Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Should you get it?: If you like city building games and Dark Souls, this is right up your alley
Seriously, this game is harsh and unforgiving, like an endless winter would be. This game is unlike any other city builder I've played before so it's a bit difficult to compare it. Its the late 1800s and the world has jumped ahead with certain tech. Zeplins rule the skies (of course they do) and giant automatons do all the work for humanity. Life is good. That is until the entire planet decides to have an intense and sudden ice-age. Civilization quickly begins to deteriorate. A brave few decide to try and find out why this is happening and venture North with giant coal generators. You find a spot in what seems to be a crater to help protect from the harsh winds and the game begins.
Right off the bat, this game paints a bleak picture of what your experience with it is going to be like. As captain of the city, you can enact laws every day or so that determine certain workings of the new city. These will either raise or decrease the two main stats you have to worry about which are hope and discontent. For example, You should decide early on what to do with children. You can either send them to daycare so they're not running around all day or put them to work. The former option raises hope, keeps the kids safe, but you have to spend a big chunk of resources to build the school and make sure its kept warm. Put them to work and your workforce is increased by a fair amount, however, hope is decreased and children are very prone to injury.
Speaking of the cold, this game makes you want a blanket. When the game starts its -20 degrees Celsius (-4F). After just 3 days the temp drops to -40C and makes life pretty difficult. You have to manage coal, wood, steel, and food on top of keeping everyone relatively warm. Early on you can unlock expeditions that send explorers out into the winter landscape to find resources and survivors from other convoys that left London. This is where the game gets very unforgiving very quickly. After a certain mission, a story event happens that sends your whole city into despair and lose all hope and you have to either enact a martial law or religious doctrine to keep the city in check. You only have a few days to get your hope back up a bit or else you can banish from the city and its game over. Oh, and the temp drops to -40C permanently and has a 3 day period where it drops to -60C(-76F). Good luck with that.
Frostpunk is punishing from start to end and always seems to get worse and worse but its done beautifully. The mechanics are solid, the graphics are eerie and gorgeous, the sound fits perfectly and the overall atmosphere sucks you right in. You try so hard to make the right decisions to ensure everyone's survival. Sometimes you get it right and everyone is relatively content. Others you wake up one morning and everyone in the city is dead. At least there are no zombies.