In a not-too-distant future, Frostpunk casts you as the ruler of humanity’s last stronghold amidst an icy apocalypse. Crafted by 11 bit studios, this gripping city-building survival game challenges players to navigate the delicate balance between citizen welfare and infrastructural demands. As stewards of this dystopian society, we, at Player Opinion, grapple with moral dilemmas, such as sending children into the depths of coal mines for societal advancement. Step into Frostpunk’s chilling world and confront the complexities of leadership and morality firsthand.


Frostpunk Game Review


Gameplay Experience: 15/25

Initially, gameplay in Frostpunk is undeniably engaging and rewarding, with intuitive controls—a big positive for a city builder—alongside clear tooltips that facilitate an easy learning curve. Players are then drawn into the complexities of survival within this icy world. However, the game’s balance falters, resulting in a somewhat linear experience where choices feel unduly constrained and victory paths frustratingly narrow. At Player Opinion, we found the lack of freedom stifling, as the game’s mechanics often push us towards predetermined outcomes rather than fostering diverse strategies. Instead of molding unique wasteland cities, players are often railroaded into conforming to the developer’s vision for success in each scenario, leading to an unsatisfying experience in terms of advancement within the game.

Presentation & Immersion: 19/25

11 bit studios does a wonderful job presenting a haunting setting—a snow-filled wasteland, where the struggle for survival feels real. The game’s HUD seamlessly integrates with its setting and art, blending functionality with aesthetic beauty. As players navigate the challenges of plummeting temperatures, civil unrest, and controlling their population through any means necessary. They are compelled to make harder and more questionable moral choices throughout the game—fun! The sorrowful and moody music, coupled with the sounds of industrial work and civil uprisings, creates a deeply immersive atmosphere. Moreover, the dark and steampunk-esque visual art style sets the mood, conveying the weight of the struggle to survive. It stands as one of Frostpunk’s most crucial aspects, brilliantly enhancing the overall experience.

Design & Technical: 13/25

On the technical side, Frostpunk offers players a decent level of customization in its game settings. Its AI system, if it indeed has one, operates more like a balance scale, where player decisions affect various aspects such as resource consumption, civil unrest, and faction relationships. This ultimately influences the scenario’s difficulty. However, this approach somewhat detracts from the dynamic challenges typically associated with strategy games. In our view, this hinders the overall content and game design. A more diverse approach would have been preferable to maintain engagement and variety. Despite the engaging mechanics of city-building, the execution, when coupled with the AI, unfortunately leads to a repetitive gameplay experience. Each scenario then feeling eerily similar to the last. On a positive note, we encountered no game bugs or crashes.

The Skinny About Frostpunk

Final Considerations: 12/25

The problem with Frostpunk is that it doesn’t feel like the game is teaching you something. Instead, it is punishing you for your lack of knowledge and mechanics. Much like navigating a Super Mario level, players should be guided through progression, tested on acquired knowledge, and given opportunities to practice various strategies. Despite its lack of microtransactions, which is always a positive sign, the deficiency in guiding players leads to frustration rather than satisfaction. At Player Opinion, we hope that with the release of Frostpunk 2, improvements will address these concerns. However, as it stands, Frostpunk leaves much to be desired, impacting overall fulfillment and skewing the cost-to-play and replay value ratios. It may be worth revisiting the series once the sequel is available and any potential enhancements have been implemented.

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