Frostpunk: The Board Game arrives in Australia and New Zealand

Frostpunk: The Board Game's box
(Image credit: Glass Cannon Unplugged)

The board game version of miserablism sim Frostpunk was funded on Kickstarter in under an hour, proving there is definitely an audience for a tabletop game where players struggle to survive a seemingly endless winter, with or without turning to child labour, religious extremism, or other extreme measures to keep the fires burning. It eventually raised €2,496,308 (around AU$3.9M).

Unlike the videogame, the board game is co-operative, with up to four players in charge of a steampunk city trying to outlast an ice age. What the two versions share is that you have to balance each decision made in the name of survival with how the populace will react to it. Adding sawdust to meals to make the food supply last longer will have consequences, but so will putting everyone on starvation rations.

Frostpunk: The Board Game comes with a heap of tiles, markers, tokens, and boards, as well as cards to represent different events, laws, scenarios, expedition results, weather, technology, and more. Your citizens are represented by wooden meeples, with different ones for workers, engineers, automatons, and, yes, children. There's also a plastic Generator Cube Tower that sits at the centre of your city and is over 22cm (8.6 inches) tall. 

It's the work of designer Adam Kwapiński, who also created Nemesis, Lords of Hellas, InBetween, and Heroes. Based on what players have said, it's no more forgiving than the videogame version, and you can probably expect to fail a decent amount of the time, whether due to sickness, starvation, low morale, or even your overworked generator exploding.

There's also an expansion called Frostlander, which adds an even harder difficulty option, with more cards for various decks and luxurious wooden versions of the game's markers and tokens.

Frostpunk: The Board Game is available in Australian stores now, with Frostlander to follow. It'll set you back around AU$200.

Frostpunk: The Board Game's contents

(Image credit: Glass Cannon Unplugged)
Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.