11 bit studios is widely known for its survival simulator in the war-torn city of This War of Mine, but I remembered it from Anomaly: Warzone Earth, a curious “tower defense on the contrary.” The studio’s portfolio is quite diverse, but there are fears that the audience will expect the same from Frostpunk as this War of Mine – and will be disappointed.
Not that Frostpunk itself did not give similar signals. She, in the end, is also about survival and about taking heavy and morally ambiguous decisions: you want to stay alive, and you’ll make the children work! Every inhabitant has a name, a portrait, and a family, and it seems that you should take care of him, empathize with him in the hours of failures and trials – but no. Frostpunk does not go further than this.
In fact, all the townspeople are interchangeable units, identical in the class of “worker”, “engineer” and “child”.
Classes are needed to understand in which buildings anyone can work.
By default, children are nowhere, but you can, without particularly brutalizing, adopt a law that forces them to work in non-hazardous and non-dusty jobs .
For example, cooking food or picking scrap (and then, of course, you can send them to the mine, if necessary).
Hunting only go laborers, and only qualified engineers are able to treat people and develop new technologies. Most of the cases, such as mining of resources or law enforcement, are available to all adults.
The needs of the inhabitants of the city are very clear: they need shelter, food (grown in greenhouses or brought by hunters, with it usually a minimum of problems), heat and health.
And the health problems arise just because of the lack of heat: the overcooled will spend several days not working.
But being in treatment (or waiting for treatment) – and if you frostbite very much.
You can lose your hand, permanently disabled and a burden to all . So the most important thing is warmth – both at home and in the workplace.
For the heating meets the giant generator in the city center. It must be constantly heated with coal, and any upgrades to its productivity (radius and heating force) will lead to a significant increase in its gluttony.
This is the main, but still only one of many aspects of city management in Frostpunk, in which you must constantly find compromises.
Perhaps you should not strive for a comfortable temperature in every home;
Perhaps someone will get over an unpleasant but tolerable coolness in the workplace. Otherwise, the coal reserves will come to an end, and then everything will freeze.
And the whole Frostpunk – about this. About the constant shortage of something. On the growing number of problems. About despair – both in your city and outside it. About what compromises with conscience will have to go so that your city survives. Will you dilute people’s food with sawdust, if only they were full?
Will you sacrifice seriously sick people so that others can recover faster? When panic begins in the city, will you choose autocracy or theocracy – and how radical will your power eventually become?
The second important difference between Frostpunk and most town planning strategies is that its essence is not at all in a relaxed creativity on the topic “how do I see my city”.
But in a highly eventful and scripted story campaign.
There are three of them in the game: the main one is about building a city and surviving in terrible weather conditions.
The second one is about scientists trying to keep seeds of plants in the “ark”.
In the hope that they will some day come in handy.
In this scenario it is necessary to keep warm four buildings far removed from the main generator.
These three scenarios are very interesting and diverse, but they limit Frostpunk: nothing else is there. Some reason to return gives the Achievement.
But in general, there is not much variation here – having spent Frostpunk for a dozen hours.
You will most likely see everything that is in it (at least until the developers add the promised new campaigns).
But this watch will be much more intense and exciting than in any other similar strategy.