We just love when we encounter a promising indie release and Frostpunk has all the elements of being a fantastic game. The Polish developing team, 11 Bit Studios, has already released one indie gem – This War of Mine, in which you had to survive during the war. They are now taking it one step further and creating a city-building survival simulation called Frostpunk.
Can the Humanity Survive the Next Ice Age? It’s Up to You!
If you consider the climate change, it’s hard to say how far from reality the plot of the game is. It does take place in an alternate history in which in the 19th century an ice age encompassed our planet. The only way for the humankind to survive is to gather around heat generators powered by steam and develop societies close to them.
Just a little portion of humans managed to find their way to the power generator. You will assume the role of the leader of one of the surviving groups that managed to find a power source near Victorian London. Unlike This War of Mine which focuses on individuals, you now have to take care of the entire society.
City-Building Simulation with a Twist
Your goal in Frostpunk is to construct buildings and other structures to keep your city going, but your primary focus is on keeping your group alive and happy. There are two indicators of their happiness – hope, and discomfort. You need to watch both of these meters shown at the bottom part of your monitor. If they ran out of faith or their discontent goes through the roof, they will overthrow you, and the game will finish.
That’s the main twist that the 11 Bit’s release offers. You are not untouchable, but your citizens can easily overthrow or kill you. Don’t expect the task of surviving to be comfortable. In fact, the only a couple of people during the entire event where we got to see the game in action managed to get to the end of the demo.
What Do the Developers Say?
If you played TWOM, you know that the Polish studio likes to make their games difficult. Blazej Zywiczynski, the senior producer at the 11 Bit, spoke about where they found the inspiration for the game and whether they made it too hard.
“We believed that the end of the 19th century is a lot similar to what you can see on the news today. The societies are changing, the industrial revolution, as well as various political concepts – it’s the ideal parallel. London was one of the most significant cities during that era, which is why we chose it for Frostpunk,” said Zywiczynski.
The Gaming Experience
Survival is an uphill battle from the start, and that’s something you need to keep in mind when you start playing FP. You will gather your group by the generator and order them to work in the surrounding areas. That will gather resources such as wood, steel, or coal. Most of your focus, at least at the beginning, will be on how to provide shelter and food for your society.
There is a complicated in-game story that may make you think on several occasions. Just like in an RPG, you will have primary objectives along with side missions. The latter can play a considerable role in keeping your people happy and ensuring that you can continue developing your society. I got to play for about an hour, and I completed eight in-game days. The developers from 11 Bit Studios stated that the whole story can be finished in about 50 days, which means that there are at least 10 hours of active play waiting. However, the replay value will be increased with additional scenarios, as well as the option to change the conditions when you start a new game.
It’s Like Nothing You Have Ever Seen Before
Frostpunk is yet another game from the 11 Bit Studios that offers an innovative concept. It places the player in the position of power, but it also takes away as much of the godlike feeling as possible.
“We like doing experimental and new things, and we believe that this area is largely underrepresented in the gaming industry. Our focus is to try and fill those blanks,” said Zywiczynski. This statment convinces me that Frostpunk will be on par with This War Of Mine, which is a real masterpiece.
Unfortunately, the release date of Frostpunk hasn’t yet been announced. We talked with the developers, and they told us that they would like to launch the game before the year ends. In the meantime, you can keep up with all the news regarding the release on the official page on Steam.