Experience the cold, heartbreaking death of the human race from the comfort of your own home. In this quick breakdown, we’re going to take a look at Frostpunk, the board game adaptation of the hit video game by 11 Bit Studios, faithfully adapted by Glass Cannon Unplugged.
As fans of the video game, we backed Frostpunk on Kickstarter, and it’s getting an extremely limited print run. So we strongly recommend that if this game speaks to you, and the points we make here make you want the game, snap it up if you can find a copy! It won’t be around for long unless they decide on a second printing As always, we recommend hitting your local game store to see if they got some copies in, as well as checking our affiliate partner, Zatu games.
How easy is it to learn and play Frostpunk?
Frostpunk is, as you might expect if you’ve played the video game, an extremely difficult game of survival, resource management, and tough moral decision making. Do you keep the children safe, or make use of their tiny hands for the survival of all? Do you regulate prostitution and gambling, ignore the problem, or ban them outright? Every decision has consequences down the line that may help you to survive, or hinder you at the worst possible moment.
Frostpunk is challenging and hard-hitting, and while we wouldn’t recommend it to families with young children, for gamers looking for a challenge, Frostpunk really hits the mark. The game is fully playable solo, and playing multiplayer essentially divides up the many tasks and dials between players to make it easier to track and manage everything. Normally, I would call that a bad thing, but Frostpunk’s rules are written in such a masterful way that it actually adds to the experience, both reducing the difficulty and increasing the complexity by making each decision you make a discussion between the council running your settlement.
What’s even more impressive, is that once you’ve learned to play, the core gameplay loop is surprisingly easy and intuitive to execute, and you’ll quickly find yourself flying through the clunky mechanical bits of the game and focusing on the good stuff.
How much does Frostpunk cost? Is it worth it the price?
Frostpunk is not cheap, coming in at an RRP of £99.99, or currently £75.99 via our affiliate partner, Zatu games.
Games of Frostpunk take the form of different scenarios, but scenarios are not entirely linear due to the nature of the game and the impact of decisions. You’ll spend tens of hours just to get through all the scenarios, and all the scenarios we’ve tried so far are inherently replayable, and won’t become stale after a single sitting. All that adds up to Frostpunk absolutely being worth its steep price tag, so long as you’re willing to put in the time to beat its challenging difficulty.
Our only real complaint is that it’s honestly such a faithful adaptation of the video game that if you’re purely playing solo, you might as well just… go and play Frostpunk or Frostpunk II. But that’s not entirely a bad thing – it means that the board game has a ton of depth to really get your teeth into that would normally be glossed over or automated by a video game.
What games are similar to Frostpunk? Who might enjoy it?
- If you enjoy being depressed, then This War of Mine is another video game adaptation from the same creators that hits very similar notes in terms of making awful moral decisions that typically result in the deaths of children.
- The iconic Dead of Winter combines a lot of the elements of Frostpunk – tough moral choices and freezing to death being chief among them.
- Not so into the post-apocalyptic freezing-to-death thing? Crossroads: Forgotten Waters is another game from the creators of Dead of Winter that takes the same Crossroads system of choices and consequences, and turns it into a fun pirate RPG!