Enforce child labour and feed citizens sawdust in grim Frostpunk trailer

Frostpunk is a city builder, but as its first gameplay trailer shows it's more about making tough moral decisions than planning a pretty road network. When a child is injured at work, do you outlaw child labour or give them some kind words and send them back to the factory? When your citizens are starving, do you bulk up their meals with sawdust and risk them falling ill or let them go hungry?

The focus of Frostpunk is the survival of your frozen city, not its citizens, so I'm presuming that if you pick the choice that'd normally be preferable (outlawing child labour, for example) your city might soon suffer.

It will have some traditional city building elements—you'll grow your icy town from a single, steam-powered tower by erecting new buildings and plonking down mines—but it's the moral dilemmas that will define it. As well as managing resources you have to keep your eye on your citizens' 'hope', which is likely to be thin on the ground.

So, what else can we glean from the trailer? Well, the game's menus look slick enough, and I like the way that the decisions you make are accompanied by images that slowly bleed onto the screen. You're going to have icons popping up all over your city alerting you to things you need to deal with, and there will be a larger world if you zoom out with icons that, presumably, show where you can gather resources. 

Overall, I'd say it looks promising so far, which is what you'd expect from the studio that brought us the excellent, and at times depressing, This War of Mine

There's no confirmed release date for Frostpunk, although developer 11 Bit Studios has previously said it will be out before the end of the year.

Samuel Horti

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play. He's now a full-time reporter covering health at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. When he does have time for games you may find him on the floor, struggling under the weight of his Steam backlog.