When someone talks to me about strategy games, my go-to is Civilization. I’ve been playing the Civilization games since, well, Civilization. I will almost always choose a turn-based strategy game over a real-time strategy game, partially because of my upbringing with the aforementioned Civilization. Civilization is always a long-term investment of time, however, and isn’t always really viable for smaller scale strategy battles with friends. That’s where Lantern’s upcoming cross-platform free-to-play turn-based strategy game, Frost Wars, comes in.
Frost Wars was one of the big surprises of PAX for me. I’m going to quote someone who hit the nail on the head:
At an event with multiple AAA titles, the indies really managed to stand out and shine.
OH RIGHT, that was me! Yes, I quoted myself, deal with it.
One of the great things about Frost Wars to me is the level of player interaction and influence on the direction of the game. Since the first day, the designers have had a steadily growing group of players that they turn to. Players can submit ideas and vote on both player-submitted ideas and developer suggestions to determine what makes its way into the game. These ideas are then playtested and further refined by the player community. From the ground up, this is a game for the players, by the players.
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With similarities to, and influences from, titles like Final Fantasy Tactics and Monopoly, you can expect a really great stra…wait, Monopoly? Why don’t you just ruminate, whilst I illuminate the possibilities. You’re sitting and playing a (never-ending) game of Monopoly with your (soon to be ex-) friends. You have your hands on Park Place, while your buddy has her hands on Boardwalk. She’s got the Reading Railroad, while the rest of the transit system lies safely in your keeping. A deal is struck! You trade your Park Place for her Reading Railroad and immunity from her newly formed monopoly, and the rest of the players shudder with dread. With Frost Wars, as a PVP strategy title (not unlike Monopoly), you are provided with a tabletop chat for treaties. All treaties and coalitions can be documented and modified on the fly.
There will be multiple game modes for Frost Wars, including Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Anarchy Mode, and more. Frost Wars offers asynchronous and synchronous gameplay to fit your schedule, and allows for multiple games to run at once (like some iOS titles). Speaking of iOS, Frost Wars will be multi-platform, starting with browser-based gameplay and expanding to iOS and other platforms in 2013. Not only will it be multi-platform, it will be cross-platform. Load it up on your iPhone while your friend sits at home on a PC and battle it out for tabletop supremacy.
An indie title, Frost Wars was one I had only a very short amount of time with due to some scheduling issues on my part, but it was one that became indelibly stuck in my head. Perhaps it was the meme images (WTF Picard, Successful Baby, Over 9,000 Vegeta, and Not Impressed Mckayla) that the studio had set as their player avatars, or perhaps it was the hexagon-tile small map turn-based PVP strategy game itself. Either way, I wish I could have spent more time with it, and am absolutely looking forward to the closed alpha, starting in a couple of weeks. Keep your eyes open for impressions once that hits.