Frostpunk - PC Review

A deeply grounded survival experience with humanity, hard decisions, and consequences at the core.

  • System: PC
  • Publisher: 11 bit studios
  • Developer: 11 bit studios
  • Release Date: April 24, 2018
  • Pricing:$29.99
  • Rating: M for Mature
  • Genre: Simulation, Strategy
  • Players: 1
  • Official Website:
Specs (Minimum)
Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: Windows 7/8/10 64-bi
Processor: 3.2 GHz Dual Core Processor
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: GeForce GTX 660, Radeon R7 370 or equivalent with 2 GB of video RAM
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 8 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX compatible
Additional Notes: Please make sure that you have the latest VC package installed, and - if you're using Windows 7 or 8 - that you have the KB4019990 update applied.

Who it Caters to

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Human civilization is on its last dying breath and it's up to you, the leader of the last city on Earth, to ensure the survival of the species. The coldest winter has stripped your people of everything but the last shreds of their humanity. You must cultivate trust, purpose, civility, and, above all else, hope. Hope is what will keep people warm when the fires have burnt out and their hands are shivering in the dark. Hope is what fills their dreams when they go to bed on empty stomachs. Without it, all is lost and there will be no one left to even record that there was once lived a society that prospered under the warm rays of the sun. You may not feel like a hero. But, you'll have to make the citizens believe that you can do the impossible if you are to survive. This is the world of Frostpunk.

Frostpunk is a strategy, simulation game deeply grounded in humanity. 11 bit studios, the creators of This War of Mine, Anomaly, and other indie favorites brings to you this chilling survival game of choices, consequences, and humanity's enduring fight against the cold. Even though this Polish video game studio has only been around eight years, they've managed to find success after success. This World of Mine was their biggest title to date.

What to Expect

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In this frozen world, you'll need to establish an infrastructure and restore order to the people if you're ever going to get them t cooperate with your plans for survival. Steam-powered machines, a coal-fueled generator, and remnants of old automated machines are the only technology available to your people. These few tools coupled with resource management are how you'll create warmth, food, and shelter for all.

Expect to create laws that the people will struggle to accept. Expect to seriously consider whether children should join the workforce. Perhaps killing off a tenth of the population is better than having amputees with no treatment suffering in the medical posts. Every choice you make has consequences for the few survivors that remain. There's never a "right" choice. There's only survival or death. You must find the fortitude to lead the people into a better future. Not everyone can handle that burden. But, If you're up to the challenge, then Frostpunk is waiting for you.

FROSTPUNK | Debut Gameplay Trailer - “Heartbeats”


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Nobody truly understands what caused this drastic change in climate. Scientists believe that perhaps the eruptions of Mount Tambora and Krakatoa played a role it. However, those alone could not have caused such a shift in weather. With no clear choice, the last survivors of this deathly cold decided to leave England and head north. Crossing an icy sea and enduring bone-chilling winds, they eventually made it to a crater-like area with a coal-burning generator. They knew that this was the only place where they stood a chance of survival.

However, not everyone successfully arrived at the bastion of hope. Many people died along the way. Still others were separated from the main expedition in the blinding blizzard. Not only is it up to you, the leader, to ensure the survival of the those following you. You also must send out scouts and search for any survivors that you can possibly save. Fight the cold, fire up the generator, and rebuild society from the ground up. You're the only one who can.


The first thing that you'll notice when firing up Frostpunk is that this game does its damnedest to show a very grounded narrative filled with difficult choices and sacrifices. From the opening sequence to short cutscenes throughout major accomplishments and discoveries, all the way to the very end of the game you feel immersed and totally engaged with the survivors. We are blown away by how much emotion and sense of gravity were injected into this game. Even though this game is a survival simulator at its core, it never loses focus on the true essence that ties everything together, the people.

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We prefer to break down this game into four different sections that are easy to digest. First off, there's the overview of the last city. This is where you gander at all of your buildings, citizens, resources, weather, people's concerns, and other notable interactions. Make use of the thermal view of the town as well. Heat signatures are invaluable information that will show you the buildings that need more heat. On the flip side, you might discover that recent improvements in heating may allow you to cut back on coal consumption from the central generator. Keep a close eye on the town when temperatures drop drastically for days at a time. You'll know when this change in weather is coming if you keep an eye on the gauge that shows the date and weather forecast. This main screen is where you're going to spend most of your time because it contains the most information and has the most features for you to monitor. Get familiar and comfortable with it.

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Second, there's The Book of Laws. There's a myriad of options on this screen that dictate how you'll handle societal needs and workforce decisions. For instance, you can choose to construct a cemetery for the fallen citizens. This will raise hope since people can bury their loved ones with a proper funeral and farewell. However, this means that people will periodically be away from work for several hours while they mourn the loss of family or a loved one. Another option is offering to extend the workday by a few hours, or even forcing people to work a 24-hour shift in drastic circumstances (and these will invariably arise). Of course, some people will hate you for forcing them to work in the cold even longer and adding additional stress to their already depressing life. But, if it means they'll have a warm place to sleep or food to eat for the new few days... it could be a worthwhile tradeoff. The Book of Laws is deep in its complexity and expansive in its branching structure. Read everything carefully before implementing a new law.

Third, there's the Technology Tree. This is the menu where you'll decide what your engineers are going to research or develop to ensure your people survive. This menu is further broken down into four tabs: heating; exploration & industry; resources; and food, health & shelter. This is where you'll discover more efficient methods for resource harvesting, heating the buildings throughout your city, basic needs for the people, and creating scouting parties to find missing people from the original expedition. There are different tiers of the Technology Tree. They unlock once you've completed researched all aspects of the previous tier. This is the second most important menu in the game, after the overworld view of the Last City.

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Fourth, is what we refer to as the "Exploration" screen. It doesn't have a proper name, but this is where you'll see an overview of the area outside of the city. You'll be given access to this menu once you've researched and constructed the Beacon. From this screen you can send scout teams to scour the area for remnants of towns, rescue people who are freezing in inadequate shelters, retrieve resources for your consumption, and possibly recover technology that was thought to have been lost to humanity. Figuring out how to best make use of the path your scouts take is very important. You don't want them to constantly return to the town when they pick up resources because that impedes on their ability to discover even greater riches. But, if they're away too long your town may suffer from not having enough people in the workforce or enough coal to keep the generator alive. Trial and error are how we learn, but there are definitely more proficient means that you should use.
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A lot of the fun, for us anyways, of simulation games, is learning how to master features of the game through experience. We don't want to take that away from you, but we would like to offer a bit of advice that helped us out. Resource management and advancing your current technology are key, as in all strategy/simulation games. But, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the people you're in charge of are your greatest resource. Everyone is susceptible to illness if they are forced to work in cold factories, but they'll also get sick if you force them to work too many hours. Make sure that all of the different houses and workplaces are warm enough so that your employees/citizens do not get ill. Because as soon as they start getting sick your economy stagnates, resources deplete, hope falls, and it’s almost irreversible.

You definitely need to build multiple workshops as soon as possible. Workshops are where your engineers spend their entire workday researching more efficient production methods and constructing devices that will allow you to harvest the resources surrounding the central generator. It's important that you get ahead of the current needs of your people. Develop efficient methods for collecting resources, and you'll never bottleneck your production. The worst that could happen is that you run out of coal for the generator, or run out of food to feed everyone. Don't let that happen! Invest in workshops early and they'll pay themselves in a matter of days (in game time).

You also need to have your beacon set up so that you can make a scout team as soon as possible. The scout team allows you to pick up resources from outside of your current city. You also gain access to more citizens to do their share of the work plus an "automaton" that can do the work of an entire workforce. For instance, you could have 15 people working in coal thumper producing a set amount of coal per day. Or you can replace all fifteen employees with one automaton that does about the same amount of work, takes 2 breaks per day, and works 24 hours. These things are godsends that should be taken advantage of immediately upon discovery.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

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The game is one of the most enjoyable simulation/strategy games that we've ever played. The mechanics of the game are simple, the artwork of the game is beautiful, the sounds, voice-overs, and music are gripping, and there’s actually a story tied to the whole survival element of this game. Where other simulation games are tedious or frustrating, Frostpunk's gameplay is seamless, engrossing, addictive, and refreshing. We didn't even mention the fact that there are several unlockable story arcs. You gain access to these if you survive a certain amount of days in the Last City. While they're not full-blown stories that are completely different from the struggles of the Last City, it's nice to see that 11 bit studios put some effort towards creating an experience of establishing a civilization that's slightly different each playthrough.

We're not the only ones that love this game, either. A few days after this game's official release, 11 bit studios tweeted this out, "#Frostpunk sold 250k units in the first 66 hours!" It's awesome to see that an indie studio is receiving recognition for their hard work and the most enjoyable game that they've released thus far.

Honey's Pros:

  • A gripping experience
  • Simple, yet deep features
  • Unique graphics, sound, and atmosphere

Honey's Cons:

  • Lack of animated cutscenes

Honey's Final Verdict:

We stand by our statement that this is the most enjoyable simulation/strategy game that we've reviewed on this site. Replayability is high, so we'll be coming back to this game for weeks to come. We look forward to the expansions that 11 bit studios promised as well. Frostpunk wholeheartedly deserves all the praise it's been receiving. We cannot recommend this enough to fans of the strategy/simulation genre. You've got to try this!

Let us know what you think of this game in the comments below or tweet at us @honeysanimeEN. As always, we appreciate you taking the time to read our thoughts on this game. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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Author: Javier Garcia

Hey guys! I'm a huge fan of anime and video games. I used to be a competitive fighting game player (search my name in YouTube). So, I guess it was natural for me to make my way over here to Japan. I teach English, write anime articles, and put together videos when I have time. I hope you enjoy the content we've created for you here at Honey's Anime!

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