Frostpunk’s Survivor Mode is icing hopeful players today


Okay, which of you asked for this? Survival-management game Frostpunk was already bad enough, turning innocent and mild-mannered RPS writers into tyrannical despots desperate to eke out just one more day in the frozen apocalyptic wastes. Today’s update threatens to push them over the edge with a new difficulty level – Survivor Mode – for those who figured even Hard was too forgiving. The new mode removes active pause mode, and limits you to a single rolling save slot. In short, it’s Ironman mode, and they’ve not solved the icing problem.

Honestly, if you’ve finished all of Frostpunk’s scenarios on the highest difficulty, I can’t see Survivor mode changing too much. Other than requiring you to carry out your building plans a little more quickly and efficiently than before, there’s usually a ‘right’ solution to most problems that you’ve already worked out by now. Survivor Mode won’t really be making any of that more difficult. Still, this update does include some additional changes, which you can see in the full patch notes here. Those with Nvidia cards can now use Ansel for fancy screenshots.

There are some exciting things on the horizon for the game though, including a new scenario called The Builders, and an endurance playmode (which would make sense paired with Survivor mode) plus a few more gubbins planned for the rest of this year. You can see what’s on the horizon in this official development roadmap. There’s also plans to continue updates well into 2019, but 11 Bit Studios are keeping further announcements under lock and key. Given how the game (ironically) sold like hotcakes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a commercial expansion later, too.

Accompanying the release of Survivor mode, Frostpunk is currently (slightly) discounted, bringing it down to £21.24/$25.49 on GOG, Humble and Steam, give or take a few pennies.


  1. Excors says:

    I think my main use for active pause was to reassign all my workers from miners into hunters at 6pm, to get 24 hours of work a day with no discontent penalty. That seems like an exploit, but removing active pause just makes it more irritating to reassign everyone at the right time and doesn’t actually fix the underlying problem. The patch notes say they also added a rest period when hunters return, but that doesn’t sound like enough to stop the daily job shuffle being annoyingly worthwhile.

  2. Axolotl says:

    I don’t mean to sound like a douche, but Frostpunk was actually too easy. After your first couple of failures on a scenario, you understand how to min-max your start, and then snowball your resource stockpile. The only scenario that really did put the screws to me was Refugees, with its endless waves of, well, refugees, but that could’ve been still more difficult if there’d been a storm you had to stockpile resources for.
    Problem is, the game wasn’t so amazing I’ll come back to it just for a new difficulty level.

  3. mruuh says:

    Consider me spoiled by Paradox games, but any real-time strategy game *should* have a pause button. Make some actions take non-zero game time to complete if you must, but the player needs to be able to take stock of the situation, due to the overhead opening, interacting with, and closing various dialogs and other UI elements.

  4. Ghostwise says:

    In short, it’s Ironman mode, and they’ve not solved the icing problem.

    In their defense, the cold is stark.

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