The original version of Frotfunk was released in April 2018, developed by 11 Bits Studio. After launch, the content of the game had required the age rating to change to 16+ by the video game ratings board PEGI.
The setting of this game is very simple: Set in the future, a cold wave will sweep the world, and humans will have to leave London and other cities as they are forced to live in the ice and snow around the heating energy tower. In the initial stages of the game, all resources are limited. As a leader of the people, players must find ways to obtain as many survival resources as coal, wood, steel and food, with building more developed buildings to ensure that people continue to survive in extreme environments being the highest priority.
Players in the game are the leaders of this large group of refugees. In order to keep everyone alive, they must build an incredibly big city that can be heated to ensure the survival of the most people possible. By assigning people of different professions to perform different tasks, the entire city can be operated even by a few select people. By combining multiple classes the efficiency of operating the city is maximised allowing this group of people to survive this harsh world.
In the process of survival, players have to face many choices. Since the game time is set to be limited, the climate temperature will drop by a large amount after a period of time. When this happens the heating systems fail causing many workers to die of frostbite. R&D requires players to focus on upgrading scientific and technological points. However, if you invest too much in scientific and technological research and development, it will lead to a shortage of basic materials, such as food, charcoal, wood, and metal that people rely on. Once the basic resources are exhausted, the entire city’s heating equipment will fail.
At the same time, players can also use their authority as the leader to force workers to work overtime and to get through the difficult times. However, such a decision will lead to dissatisfaction among the masses and the death of a large number of workers. You must make sure you are happy with whichever decision you make as they are permanent.
There are plenty of choices which can be made based on the severity of the situation. Sometimes you may have to be strict in order to survive.
An example of this is the policy for child labour. After signing, child labor can be hired, allowing children to begin digging coal mines in the ice and snow, or working in the kitchen. In the absence of labor, if you want to maintain the normal operation of society, you have to make this choice. Otherwise, more people will die due to severe cold or lack of food.
Whatever policy you sign is a permanent choice, meaning any decision you make will involve sacrifice. The leader must pay a long-term price for each of his actions. Therefore, players must be cautious when choosing a certain bill and keep their eyes on the long-term objective, otherwise things could be more difficult in the late game. Decide and deal with the consequences.
The storyline to Frostpunk is simple but effective. As the game progresses, reaching this objective becomes more and more important. In the mid stages of the game, players can build a tower which includes having a Hot Air Balloon which he can send a scout team to the surrounding cities to search for supplies and find any remaining survivors. Or, sometimes you will encounter some random events.
In the main chapter "New Home", players will encounter an event. With nearby cities confirmed to have been annihilated, the people's expectations for survival dropping due to lack of trust in their ruler and a new London Gang appearing. This gang called on the people to abandon the new city around the energy tower and return to London. The task of the ruler is to restore the confidence of the people.
At this time, the game has entered it’s later stages. Players can now choose to operate two completely different ideologies:
One is a mild belief program. The ruler can build churches, so that the people can hold evening assemblies, pray, and distribute the food in the storeroom to the masses; the other is to establish a monitoring system. After opening this route, players can build prisons, watch towers, establish a police and whistleblower system, severely punish those who have a negative impact on society, and build broadcast stations to promote publicity, so that the people will always be full of hope.
Frostpunk is not just a strategy game, but also a story about human survival under extreme apocalyptic weather, and a way for players to experience building a city. There are some prices that leaders must pay. No one is perfect, and there is no way to be perfect. Many times we must understand the choice we make and learn to deal with the overall situation. For success to be had in this cruel world, sacrifices are inevitable. The sacrifices you make however are within your control, for better or for worse. Players will choose their answers for themselves but there is no doubt that Frostpunk is the perfect game to simulate these decisions.