(PAX West 2017) Frost Punk

Frost Punk is a game set in a frozen wasteland where you are in charge of a dwindling human race. There are resources that are obviously needed like coal for fuel and food for your citizens. There is one that is a bit tougher to attain in this environment though: hope. You’ll need to balance the laws of the land with the reality on the ground to make sure needs are met while not sacrificing either your values or resources elsewhere. Need more labor? Maybe you decide to put children to work. Need more food? Maybe you decide that no food source should go to waste… so you start eating your dead. Just don’t let anyone find out about it or the hope of the colony may drop.

One thing I learned while playing is that without a tutorial, which I assume they have, it’s hard to figure out the games menus. I was lost for a while after I jumped in on someone else’s game that left with slumped shoulders. I didn’t know how to build things or gather resources. Needless to say, in Frost Punk, you need to do just that. Slowly I figured out how to move around and build buildings. Assigning workers was an issue though because I couldn’t tell where my worker count was at. If I tried to assign them it would tell me if I had any or not, but outside of that, I couldn’t figure it out.

That’s when the realization set in. I knew why the guy ahead of me had left with slumped shoulders. He had set this colony on a collision course with death. He had depleted his resources so badly I couldn’t gather enough coal fast enough even when I assigned almost everyone to going out and picking coal up by hand and walking it back. (I’m so benevolent to bless my citizens with a brisk walk right?) Things weren’t going well, I was assigning new laws as I saw fit, but it was all for not. My play-through was going down the crapper. Without the ability to start over easily in site I did what any other responsible person would do. I put the headphones down, grabbed my bag and “graciously” let the girl behind me jump in and try the game out with no excuses to the disaster I left her with. I had plans on being such a nice leader. (I’m such a jerk.) I do want to give Frost Punk a legitimate try in the future.

Further Reading on Frost Punk: Facebook / Official Page / Steam / Twitter

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