Frostpunk Review

Frostpunk, developed by 11 Bit Stuios, is a survival game set in a completely frozen world, and you are the leader of the last city on Earth. Can you keep your citizens alive in this steampunk tundra?

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Survival is the top goal, and in order to survive, you have to find resources, develop new technologies, have food and shelter for everyone, and not freeze to death. So you are certainly a very busy leader trying to keep all of those in check. Those basics make perfectly logical sense for the game and really make it very immersive to play.

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You also need to balance the cities hope and discontent with the situation and your leadership. And as the leader, you have many choices to make and have to weigh the benefits and costs intelligently to not doom you all. One task you have is enacting laws through The Book of Laws. Certain laws have their benefits but also their risks. And certain paths will lead your city in a certain direction, like faith-based focuses. This all reminds me of choosing focuses in Sid Meier’s Civilization games.

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The ebb and flow of hope and discontent are where most of the challenge in the game comes from, especially when your discontent skyrockets and you have to get it back in check. I had many instances when playing wondering how I had not failed yet when I was at zero hope or insanely high discontent, but I like the challenge of basically seeing your failure but you have a chance still and that makes you keep playing.

Frostpunk is not forgiving. The more days your city exists, the colder it gets so the harder it is to keep warm enough to survive which then leads to needing more resources and the challenge continues.

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One issue I had with the game was having certain notifications show on a building and having no detail beyond the simple message. This happened a lot with storage space full notifications, but my overall storage was not. I ended up having to leave the game to Google it, which is not ideal.

I did get sucked into this game when I started playing to the point of losing track of time, which is impressive as that is not an easy feat. It is challenging, has a ton of strategy, and many options to explore depending on your play style. And the steampunk frozen tundra setting is really interesting to me since I do have a penchant for dystopias. If you enjoy the Civilization games you will really enjoy Frostpunk.

Frostpunk is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.

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