Winter has set in. The snow has dumped down making travel impossible. My supplies are dwindling. The wolves have started circling. Those who I sent out to find something, anything, have yet to return and I fear the worst may have happened to them. The day before last an other survivalist stumbled upon us wanted the last of our meager supplies, he is no longer with the living. We try cannibalism in the morning. Well that was what happened during one play through of the new PlayStation 4 title Frost which is deck building game in which you try to survive a winter like those of European Ancestors.
If you have never played or heard the term deck building game before do not let it deter you from the game as it is all rather simple. The core premise is simple, you start with a small deck of cards at around 12 and each turn you deal a hand of them while the game will have its own decks and be dealing its own cards effect lively playing itself. In the case of frost your cards range from simple supplies to food and materials to weapons and other survivors. The aim of the game is to beat the frost from killing you and make it to your destination, simple right?
Well no, not quite. Yes the the gameplay is simple and straight forward with the goal of each hand being to save ‘X’ amount of supplies like 3 fruit, 1 material and 4 survivors. The games goal is to stop you doing this through event cards some good some not so good like the aforementioned survivalist and wolves which require a weapon to defeat or goods to be traded with. During each hand you also get up to 5 idea cards which range from creating weapons, cannibalism and training birds to hunt out extra resources.
This all comes to ahead with how you play, do you spend some of your precious materials to build some spears to fend of wolves, spend it on creating something like binoculars allowing you to peek at upcoming events or do you save them for an upcoming turn as you never know what will happen and what you will need. Then you have other survivors who can be sent out once per turn to gather resources and supplies but they may not return with anything or not return at all.
If you are unable to pay the allotted supplies you can draw a new hand at the cost of allowing the frost to catch up on you, with a maximum of staying 8 turns ahead. The kicker is that this game will kick your ass and deliver you gut punches when your destination is in sight. Luck plays an important part and if you don’t believe in the heart of the cards they can easily turn on you taking away your 8 turn lead in the blink of an eye.
While this is maybe disheartening you are always rewarded with new cards to add to your deck or new game modes with different objectives which always feel rewarding. New cards can instantly change the tide of the game granting you bonuses and perks instantly filling you with a fighting spirit against the frost. Games play quick which helps with this immensely as you never feel dragged down by a late game loss the game instead prefers to fill you with a one more try attitude.
Frost is great game to dive into the world of deck building games with its simple yet effect gameplay, easy yet challenging difficulty and simple to navigate controls. The developers have nailed the less is more approach from story to graphics granting a game that succeeds in risk vs reward gameplay. This is a fight for survival I can highly recommend getting behind
Zombie was provided with a review copy of Frost.