Frozen Trynapse: Frozen Synapse Demo

Frozen Synapse now has a demo, which totally demolishes any excuse you might have made to not try this turn-based combat thingum. Other reasons to pay attention to it include this preview essay by Gillen, this AAR by Gillen, and this review by Meer.

Those are our endorsements. We stand by them. Also: Steam will be offering Frozen Synapse at 50% off from Thursday 11th August to Monday 15th August.


  1. Srekel says:


    When is RPS going to start arranging tournaments in various games? Like, with prizes n shit? FS would be a good game to start with.

  2. KikYu0 says:

    would prefer some other languages than english >_>

  3. Jams O'Donnell says:

    Frozen Synapse is Flotilla’s battles with 100x the tension.

    Instagib Flotilla, maybe.

  4. felisc says:

    ? out of curiosity, how did you know in advance for the steam sale ? i thought those were highly top secret ?

  5. Inglourious Badger says:

    Is it too early to start shouting GAME OF THE YEAR!?

    Because this is. (so far)

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Oh yeah! I just remembered I never found anyone amongst my rubbish friends to gift my 2nd copy to. First person to friend me on steam can have it

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Too late everyone, it’s been redeemed. Congrats whoever that was

  6. otzenGulasch says:

    Is it possible to play the demo multiplayer?

  7. herschel says:

    Uhh… worst pun ever. Ever.

  8. fuggles says:

    So at 50% off it should be £5, which would be a sale, but lo! The price is doubled as I have to buy 2 copies, which I do not want to do. Stupid sales technique even in the pre-hat swapping days.

    • JFS says:

      This annoys me a lot. I bought it now and gave the copy to a good friend, but while this is nice, it’s not so nice to be forced to do so. L4D and Battlefield are sold as single packages as well, I don’t see why this game (man, it even has a singleplayer mode!) needs to do it differently.

    • Rii says:

      They should offer a single-license SKU for 75% of the cost of the dual-license SKU just to shut you people up.

    • Vinraith says:

      Given that the game now has a full-fledged single player component it’s a little silly that they aren’t selling individual copies. I split one of these packs with a friend with the intention of playing co-op, which is fine, but it’s bad business to simply assume that everyone can put together something like that.

    • Rii says:

      I agree that the lack of a single-license SKU is unfortunate and should be rectified.

      But what bothers me more than the lack of one is the attitude that people have towards the current arrangement and their assumption that a single-license would actually be half the price of the dual-license. I had it easy because I learned of the game and the price (which was 50% off at the time for pre-orders) before I learned of the fact that it came with an additional copy, so my reaction went from ‘hmm, I’m tempted’ to ‘ok, I’m in’. It was a bonus. But apparently some people are incapable of thinking about in that fashion: of looking at what they get that they’re interested in vs. the price they pay, and making that call.

      Instead it’s all the devs’ fault for making them buy stuff they don’t want. Hey, I would’ve opted out of the single-player campaign at the time I purchased the game also, where was the option and discount for that? What about the game music? Can I get an additional 5% off in exchange for not receiving any?

      And frankly I find it a little difficult to credit that finding someone else who’s interested in the game is such a widespread problem. I am the most socially isolated person I know and I still managed to make a gift of my extra copy to my brother.

    • Vinraith says:


      Regardless of the actual facts of what a single copy would cost, the net effect of the current arrangement is to make single player gamers feel like they’re getting ripped off. Considering how often single player gamers DO get ripped off in the current market, I think it’s an understandable sensitivity.

      And may I just say, I’ve had several stretches as a gamer where I didn’t know a single soul that played games but myself. It’s an unpleasant enough position to be in without feeling like you’re paying for a copy you can’t use.

    • LionsPhil says:

      What Vinraith said.

    • JFS says:

      Vinraith, you got it.

      I wouldn’t call it a “bonus” if I have to pay double the usual price for something while getting twice the product but not really needing it. You wouldn’t want to buy two cars, either at full price, when you only need one, regardless of whether it’d be fun to have races with a friend. He can buy his own if he wants to.

    • Rii says:

      Maybe they should just remove the extra copy and leave the price unchanged. Then what’ll you complain about?

    • JFS says:

      It wouldn’t really matter, as I only got use for one copy, and I’m deciding on absolute price, not on some psychological illusions of “bonus gifts”. Maybe they should just sell single copies for an appropriate price, then no one would complain about anything.

    • Rii says:

      So your complaint would be that it’s too expensive. Which is fine but hardly an issue of note.

    • JB says:

      It’s not X price for two copies, it’s always been X price for the game and you get a free copy so that if you have someone to give it to you have an instant opponent.

      Feel free to buy it and ignore the extra copy. Or just post on the RPS forums, I’m sure there’d be takers.

      If it’s too expensive then don’t buy, it’s really quite simple. Like me.

  9. FunkyBadger3 says:

    Meh. Still not LSN.

  10. LionsPhil says:

    >Complete Demo Mission 1
    >Click Next Mission
    >Game gets stuck in a loop of showing the “buy now” dialogue, where clicking “main menu” just makes it load for a moment then return
    QA, first impressions, etc.

    • PaulMode7 says:

      Sorry about that – just spent a while trying to replicate this and I can’t. If you have time, would you mind mailing support at mode7games of the dot and the com? Much appreciated.

  11. Kelpie27 says:

    GamersGate seem to have it on sale at the moment as well, 50% off and a bit cheaper than Steam:

    Frozen Synapse – £7.48

    Frozen Synapse (Soundtrack Bundle) – £9.20

  12. cindex says:

    If you need some tips, or more info on the game, check out

  13. Zelnick says:

    If I buy it from Steam can I play it without using Steam? Also, if I get it from Gamersgate, do I get a Steam subscription key?

    • Kaira- says:

      You’ll need Steam for games bought from Steam.

      I think you should be able to get a Steam-key for Gamer’s Gate-copy, as Frozen Synapse uses Steamworks for some of the stuff(?). Somebody correct me if I’m wrong.

  14. Koozer says:

    Slightly irritated by each and every turn taking 5 seconds to calculate.

    • LionsPhil says:

      It’s not so much the time as the way it takes the interface away from you and then also makes you wait for “PLANNING PHASE” to fade out before it’ll let you get back to putting the camera back where you want it.

    • Thants says:

      It seems like it would feel better if it just waited for 5 seconds instead of going to a loading screen.

  15. heretic says:


    So surprised, downloaded it and was going to move it to my windows partition but gave it a go with wine and am playing the tutorial now!

    Might blow up later down the road but it actually loads up ok! Phenomenal!

  16. Faxmachinen says:

    I for one enjoyed getting a free second copy ith my game. And unlike cars, games do not have a manufacturing cost.

  17. Esoteric says:

    And with the new Steam trading system, you could trade your extra copy for another game, or even better, a TF2 hat!

  18. fuggles says:

    Having played the demo then my critical feedback would be the zoom needs work – zooming in towards the cursor is cool, zooming out AWAY from the cursor is not. It should be a straight zoom out, ala Supreme Commander as I just want to look at the whole map and related to this is that enemies keep hiding under the large UI at the centre of the lower screen. Please allow the player to zoom out beyond the map so that this doesn’t happen.

    The tutorial doesn’t really cover enough. I’ve done machine guns and rockets, yet the first mission I get a shotgun. There only seems to be 3 types of gun and each has clear maths behind them so why not cover them all? It doesn’t mention that machine guns can shoot through walls either, which took me by surpise when I was shot through a wall (note not cover, an actual dark blue wall).

    Single player AI cheats in annoying ways, or seems to. I had set up a perfect killing zone and the AI could not see me, but stood still putting us in a stalemate position and so I did nothing for three turns to see if the AI would break it, which it didn’t. As soon as I moved however, which I had to, then I was shot down as the AI did the exact thing to kill me – seemed suspicious that it would match my lack of movement until that time, unless hearing is modelled in, which should be mentioned in the tutorial. Or it might just have been an unsatisfactory coincidence.

    The whole pricing thing is crazy. Through the Mode 7 website the game is $24.99, which magically becomes £18.99 or €22.99, which at current conversion rates should be £15.42 or €17.6. There are no distribution costs being a digital download, so I can only assume that there is some sort of US tax charging for receiving funds from abroad? You can also pay an extra $10 for a sound track which is already in a subfolder as playable music files which is bizarre.

    So to conclude, I’m basically too cheap and am probably everything that’s wrong with the entitled consumer today. However whilst I see the appeal and applaud the idea of the game, I am a single player gamer and would would rather get a handful of indie shooters and RPG’s for that money.

    • JB says:

      There are 5 guns in total in the game, and MGs shouldn’t shoot through walls – sounds like a bug =(

    • Faxmachinen says:

      You can actually have the AI take their turn simultaneously with yours. Look in options. It might actually default to on.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Machine guns shouldn’t fire through walls. It could be a bug, but it also could be an artifact of the way the game animates gunfire. As I understand it, there is only one killing shot (when the numbers are crunched and a kill results). Some extra bullet spray is animated for shotguns and machine guns that’s just eye candy, and it might look like it’s going through walls, but the kill shot should follow the line-of-sight rules. Either that, or it could be the way the AI is very, very good at lining up shots through any available open “window” in the game map.

      I agree about the tutorial not being extensive enough, if they’re going to do tutorials at all. I bought the game based on the demo, and I’ll probably only play it in single player mode. The first campaign mission had me using shotgun guys against machine gunners. I lost the mission because the machine gunners kept nailing my guys from halfway across the map. I didn’t understand that my shotgunners had to be very close to fire, and you’re supposed to use their faster movement speed to outmaneuver and get close. Makes sense in retrospect, but the whole interaction of movement speed, range, “spin up time” for weapons and so on, isn’t in the tutorial.

      However, there is a decent readme.txt file that explains the game mechanics. Look in the game directory. There’s also a Wiki page someone put up, but aside from pictures it’s all covered in the readme file.

  19. suibhne says:

    What a brilliant, wonderful game. I hope it finds a wide audience.

  20. MeestaNob says:

    Buy this game you bastards, it’s great.

  21. therighttoarmbears says:

    So, I downloaded it. It is glorious, and I haven’t even had the heart to try multiplayer yet. I assume I will get my posterior handed to me in short order when I do, and haven’t yet had the courage to get over that initial hump. I can always hope that there are roving packs of inexperienced noobs like myself, though, right?

    • JB says:

      Check the rankings and challenge some people around your level.

      Get stuck in! You’ll be fine!*


      *Or not, one of the two.