Frostpunk

Icon - Calendar Released: 24 Apr 2018
Icon - Edited Reviewed: 29 Apr 2022
Platform: PC

Frostpunk

Frostpunk is a very difficult survival city builder. You may be used to peacefully building a pretty town and managing resources, but this really takes it to the extreme. The earth has frozen over, and you've travelled to one of the generators that was set up in advance for this catastophe to last as long as you can. It's not a relaxing game, but it does really make you think. It's got an overworld where you can explore, send out scout parties and set up outputs, a research tree, and very demanding citizens. With striking visuals, a really clean UI and meaningful story choices, Frostpunk is certainly going to stick in the memory - even if you don't manage to finish it.

Pros

  • The visuals are really cool
  • Lots of attention to detail - people walk to their jobs through mounds of snow and create little paths
  • The UI is really clean. My only gripe here is trying to find specific buildings - lots of them look similar, especially in the snow and dark, so it can be hard to find what you're looking for
  • Fantastic atmosphere
  • Actually hard choices for research and laws. Not just "10% faster healthcare", but things like "gain the ability to instantly heal half your patients, but 1/4 of them die immediately"
  • A radial grid design helps to focus around the generator, and is a nice break from the square grids in most games
  • You can send scouts out onto the overworld map to discover locations and resources, and outpost teams to set up regular resource runs
  • You can build automatons - giant walking machines who can work 24/7
  • You can pass laws which determine the course of the game, and how your citizens feel and work

Cons

  • It's really hard. Generally, there's two kinds of hard in games like this in my opinion. 1, hard that you can adapt to, change strategy on the fly and learn while playing. 2, which is what Frostpunk is - either you've done things correctly from the start and you're fine, or you didn't, and you're going to die because it's too late. This means you have to start again. Unforunately that second kind of difficulty makes it frustrating, and the replay value very low - there's one way to do things, and the only way to fix your mistakes is to play the game again, until you play it correctly.
  • When you're faced with a request, like providing shelter for "some people" or "all people", the game hides your resources so you can't tell whether you'll be able to fulfill that promise
  • No replay value, unless you buy DLCs
  • It's difficult to tell buildings apart. If I want to find something specific, it takes ages to find it
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