Starfield | Not Wanting Involvement
Frostpunk is a city builder game that pits your colony up against the brutal cold and the fight for survival. With an endless need to find enough resources to keep progressing and heat flowing as you take in more survives and expand operations.
There are a number of interesting things to take a look at in this game. From the city building aspect and resource collection that is the base of Frostpunk. To the finer details of how research in technology helps advice your civilization during there most dire times. Along with signing into laws to help curb issues with losing hope and those becoming even more discontent with your leadership. While you battle the weather the game is even changing the lighting on your RGB keyboard if you have a device that it supports. Then you just have the other fun elements of the game from exploring the Frostlands to playing different scenarios.
City Builder Element
As you planned your city and built it up it was done so in a radial grid fashion for building and road placement. As such this was something I had to keep in mind when thinking about heat distribution, the path I took to deal with my citizen’s behavior, and the general layout. Some maps had a nice giant useable area to build in such as A New Home map; meanwhile, others like endless mode had a bunch of boulders, and other game elements breaking up the area you had to build in.
As the player I found heat to be one of the utmost important things when designating my city. Thankfully you are not just limited to the generator at the heart of your city that could be further researched to increase its range and intensity. You also had the extremely important Steam Hubs and heaters in work stations to keep your people warm. I often found myself building out around the heating hubs my housing and other buildings that could not function if they got too cold.
While some modes allowed you to focus more on trying to beautify your city with street lamps and meeting areas not all of these had that kind of option unlocked from the start. Some of my cities were more build around just surviving and nothing else. Wherever space was at perineum so really had to get as much out of the area as I could. Without such luxury’s as a path going down to a large meeting area or setting up different housing distracter for my people.
I will say I loved just zooming in on my city and admiring the city aesthetics when it all came together nicely. Between the fog, lights from towers or other buildings and all the little areas I created to try and remain somewhat organized in total chaos. This has to be one of the better-looking city builders I have played in a very long time. Yes, it wreaked havoc on my older graphics card sometimes but it was still playable and I did not see a need to turn down the graphics settings. As such, I stayed on the second highest settings possible.
The game gave you quite the number of options to further your research into for gathering resources. This was also part of the game where if you were short on human labor you would micromanage what buildings were operating.
While it started out simple with physical labor out in the cold picking up leftover resources in piles. Things over time escalated as you started to run out of the easy to get by hand options with the final result of automation no longer needing a human workforce for many things.
In my eyes, the most valuable resource even above getting more Steam Cores was always coal. Without it you could not power the city and all your citizen would slowly die from the cold. They also gave you a lot of different ways to acquire it. From finding it while exploring, being able to build a charcoal kiln to burn trees. At one point I had over 15k coal but with the massive burn rate, I had to power everything I just never felt save no matter how many dozens of extra storage depots filled to the brim. You could suddenly get an influx of 50 citizens and suddenly there needs to have a massive drain on your otherwise barely staying ahead demands.
As far as food with all the options they gave you to research this was the one resource I never had any issues with once I had invested some time into it. Despite it being this fast frozen land it was often an afterthought. Most times I would just have a couple of people during the night pop up the hunger citizen icon when the cookhouse was closed.
Wood was quite vital in researching more technology. This is the one if you were not paying attention you could almost lose the game by running out. I did find myself in one instance where I had to tear down some buildings to reclaim more wood to make a sawmill. It was quite the humbling experience to realize just how close to losing the game I was after wasting a bit of it on an unneeded road system.
Finally, you had steel and this one I ended up micromanaging a lot more than the other resources. Until the later stages of the game, I just did not need workers in my metalwork’s buildings gathering. So unless I had so many unemployed citizens I only ever ran these resource production buildings when I noticed a need for it. Later on, it did become quite important for buildings automation and other stuff that required a lot of steel.
While the resource system was not very in depth I’m willing to admit I’m kind of over games that require you to build second and third-tier components just to make something. Since you could not craft the steam cores anyways it kept things simple but still enjoyable. This is the perfect example where simple just works amazingly.
Researching Technology Tree
I talk a lot about different technology throughout this so I won’t be very in depth here. I liked the fact that you could build more workstations to have a diminishing return to speed up things being researched. It was also nice that when you upgraded the tiers it applied to all categories such as health and shelter.
This is quite a vital part of the game. As if you don’t research you would not survive the colder days looming ahead. While also lacking the tools to mine resources needed when they ran out in the method you were using. As a result, this created for quite some time a rush to beat the clock to have the next thing unlocked.
There was also quite many quality of life for your people like better insulation in the buildings. Which for me really help out so I did not always need to be checking in and see how that particular building was fairing to staying warm enough to function.
Book Of Laws
This game mechanic had two sides two it and often times there was a choice of options. If you do happen to fall behind and end up reacting to things instead of proactive regarding them the Book Of Laws can bail you out. This, however, comes at a cost as you often were given a choice of two evils with one having a lesser impact on your community. The book also has a cooldown itself from when you can enact another law.
A great example of a lesser of two evils has to be regarding what you do with the communities children. You can if you really need choose to allow child labor. They can help out in production and other buildings but as you can imagine this causes some great stress among the people who disagree with this kind of thing. You also had the other option of building child shelters so they have a place to stay while their parents are at work. This ladder path you could expand out into otherlaw, later on, to have them assist with engineering or in the hospitals for the learning experience. With the last one being my choice as far as ethics go in this game.
You might also have an emergency where you have run out of coal and it’s in the middle of the night right before you end up losing a lot of the population due to the cold. One option that felt like making a deal with the devil was enacting a 24-hour work shift. This for me almost always ended up killing people. There was also another law that allowed you to extended working hours each day which I always found to be the better option. I really enjoyed the game would let you make mistakes and instead of it being game over you just paid the ultimate price.
This other side of the book focusing on oppression and control of the population through religion or by force. This often required building a lot of around where your citizen's housing where. I myself choose to build watchtowers and have a prison system instead of places to worship. As it was far more fun when a random citizen wanted to act like a Banksy and graffiti the generator you could send a portal after them. Not to mention when someone stole food you can send them to prison. I’m not quite sure what on the extreme sides religion had for dealing with crime but I can only imagine as history has shown that could be interesting and brutal.
It was always nice to have this lifeline if things were really going bad. I, however, focused more on ahead of issues and using the Book of Laws to further leverage my position by ruling my colony but not to the point they had enough and wanted to overthrow me for what I have subjected them to.
Hope And Discontent
Oddly enough I never lost a game due to all my people getting killed due to poor decisions I made on their behave. It normally ended with them banishing me or them leaving once all hope was lost or discontent was out of control. Which the Book Of Laws itself played a major impact on these two indicators of my citizens.
Hope always felt like I was trying to create this illusion that everything was going be ok and if they just kept working but not to death that tomorrow was a new day and things were getting better. This often meant I have always ensured my people had food to eat and a warm place to stay at the end of the night.
On the other hand, you had discontent. This often leads to the crime of things being stolen, people leaving and trying to convince others. Along with people’s unwillingness, in general, to want to play the part of society and be productive good little ants in my colony. Often times I felt the best option to deal with these hooligans was with an iron fist of guard towers, patrols and sending them off to jail!
Failure to maintain these would often leave me feeling like I failed my people. It also helps that they had me banished to go die off in the coldness alone. Quite an interesting defeat screen they gave you. It was also rather thrilling when they gave you the final ultimatum of which if you failed it was game over.
One thing I felt was rather fair of the game to do was to warn you ahead of time of up and coming changes to temperature. You would get an indicator at the top right hand of the screen that would show an increase or decrease by 10 degrees. Along with an advanced warning when something harsher like a blizzard was coming your way.
This also gives the player the ability to micromanage their resources and make better-informed decisions. Examples of this would be to turn off heaters on worker buildings when the cold was not extreme enough to warrant it. There was also an instance where I’d pull workers depending on here job time and just let them remain at home during the day if it was going be very nasty.
You could even overdrive your generator during the direst of times trying to get enough heat to important infrastructure such as hospitals so the sick could be treated. As often times when the temperature drop more of your people would be at risk of becoming ill, facing the risk of frostbite and evening losing limbs.
AlienFx RGB keyboard And Mouse
At first, when I fired up this game and my RGB went out on my Alienware keyboard and mouse I thought something must be wrong with my setup and closed the game. Everything went back to my normal colors so I fired up the game and the same thing happened. Then I noticed Alienware logo flash on the screen and I thought “hmm.” While I know there are games out there that do map out the lighting on your RGB keyboard and change things around I’ve yet to actually play a game that does until this.
Turns out Frostpunk partnered up with Alienware to play around a bit with AlienFx effectson the keyboard and mouse. Which means more than likely from anything I could find this is an exclusive but I could be wrong.
While they did not go overboard with the light changes and went with solid colors I will admit it added to the overall player experience. For most of the time, the RGB itself is set to an icy white color or an icy blue. During different events and struggles, it will change to another solid color.
During extreme struggle such as a massive blizzard, the reality really set in when I noticed the red glow coming from my keyboard and mouse. As I stood there powerless outside of overloading heating and hoping my people survival a mass extinction event.
I felt it was cool but I’m a little disappointed they did not take it further beyond just the solid color usages. Just basic breathing or many of the other modes I feel would really step it up to the next level. It was however at least really cool to play a game with it enabled. I could see one-day peoples entire RGB setups just going crazy depending on what’s going on in a game.
Exploration Of The Frostland
At first, when I started to play the game I thought the giant wall of ice my area was covered it was the entire game. Exploring with scouts added another layer that was needed to the gameplay and I found it to be an almost as important element as maintain heat and law in my city.
You can spend time researching to increase how many scouting parties, how fast they travel and other things like outposts. It was nice there was some of the
As you send your teams out to different locations it unlocks events and even more places to find. Along the way, they would find the most important resource of all survivors that they could escort back. They would even end up finding Steam Cores which are needed to build higher tier builds or machines and can’t be crafted themselves.
I really liked the element of being able to set up an outpost at special locations if you were short on resources such as coal or wanted more Steam Cores. I felt this part of the game could be expanded out a little more. Once things are set up you were good to go and just forgot about them.
This also reinforced the players need to prepaid ahead of time as you could suddenly have a new influx of people needing housing or they would freeze to death. Many times the survivors would show up sick in need of treatment and food. There was never really a time I would turn down a good as long as it was my scouting party that found them first and not just wonders. Perhaps there were other possible consequences but I was always good at ensuring discontent was low.
While I do wish this part was a little more in-depth than just sending a scouting party and selecting an option to automaticity get the result. Without it, I think it would leave the game lacking something more to do and to reward the people for going out beyond the icy walls that they found themselves entrapped in.
One thing I found that added replayability for me to Frostpunk was the different scenarios. Some of them even allowed you to play out and find answers to the question you had while playing others as you were now that colony. Others were looking to change up the gameplay. Finally, you had your endless modes for the player that wants to keep playing.
While playing the main story A New Home you would often come across from exploring another former city. I felt at the time it was odd you got very few answers to the questions your own people were asking in what happened. I later found out you could go and play as that city as a scenario and kind of be your own answer to what happened.
There were other ones as well that focused on what would happen in society. One I had not played but looked interested was the wealthy had taken the generator for themselves. The poorer working class decided they had enough so they took it back. The implication of what that means and the possible struggles that mode could insert sounds like one I want to play and experience for myself when I have the time.
Once I had beaten or failed a number of times the main story or other scenarios the game had to offer I found myself looking at the endless game. Where you could either focus on survivalist route with hardships or see how many days you could last. The other option was the builder route where the game was rich with resources and blizzards, for instance, were rather short. This was great to experience as I often times when finishing other scenarios wished I could have kept playing.
I’ve been in the mood for some city builder survival games as of late. I ended up really enjoying the ethical choices you made to make to survive. That along with the endless hardships of trying to survive in a frozen wasteland that never seemed to ease up on you other than the temperature getting warmer. While getting more people to join your city was a blessing in the long run it often created short term hardships as you lacked the supplies. I still have some Scenarios I’ve not gotten around to and if I ever found the time could see myself picking this game back up to play them over a weekend.
Screenshots were taken and content was written by @Enjar about the game Frostpunk. If you are thinking about getting this game and are looking to support me further consider using my Epic Games creator code: enjargames at checkout or using this referral link to be sent to the store's pages.
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