Frozen Nightmare (Preview)
Video games based around survival have always been appealing to me, mainly because it provides a semi-realistic sense of suspense and forces me to think about my choices. “Frozen Nightmare” is a game I discovered on Desura that tasks the player with finding the necessities to stay alive while avoiding those who have been turned into monstrosities as the result of a nasty virus. Before we take a look at this particular survival game in detail, I’d like to thank Claudio Norori for providing me with a free review copy. It should be noted that the game is currently in the Alpha stage, meaning that it isn’t finished yet. All of the content that I mention in this article is therefore subject to change.
The main menu is still a work in progress from the looks of things, as all you’re able to do is play the game or quit. I didn’t see an options menu, though a Desura window popped up before the game launched which gave me the option to adjust screen resolution, change basic keybinds, and toggle between fullscreen and windowed mode. Since the game is still in the Alpha stages, I don’t mind this so as long as plans are in the works to give the player a working options menu by the time the game is scheduled to be released. Starting a new game plops the player down in a forest with some buildings off in the distance. This seems to be the case with every new game, meaning that environments don’t seem to randomly generate at the moment. Whether this is a feature planned in a future build is unknown, but it would be great if the developer managed to include this feature. In terms of a working interface, you’ll have crosshairs in the middle of the screen and some vital statistics in the upper left corner of the screen. In regards to the latter, you’ll see your status in terms of time alive, nutrition, health, materials, and hydration. Your nutrition and hydration values decrease steadily in real-time and your health drops when you’re attacked by an enemy.
Staying alive is pretty difficult to do, as you’ll not only have to keep yourself fed but avoid these gorilla things as they attempt to tear you apart limb from limb. There’s quite a number of them too, something I hope can be adjusted in a future build. I found myself dead about twenty seconds after spawning. Fortunately, you’ll have some weapons at your disposal…mainly, a flashlight, tommy gun, and some sort of glob shooter that acts like a time-delayed C4 chain gun. You can switch between these items by hitting “Q” and “E”, as well as use the number keys. These gorilla monsters take some doing to kill and sneak up on you without warning, so staying on the move is generally recommended. Boxes are dropped when you dispose of them, which provide you with the materials you’ll need to build your very own base.
Hitting the “B” key brings up the main build menu, allowing you to construct beds, lights, walls, walls with doors, floors, kitchens (ovens), stairs, bridges, columns, concrete blocks, and wood blocks. If you have the materials available, you’ll be able to press to appropriate key and set the object down where the cursor is. From there, you can rotate it with the “K” and “L” keys and lock it in with the “Enter” key. I haven’t figured out yet if it’s possible to move or delete objects after the fact…hopefully the devs will add this feature if it turns out that you aren’t able to. The objects don’t fully meld with the environment, especially on slopes and hills. This can result in floors being slightly off the ground, forcing you to jump to enter a building, among other things. In addition to building, there are buttons for “meat”, “water”, and “medicine” that allow you to consume them to increase your vital stats. The medicine button seems to be bugged at the moment, as I was unable to enter the build menu for the rest of the game after clicking on it.
Editor’s Note: I was informed after posting the article that you can move spawned objects with the up, down, left, and right arrow keys.
“Frozen Nightmare” is showing a lot of promise. If the developers manage to clear up the bugs and include a fully functional interface and options menu, the game will have the appeal to go far. I like the idea of a food / water / medicine mechanic, which forces the player to keep moving in order to stay alive. I’m anxious to see what else the developers have in store for this game. The Alpha build is available on Desura for the Windows and Mac platforms (as of 1/13/13), but it looks like the Linux version is on the horizon. If you’re interested in first person survival shooters and don’t mind slugging through the bugs that come with Alpha builds, I recommend that you give this particular game a look.
You can learn more about and purchase “Frozen Nightmare” by visiting the following websites:
You can view the controls for this game, here:
You can view gameplay sessions of the Alpha builds here: