11 Bit Studios’ upcoming survival strategy game, Frostpunk, is a unique mixture of city management, social diplomacy, and survival simulation. The game centers around desperately trying to keep the few human survivors you have alive, all while scavenging for food and attempting to find ways to keep everyone warm while heat supplies dwindle, and resources run scarce.
If the game sounds like a real head trip that’s because it is. A new 15 minute demo was published recently over on Guides Gamepressure channel, showcasing some of the real-time strategy mechanics and terraforming tools.
The video starts by showcasing the generator in the center of the map. Players are then able to build out from there. The generator requires resources, however, so you’ll have to gather supplies from nearby to get it operational.
You’ll have a “Discontent” and Hope” meter at the bottom. The more you grow the city the more hope people have. The more you run out of food and heat, the more discontent people become.
You can then activate perks and mandates to help aid in sustaining the people, ranging from cemeteries to medical distribution to organ transplants to child labor decrees.
Now the real trick is that the coal you stockpile for the refinery is limited. As you keep the generator on to warm up the people, you burn through your resources. So there’s a constant need to mine for additional resources and stretch out beyond the little circular hub where your town is located.
To make matters more intense, you’ll have a meter showing how long you have before the resources run out for good. This means you’ll likely have to balance turning on the generator at night while it gets freezing cold, and turning it off during the day to conserve resources.
As you complete tasks, new quests and requirements will pop up in the bottom left hand corner of the screen, indicating what you’ll need to accomplish next in order to progress forward.
You can also designate where you want your residents occupied. How many kids will work the mines, how many adults will work the hunting lodges, etc., etc.
The early goings of the game are actually fairly tame and a lot easier than I thought it would be. The challenge definitely seems to be based on maintaining operation of the generator, keeping the coal supplied, and expanding your miniature empire. What gets tricky is that the more structures you have the more heat and resources are required to power them, thus the more your generator is required to run, the more coal you burn through.
The game isn’t shy about the morbid reality of survival, though. Some of your skill perks involves using dead bodies to fertilize the ground for farming.
I imagine this will be a popular game for those who like stressful and challenging real-time strategy games where making split-second decisions and managing a large group of people in life and death situations is considered fun.
Frostpunk is due for release on Steam for PC.
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