independent

Monday 20 August 2018

Curious mix of gameplay mechanics working well

Frostpunk, PC, 9/10

Frostpunk is unlike many of the titles that share its genre in that it is indeed genuinely gripping
Frostpunk is unlike many of the titles that share its genre in that it is indeed genuinely gripping

Chris Hayes - Game Review

Few strategy/city building games have ever been described as "gripping", or "powerful". This is not necessarily a bad thing, either. For it is generally the nature of these games to provide a measured, almost prosaic gaming experience that affords gamers the chance between turns to inspect every facet of the playing field before making decisions that could have potentially disastrous consequences later on in the game.

Frostpunk is unlike many of the titles that share its genre in that it is indeed genuinely gripping, combining a handful of mechanics picked from other games that loosely occupy the strategy and city-building genres.

Frostpunk kicks off with a moving cutscene detailing the plight of the British people in the late 1800's after a wave of permanent sub-zero temperatures washes over the country, devastating society in the process.

The few souls left alive must band together and seek out a heat-providing generator - humanity's last gasp at survival. This generator will form the central hub of your gameplay, providing both power and heat to your embattled population. The early gameplay will focus mainly on building around this generator in concentric circles, raising buildings to house your citizens and paltry workforce.

As the leader of the last city known to man, you must send your people out to gather supplies in order to progress your city to the point where it can weather the impending storm and the lethal temperatures it will bring.

Logistics and city-building are not the only facets of gameplay that will demand your attention. A not-insignificant portion of the gameplay is dedicated to crafting the "Book of Laws", a compendium of edicts that will dictate the running of your society.

More often than not, this task will present to you interesting moral dilemmas that will have far-reaching consequences for your game. Will you press children into labour? Will you use corpses as fertilizer? Frostpunk presents these problems in such a way as to prompt genuine cognitive dissonance in the mind of the player.

Aesthetically, Frostpunk is true to its name. Between the mountainous blue and white bluffs of snow live fantastical contraptions that are anchored in a figmental past, while still decidedly futuristic in appearance. Frostpunk is a curious mix of gameplay mechanics that work near-flawlessly together. An immediate recommendation.

Wexford People

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