work, while we, comrades, will show where to build what, where the workers should run, and click the switches on the control panel of the mega-furnace.

A typical economic strategy, indeed.

So typical that you wonder how the above-mentioned crazy plot managed to confidently and accurately fit into the tracks of ten thousand other “tycoons”. Replace “heat” with “electricity”, the fraternal cemeteries in permafrost with people who simply left the city, and the orders to involve children in coal mining in mines with a simple increase in taxes, and voila! Suddenly, it turns out that in front of you are all the same menus with different useful buildings, graphs, and numbers, just like n years ago in SimCity 100500.

The only thing is that life in Frostpunk revolves strictly around the central furnace, which is capable of heating buildings (and, consequently, their inhabitants) within a strictly limited radius, using local technology and coal reserves. And this means no metropolises in the shape of a heart and no reconstructions of familiar gamer villages – the hearth of civilization, unwilling to freeze in the ice, will develop strictly in circles, like a tree.

There will be very few warm places. Properly arranging the barracks near the warehouses, and the warehouses near the infirmaries and other workshops, is a separate big puzzle. Here, the game is quite unique. You especially start to feel this uniqueness when you get used to the local menus, knobs, and the quick transfer of workers from the mine to the lumberyard and back. Survived the first night? Wonderful, here we have meteorologists reporting another critical cold snap.

Desolate landscape in the icy wasteland

In regular economic strategies, various droughts and other natural challenges play the role of a kind of spice, while Frostpunk casually changes bad weather to very bad weather, then rolls back to a state somewhere between the first and second for five minutes, only to drop the thermometer to its lowest point in ten. One crisis replaces another, people get sick, fuel runs out, the king-stove breaks down, and those settlers who have not yet departed to the other world begin to revolt. Fun!

Change of scenery

You look at what can fix human suffering and plug the hole in the bourgeoisie’s coal supply, and then you remember about the setting. If you were playing some kind of trading tycoon game, you would be deciding whether to send a caravan to the village of Petino or the hamlet of Dobry, but here we have a question – whether to create a cemetery in the new place or just leave the bodies in the snow. And in order to cheer up the working class, you’re not building a park, but an arena for night fist fights.

Moreover, every first, ahem, diplomatic choice is vividly illustrated by a lovely picture of future polar life. Because, you see, behind the statistics of “minus five to satisfaction” and “plus ten to mortality,” a hardened veteran of digital apocalypses can easily hide from the moral burden of a decree about a 20-hour workday. That won’t do.

Here the developers are unquestionably talented. All the menus, screens, and other Frostpunk visuals are very well done.

Ethical dilemmas in a frigid survival world

Frozen Victorian England – a setting for enthusiasts, of course. Personally, I prefer it when old, capital districts decay and collapse into Hell, rather than when you build new depressing industrial districts in the North Pole, Vampyr Truth be told, economic strategies never spoil us with unusual worlds. Build an amusement park. Build a city in a meadow. Build your own floor in an office building and do whatever you want there. Build a Viking village or die.

Our strategy is to stay away from these clichés, for which it deserves a big thank you. However, Frostpunk couldn’t stray too far from the clichéd game mechanics. Well, maybe for many, this kind of entertainment is exactly what they need, for the gameplay to be classic but with a new twist.

11 bit studios
11 bit studios
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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