Frostpunk is the first society survival game. As the ruler of the last city on Earth, it is your duty to manage both its citizens and infrastructure. What decisions will you make to ensure your society’s survival? What will you do when pushed to breaking point? Who will you become in the process?
Developer: 11 bit studios
Platforms: Steam, GoG, Epic, Microsoft (XBox & PC), PS4
Links: Website, Discord
Modes: Single player
Release Date: Apr 24, 2018
Status: Full Release
- You face the task of building the last city on Earth and securing the means necessary for your community to survive. Decide on their working routine, healthcare, food provision and other crucial aspects of everyday life. Maintain their hope and contentment – the moral condition of your society is as important as securing the basic means to keep them fed and safe. Optimization and resource management often clash with empathy and thoughtful decision-making.
- Establish laws that regulate the existence of your growing society.
- Explore the Frostland. Expeditions, while risky, can bring you valuable intel, precious supplies and grow your society’s population.
- Develop impactful technologies, weigh your choices, and shape your society.
In Frostpunk the typical survival aspects of food/water/shelter have expanded to include a multitude of folks in your care. From the start you're forced to balance a finite amount of resources with the safety and health of your people, to think steps ahead of the choices currently in front of you. Additionally you're forced to make impactful decisions based on morality: to follow your personal compass on right vs might and the role of religion, to examine the depths of despair necessary for survival.
A few years ago, I snagged Frostpunk on sale. I wanted to dip my toe into the subgenre- take another crack at the society & civilization game niche. My wife is a massive fan of games like Civilization or Anno. Especially Anno - she can blow an entire day there. And while it's caught my eye dozens of times- I love all the little details and management systems- it's honestly just over my fucking head in scope. Frostpunk, while open to complexity & strategy, functions at a more straightforward scale.
From my perspective - that of a primarily first person survival game player- it checks many of the boxes that are the foundation of a pure survival game.There's no hand holding, it's gritty, decisions are impactful, and death - in this case the permadeath of wiping your city- is just a choice or two away. The society survival aspect applies with the inclusion of a factor that I never really have to balance in my typical gameplay- morality, specifically in the choices you make/paths you take and how it impacts your people. (There's never a need for a moral compass, or repercussions, in my multiplayer survival games. It's always viable to feed my sister to the shambling hordes, and she can't really retaliate when she's been disposed of!)
I find it incredibly easy to sit to play the game for "just a minute" and resurface hours later- or when I wipe, which sometimes happens quite fast. Overall I enjoyed the game and had no issue with any aspect. The UI is straightforward and quickly figured out, and the guide/tips that pop up are informative and carry me forward when uncertain how to implement or take advantage of mechanics. While I sometimes felt that there could be more/a better selection of choices to take in terms of specific scenarios, it never lessened the game or experience. I found the visuals and game music to be stunning, an absolute cornerstone to the immersion aspect of the gameplay.
Frostpunk is available on almost every platform known to mankind and currently consists of the main game and 3 DLC campaigns. The campaigns can be acquired in a season pass or purchased separately if you only want one. It's frequently on sale and worth the snag. Frostpunk 2, announced back in August of 2021, is planned to advance the foundations of gameplay & conflict laid down by the initial game.
- 3/12/23- Changelog added.