There’s a great new game on the horizon in Frozen Synapse!!

You can pre-order the game now and get instant access to the BETA from here:

It’s a ‘true’ PC game developed by a group of just 3 clever bods.I’ve only played for about an hour so far so will post a more detailed review once I get some more experience under my belt and venture online, but the basic premise is that you control a squad of soldiers in randomly generated maps that are representations of the layout of a single floor of a building.

It’s a turn based affair, but moves are played out simultaneously. Each ‘move’ has a planning phase and an outcome. In planning you can set waypoints and actions for each of your units, and you can do the same for your enemies and test and tweak the orders for that move as much as you want by running ‘simulations’ of the move to see what happens. The process relies heavily on being able to try to predict what your enemy will do next, knowing what you want to do and the most efficient way of using your units abilities and limited moving ability each turn – and then adapting to the situation when the enemy actually does something completely different!

It’s hard to describe in text quite honestly, as it sounds pretty dull when I’m typing it, but it really isn’t! The games CAN BE fast paced, but as it is turn based, and the system is technically a Play-By-Email system, in theory each move could span days, but I get the feeling most players online will be committed to a game and see it through to the end in one session.

The few games I have had have been a steep learning curve so far… but I understand the principles as it is a very compellingly easy to understand game with insane depth. “Easy to learn, hard to master” are the best sort of games in my opinion and this fits that bill perfectly. I haven;t seen anything quite like it before and I’m really looking forward to see how it develops.

To get a better idea of gameplay check the videos on the website:

And join up to the BETA – these developers are my kind of studio. Customer and gameplay focussed, and they deserve your cash. Each pre-order comes with 2 keys so you can give a game to a friend and play online immediately 😀

The game modes in the BETA so far are:-

  • Extermination
    – First to eliminate all other players wins
  • Hostage rescue
    ~ Escort the hostage safely off the map
  • Disputed
    – Collect and safely carry boxes off the edge of the map
  • Secure
    – Bid on how much of the map, split into grid squares, you think you can control, whilst your opponent secretly bids for the same. The highest bidder plays as ‘defender’ and if you manage to hold what you said you would, you win.
  • Charge
    – Bidding on vertical strips of the map – how far towards the centre (or past it!) do you think you can safely get one of your squad?

…and each of these can be played either in “Light” or “Dark” mode. Light allows you to see all enemy positions at all times, Dark only allows you to see enemies in your units line-of-sight.

The unit/weapon classes so far are:-

  • Machine guns
  • Shotguns
  • Sniper rifles
  • Rocket launchers
  • Grenade launchers

This has got some serious deep tactical gameplay going on and I love the concept… it’s a bit like the planning phases of the older Tom Clancy games that have all but vanished since all shooters have been simplified and turned into pure action shooters. I wish them all the best of luck.

The target release date is late 2010 to early 2011, so get in early and get practicing! I know I’m going to need it! 😀 This is going to be HARDCORE!