Spending 30 minutes, meticulously planning for 5 seconds of gameplay isn’t normal. But in Frozen Synapse it is. Mode 7 has brought us a fantastic strategy indie game in the form of a top down shooter. It has players analysing every single outcome for each and every turn. A randomly generated area is produced, and then players have to choose their strategy and their soldiers’ movements, through turn based gameplay. A variety of weapons and units bring many combinations of different plays to the table, making customization possible.
A turn lasts merely 5 seconds, but players can preview how things may play out, and as a result have players second guessing, triple guessing, and even attempting to quadruple guess their opponent, in an attempt to outsmart them. When you finally decide that you plan will decimate the enemy and win you the game, you can finalize it, and watch as your plan falls to the ground, a smoldering wreck of dashed hopes and wasted effort.
The graphics can be described as efficient and clean. A simple 2D, slightly retro aesthetic brings out some vibrant colors, especially during firefights. It is a pleasure to watch your squad dominate your opponents, and it’s even better with all this eye-candy. The game is nice and organized, and everything is user friendly and efficient.
There are 55 single player missions, with all ranges of different objectives, going from Hostage situations, to Escort missions, to straight up Team Death match. There is lots of content stuffed into this indie game, so don’t worry about not getting your money’s worth of fun. Although, if you fail a mission, there are no mulligans, the maps are all randomly generated and the mission details can vary drastically, ensuring there is really no “best” way to do a mission. Basic concepts and objectives stay the same, but it is a whole new level.
Players can also choose to engage in skirmishes, where they can even create their own map and they have control of almost all the design parameters. The number of different scenarios and the amount of different tactics once in the game is astounding, and makes the gameplay a constantly changing and unique experience.
But where Frozen Synapse really shines is in its Multiplayer mode. Games can be played any time, and you can play on your own time, taking as long as you want to make turns. If you are offline, Frozen Synapse will even send you an e-mail telling you when you can make a turn, truly showing the laid back nature of this game. There are two main game modes for multiplayer, with fog of war (Where you can only see as far as you soldiers can see, and don’t know where the enemy is), and without fog of war, where you can see your opponents movements and locations of his soldiers. The multiplayer interface is robust with features, showing you the best ranked players, results of matches, and even the recently started matches. It also has a replay system so you can watch and learn from the pros, with player profiles and the easy ability to export replays to various social media websites. Frozen Synapse is definitely is one of the best indie games. We definitely had fun reviewing this one. The games mechanics are simple, yet have a surprising amount of depth and replay value. With good graphics and a well made UI, Frozen Synapse is truly magnificent.
tl;dr: Frozen synapse is a great strategic shooter with hours of gameplay, and is definitively worth the buy.