Frostpunk Articles RSS Feed | Frostpunk RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Frostpunk: The Fall of Winterhome DLC Review Thu, 20 Sep 2018 10:31:42 -0400 Sergey_3847

If you already own Frostpunk, you now have access to a new, free scenario: The Fall of Winterhome. This free expansion tells the story of the Winterhome settlement that preceded the events of New London in the game's main campaign. It gives you the chance to restore the ruined city amidst a literal frozen hell.

Unlike Frostpunk's main campaign, every extra scenario has thrown you right into the thick of things with some of the developments already unlocked. The Fall of Winterhome is no exception -- it gives you a lot to work with from the very beginning. 

First, we'll talk about what's new in the DLC, the we'll take a look at what you're faced with when you start and how the expansion fares compared to the base game. 

New Map and Gameplay Mechanics

A bright circular settlement sits in a valley between snow covered mountains

11 bit studios created a brand new map for the Winterhome scenario. It looks a lot like the endgame of the main story. There are a lot of structures ready with streets, a beacon, and several outposts. 

As would be expected from any DLC, there will also be new structures to build as well.

One of them is the Repair Station. This can be built to repair the main generator, and it is also the place where engineers fix any malfunctioning equipment in the city. Since one of Winterhome's new additions forces you generator to lose power and range over time, the Repair Station is the biggest addition in the DLC. 

Another new addition is the Evacuation Center. This new structure can be built for emergency situations, allowing people and food to be moved to the dreadnought. However, it's not as important as the robust Repair Station. 

Of course, there are a few other smaller tweaks to the gameplay, but those are mainly bug fixes from the original game.

Restoring the City of Winterhome

A Fall of Winterhome splash screen shows man, woman, child sitting by fire

When you begin the DLC, the city of Winterhome is in ruins. Many of its buildings are badly damaged, hope levels are low, and discontent is high. You're immediately thrust into a situation where you're responsible for hundred of the sick and dying.

Thankfully, some laws and technologies have been developed prior to your arrival, so you won't be starting from scratch. Food storage is full, and although you have to start the generator, the coal storage is full as well. 

You'll also find your population consists of

  • 300 adults
  • About 200 children
  • 50 engineers

That means there is also no need to attract new settlers, so you can focus all of your attention on removing old buildings and setting up new ones. 

However, don't let that lull you into a sense of complacency. Taking action from the get-go is a must. Why? Because unchecked sickness will quickly kill the settlement, so building new medical posts and infirmaries is a necessity early on. 

Overlooking a snow-covered city with management menus overlaid in gameplay

Your settlement also receives help from the outside; an outpost that doubles as a coal mine will come to your aid, transferring an additional 800 coal once a day to your storage.

Besides the coal mine, you can send scouts to check out one of the Dreadnoughts that brought you to the area, or you can send a squad to learn everything about the nearby Weather Station, which will help you predict and survive the most unbearable weather conditions.

As the city of Winterhome increases its hope and things get warmer, the ice starts melting. As a result, the rotten bodies of  dead workers come to the surface, quickly increasing discontent among the living.

However, this is only the beginning of your troubles. 

With so many things in the progress queue The Fall of Winterhome DLC gets overwhelming quite fast. The developers obviously made the DLC with a clear purpose to make the gameplay more aggressive.

The heating screen of Winterhome's technology screen with upgrades

New events pop up constantly, reminding you that there is no time for rest. You could be focused on building new structures or repairing old ones, but then something happens: an injury, frostbite, or death. 

Unlike the main story, where you could gradually develop and better focus on the needs of the people, in Winterhome, you have to multitask like crazy, without a single moment of relief.

This approach really turns the new DLC into a rollercoaster ride, which many players may not survive.

Final Thoughts on The Fall of Winterhome DLC

This expansion is definitely not recommended for beginners. It's not made to introduce new players to the game, but instead put veteran players into more complex scenarios. You'll have to apply all of your knowledge and experience from the base game to survive this DLC.

The content The Fall of Winterhome is even harder in Survival mode, and for most, it will be impossible to play.

Things move really fast in Winterhome. Couple that with discontent that rises very quickly, and you're in for a harrowing experience. 

Catastrophes can happen at any point in the game, completely devastating your settlement. In fact, you can lose hours upon hours of gameplay.

But that's the type of challenge Frostpunk fans are looking for. And in this regard, The Fall of Winterhome fulfills the demand in full force.

[Note: A copy of Frostpunk was provided by 11 bit studios for the purpose of this review.]

New Frostpunk Expansion Announced Thu, 13 Sep 2018 12:01:29 -0400 Zack Palm

A new expansion is arriving to Frostpunk, and best of all, it's free. This new update, called The Fall of Winterhome, focuses on the small town of Winterhome that had already fallen in the game's original campaign. Players may have heard references and rumors about the city, but were unable to discover what happened to the city and its citizens -- until now.

The Fall of Winterhome adds a new scenario to the strategy game, which provides players with hours of brand-new content. This includes a new map and a new perspective on the difficult choices players are forced to make as The City's ruler. 

The expansion arrives on September 19 as a free update to the game. If you haven't already, check out our review of the game, and keep it tuned here at Gameskinny.

Frostpunk Beginner's Guide: Essential Tips and Tricks for Survival Mon, 23 Apr 2018 11:22:15 -0400 Sergey_3847

Frostpunk throws you into the thick of things right away, meaning you'll quickly learn that making quick, deliberate decisions is the key to surviving Frostpunk. However, that's a difficult prospect with the cards stacked against you. 

In this beginner's guide full of tips and tricks for survival, we'll cover everything you need to know about managing your time (what you should pay attention to first), properly gathering your resources (it's less straightforward than you think), and signing better to make for a better settlement, among other essential tidbits of information. 

Tip 1: Manage Your Working Hours Wisely

Frostpunk settlers working in snow around generator

When you begin a settlement in Frostpunk, it's important to know that time is a deciding factor in everything you do. 

In the upper-left menu, you will see the clock. This will tell you whether it's day or night, which is important because your workers don't work at night. That means you have to properly manage your workers' time during daylight hours so that your settlement is operating at maximum efficiency. 

The best way to manage your time is to assign all necessary workforce actions at night. This means you have fewer administrative duties during the day and more time to spend maximizing worker efficiency during that time.  

Since you only have a limited number of days to survive, there's no reason to waste waking hours assigning tasks. And if you can't manage all the necessary steps to start your colony in the first 10 days, you will most likely fail.

Note: you can also increase gameplay speed using the clock if you assign everything you need and want work to begin immediately.  

Tip 2: Gather Resources Around the Generator

Settlers gathering resources around generator with menu overlay up

The first thing necessary to begin work is to gather coal for your generator, wood for your buildings, and steel for your workshop.

Starting the generator, a building in the center of the settlement, is your first big task. It will produce heat for your population and make them less grumpy.

However, you need to start the generator by putting some coal inside. So assign as many workers as you can to collect coal from the coal piles located to the north of the generator.

Assign other workers to collect steel and iron from the wreckages to the east and west of the generator. And the rest can start collecting wood in the southern part of the settlement.

When you have enough resources for the generator and your first buildings, you can start assembling other basic structures.

Tip 3: Construct Essential Buildings Around the Generator

Settlement grows out from around the generator in Frostpunk

The first buildings that you should construct are tents, hunter's hut, and medical post

The tents will provide your population with basic shelter. The hunter's hut will provide food. And the medical post is essential for healing the injured workforce.

As time goes by, you'll need even more resources. However, build a workshop before going into the mines

That way, you can start building coal and iron mines. The new technologies will become available in the tech tree after building the workshop, and you can start using them to build even better and more efficient buildings and add-ons.

Tip 4: Upgrade Your Technology Tree

An empty tech tree with black background

After building a workshop, start upgrading your generator efficiency, mines productivity, resource gathering, accommodations, and exploration. All these upgrades will help your city grow and thus maintain the needs of your population much better.

Different upgrades require wood and a certain amount of time. The first thing you'll need to upgrade is the hunter's hut, which will be able to provide even more food for the starved population.

Then, focus on the heating system and exploration. All of these extra activities will give you more possibilities to find additional resources for your further upgrades.

The expeditions will give you opportunities to find new survivors outside the borders of the city, which means a larger workforce.

Tip 5: Sign New and Better Laws

The law signing screen in Frostpunk showing the sustain life law

Inevitably, your settlers will get unhappy because of constant hard work and general social discontent. In order to fulfill the desires of your population, you will need to sign new laws in the Book of Laws.

The most important laws are the ones that protect children and take care of the injured. Be sure to sign the Child Shelter law, which will take care of all of the kids in the settlement while their parents are at work. Then, issue Care House law, which will take care of the terminally ill.

Apart from these, you need to dispose of the dead. The best option is to issue the Cemetery law, but if you're low on resources and time, then you ought to just sign the Corpse Disposal law. People will not be happy with this, but you can counteract this with other laws.

Lastly, you need to keep your healthy population entertained. For this reason, sign Fighting Arena and Public House laws to keep discontent levels low. 


And that's all you need to know to start surviving in the harsh climate of Frostpunk.

If you want to know more about the survival strategy game from 11-Bit Studios, be sure to head over and check out our review of the game. Also be sure to check out our review of Frostpunk's expansion

Frostpunk Review: Steampunk Aesthetics of the Modern Ice Age Mon, 23 Apr 2018 10:00:01 -0400 Sergey_3847

The authors of This War of Mine came back with another story, full of pain, human suffering, but not without a glimpse of hope. Frostpunk, a new project from 11 bit studios, is a very different game than This War of Mine, and yet it follows the same philosophy -- making complex decisions and living with their consequences.

Tragic events become the catalyst for character development and the deep base for an exciting story. If you previously played This War of Mine, there you could witness a small group of people who found themselves in a very difficult situation, and their lives depended on your decisions. But Frostpunk goes even further than that!

The Story and the Setting

Frostpunk reveals an alternative history of the 19th century. In the game's version of 1886, a terrible storm befell the whole world and covered every single inch of it with ice and snow. Millions of people moved south in search of salvation, but found only chaos and death. Great Britain decided to go the other way and organized several settlements inside the ice craters. The source of life was found in giant thermal generators capable of heating entire cities.

The next storm came from the south a little later and knocked out most of the world's population. Some people managed to escape, including a modest group of refugees who stumbled upon one of the abandoned generators. Thinking that this was the best chance to survive, they decided to stay and build a new home. This is where your role as a survival manager begins.

As you may have guessed already, Frostpunk is a survival strategy game that involves lots of building. The setting is quite unique and features frozen landscapes in combination with steampunk aesthetics. The gameplay is very much similar to Surviving Mars, a current indie Steam hit, and it looks like Frostpunk has everything necessary to be a worthy competitor.

The Survival Aspects of the Gameplay

It's no secret that the level of difficulty in Frostpunk is pretty high, which means that the player needs to put forth a lot of effort in order to survive. To begin with, you need to start the generator. It requires coal, so the first concern of the new mayor of the settlement is the extraction of resources. Wood and steel will come in handy very soon, so a few free hands should be sent to fetch them.

Your people will have a hard time working in the conditions of such merciless cold. Then, you need to make sure that your workers have a roof over their heads and food supplies, not to mention medical care. The game throws you into the thick of the problems from the get-go.

You start building small shacks so that your people don't freeze under the open sky. An emotional connection with the residents of the settlement really grows on you through smart visual design. You can even zoom in really close, just enough to examine each settler and see how much they tremble.

At that moment you realize the harsh truth about this game: all these characters must survive through your decisions, and there is actually a huge chance that you will fail. This thought strikes you so hard that it becomes a bit depressing, but then you really begin to think everything over.

This is the point where the freedom of choice within the gameplay leads you to certain decisions, such as turning off a generator for some time in order to save some coal. The workers will have to wait for more comfortable houses just to keep enough wood for the construction of a hunting hut, which is a necessity if you want to keep them fed, and so on and so forth....

The Book of Laws

Hard times require unpopular decisions, and you will have to make them regularly. As a new mayor you will have the power to sign laws, among other things. As a rule, you have to choose between two options: soft and inefficient, or tough but effective.

For example, you will have to decide how to deal with the deceased ones. You can build a cemetery to let people say goodbye to their loved ones, but the construction of the cemetery will draw a lot of resources, and all the posthumous ceremonies take up precious time. On the other hand, you can dump bodies in a corpse disposal, but be prepared for some bad reactions in this case.

Frostpunk sets these incredibly difficult goals: on one hand, you must survive, and on the other, you just can't let people fall into despair. It's incredibly easy to provoke a riot in these circumstances. When discontent grows, local people start to make certain demands, threatening with a strike.

Too many hungry workers begin requiring drastic measures. You can brush it off or promise to feed all those suffering in a couple of days. But if you don't follow through with your promises, it will turn into a real catastrophe!

Final Verdict

Both in technical execution and gameplay design, the game is practically flawless. You won't see such complex decision-making processes in any other strategy game that is on the market today.

In order to survive, you need to constantly develop and grow. The research of new technologies will increase the efficiency of mining resources and medicine, as well as provide other benefits for your little civilization. Every new day brings new choices. Over time you become accustomed to the constant struggle and sense of responsibility.

Frostpunk is not only an endless survival for the sake of survival. You will find out the reasons behind the new Ice Age as the story takes you further out into the world. Frostpunk is a hard but fair game. It's incredibly complex and may create an illusion of great moral pressure. But that's the beauty of it!

[Note: A copy of Frostpunk was provided by 11 bit studios for the purpose of this review.]

10 Upcoming Strategy Games We're Excited About Wed, 03 Jan 2018 13:19:38 -0500 Lewis Parsons


RIOT: Civil Unrest


Release Date: Early Access - December 2017; Full Release TBA
Publisher: Merge Games
Developer: IV Productions


Gorgeous pixel art merges with a truly unique setting in RIOT: Civil Unrest. Take control of the riot itself, or suppress it as the police in scenarios from Spain to Cairo. The game has gotten some positive reviews during the early-access process, with unique, challenging gameplay and a fantastic art direction that really magnifies the chaos going on as things escalate on screen. Grab the game now in early access, as the full version should be launching soon.




There are also more great tiles that didn't quite make the list. Anno 1800, Xenonauts 2, and without a doubt, a surprise or two. Strategy gaming may have been in a bit of a lull in the 2000s, but with 2020 on the horizion, it looks like it's back and more diverse and exciting than ever.


Jurassic World Evolution


Release Date: Summer 2018
Publisher: Frontier Developments
Developer: Frontier Developments


Releasing to coincide with the next film in the Jurassic World series, Jurassic World Evolution could be a huge hit. Behind the game are the same developers that brought us such park building gems as Zoo Tycoon, Planet Coaster, and Roller Coaster Tycoon 1 and 3. Jurassic World Evolution looks to be a spiritual successor to 2003's Jurassic Park:Operation Genesis.


Details are limited, but you likely take on the role of a builder and manager of your very own dinosaur-themed the park, featuring ... real dinosaurs! In line with the film, expect some ability to ratchet up the excitement with genetic engineering of new creatures, and hope things don't go horribly wrong -- or make them go wrong, you are in charge!


Age of Empires IV


Release Date: TBA 2018
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Relic Entertainment


Yes, AOE is coming back with a fourth installment. Age of Empires IV is helmed by Relic, the creators of the Company of Heroes series, and published by Microsoft. There isn't a whole lot known yet about the game itself, but it looks to follow the franchise's classic sequence of building bases, gathering resources, and building armies. The trailer appears to show the game span a wide variety of eras and factions.


Relic Entertainment has a strong pedigree of making classic RTS-style action, and we are excited to see what they do with such a classic, strong IP as Age of Empires.


Civilization VI: Rise and Fall


Release Date: February 8, 2018
Publisher: Firaxis
Developer: 2K


Civilization 6 took some bold new steps in the franchise when it came out in October 2016 (namely the district system, spreading your cities across multiple tiles), while at the same time including much-desired features in the base game, such as religion and great works. This leaves room for expansion packs like Rise and Fall to take the game into new territory.


As befits its name, Rise and Fall is about the ups and downs civilizations go through. Accomplish enough goals during the medieval era? Congratulations, the Renaissance will be your civilization's golden age! Fall behind? Welcome to the Dark Ages, where you will be fighting to keep your cities loyal, but also have the opportunity to come back even stronger for your trouble.


In addition to new gameplay features such as city loyalty, dark and golden ages, and governors, Rise and Fall is introducing new civilizations, leaders, wonders, natural wonders, and districts.




Release Date: TBA
Publisher: 11 Bit Studios
Developer: 11 Bit Studios


11 Bit Studios, the minds behind the fantastic This War of Mine, is back, and it looks like they have an interesting take on the strategy builder/survival genre to say the least.

Frostpunk is set in, well, a "frostpunk" world: think steampunk in the ice age. At its heart, it looks to have the gut-wrenching decisions from This War of Mine. Do you send children out to work? Do you treat the ill? And these decisions don't look to just be window dressing; they have long-lasting and wide-ranging effects on gameplay. They go beyond asking "how" you will survive and ask you "why" and "at what cost."

Beyond the gameplay, the art style looks sharp, and the production values look great as well.


Tropico 6


Release Date: 2018
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Developer: Limbic Entertainment


Tropico keeps on chugging along after 16 years and 6 games. The tongue-in cheek take on building and managing (or mismanaging) your own island paradise is back in 2018 for a sixth installment. While previous entries in the series have been strong, there haven't been the major changes between installments that might be expected in a series like this.


Tropico 6 looks to be possibly continuing this trend, with one major addition: the introduction of archipelagos, which look to offer a fresh gameplay challenge while not changing up the formula drastically. 




Release Date: January 18, 2018
Publisher: Fish Eagle
Developer: Picaresque Studio


Nantucket, a first release from Picaresque Studio, looks promising and unique. Set in the early 19th century after the events of literary classic Moby Dick, Nantucket is a strategy business sim where you work your way up through the booming oil/whaling industry. 


While the subject matter may draw controversy, it will be interesting to see where the developer takes this. They promise RPG elements, turn-based combat with pirates and whales, a thousand unique events, an original storyline based on the events of the novel, and an open world to explore. If nothing else, the fresh setting of one of the biggest economic booms in history is fertile ground for the genre.


Surviving Mars


Release Date: TBA
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Haemimont Games


Paradox Interactive, known for epic, almost niche strategy titles, has been making significant inroads in the publishing sphere as of late, bringing strategy, simulation, and city-building titles (e.g., 2015's spectacular Cities: Skylines) to us in greater numbers, reviving a once vanishing scene.


Bulgarian developer Haemimont, behind such games as Tropico 34, and 5, as well as Omerta : City of Gangsters, looks to be returning to the hybrid sim/strategy realm with this fresh IP. Surviving Mars looks promising, with an interesting "retro future" art style and a sense of humor about it. The game is also promising a "classic sci-fi" story, exploring the secrets of Mars as you build. This isn't overly dry and realistic, and it looks like a whole lot of Tropico has come along for the ride in both presentation and gameplay.


Ancestors Legacy 


Release Date: TBA
Publisher: 1C Company
Developer: Destructive Creations 
Ancestors Legacy is an upcoming squad-based RTS currently in beta, due to come out for both PC and consoles. Set in the early medieval era, the game features a strong, single-player-focused campaign as well as multiplayer. The game includes traditional base building and resource gathering but seems heavily focused on the tactical side of things, with a focus on combat. Early impressions are promising, and this might just be a new traditional RTS IP worth following.


Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia 


Release Date: TBA 2018
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Creative Assembly 


Every Total War release is a big one, as the series is arguably the most visible "AAA" strategy game series on the market. While it has had it stumbles, Creative Assembly is riding high after the success of the well-received fantasy mashups Total War: Warhammer and Total War: Warhammer II.


Thrones of Britannia looks to be something different: a return to a historical setting, yes, but also a tighter, smaller Total War. The series has been getting bigger over the year -- more factions, more units, globe-spanning maps -- and it might be argued that this has led to bloat and excess. Thrones looks to be a return to the more intimate setting of Shogun Total War or the excellent Medieval: Total War - Viking Invasion expansion pack from 2003.


If Creative Assembly can take the lessons learnt from Warhammer and bring the historical flavor and the early medieval atmosphere, they could have something very exciting in this new format.


2017 was a great year for strategy gamers, offering up a bevy of diverse titles from Tooth and Tail to Total War: Warhammer II. 2018 looks like it might be shaping up to be just as good, with a wide range of new IPs and continuations of beloved franchises on slate to release this year.  


Read on for the 10 upcoming strategy games we can't wait to get our hands on.