Summary: Everything you want in a portable tactics title, and then about 200% more.
Pros: Synchronous turns provide a unique and challenging twist on standard tactical gameplay. Despite the significant level of detail that battles can break down into, gameplay never feels bogged down or overly complicated. Both single- and multiplayer modes are completely fleshed out and worthwhile. An amazing number of game modes, types, setup options, and overall player choices.
Cons: Lack of tutorial missions and detailed explanations creates a significant learning curve. Touch screen inevitably less specific than a mouse, leading to extra waypoints when zooming or other minor annoyances.
Excerpt: Frozen Synapse was really one of those impulse buys. This is quite rare for me as I might as well compile enough research to complete a master’s thesis before I place my hard earned money down for a videogame.
Excerpt: Turn based strategy games are often thought of as stodgy old war games for people who would rather be playing the game with dice and painted models but can’t find an opponent to play against. With the release of Frozen Synapse this has never been less true. Set in a virtual city which mirrors a futuristic dystopia, you play Tactics and are given command of small squads of vatform; virtual clones of troops.
Summary: Indie games come in all shapes and forms, but while many offer creative designs and experiences to those who are willing to look for them, just as many can be a bit derivative of old designs. That isn't the case with Frozen Synapse , a game that could be shoehorned into a "chess meets Rainbow Six " description although that doesn't do it justice. This game does something more than just mix existing genres: it encourages a new form of strategic and tactical thinking.
Excerpt: For us, strategy games tend to be never-ending spirals of regret and woe. Don’t get us wrong—we love the genre. But our approach to tactics usually goes something like this: “OK, now you go here and... oops. Everything we love is on fire.” Put simply, mistakes happen. Frozen Synapse, however, allows us to make informed mistakes. In a nutshell, the game lets you see the outcome of your moves before you make them.
Pros: Excellent mix of turn-based and real-time strategy; easy-to-learn mechanics; incredibly satisfying multiplayer.
Cons: Randomized levels can throw off balance; a few less-than-stellar campaign missions.
Excerpt: Every once in a while an indie game comes out which distills a genre down to its core and in the process, ends up seeming completely fresh. Minecraft did it for 3D exploration, Gratuitous Space Battles did it for, well, gratuitous space battles, and Frozen Synapse has come along and done it for turn-based, strategic action.
Pros: Solid tactical gameplay that is engaging in both single and multiplayer modes. Strong AI. Ability to play and manage multiple online games at any one time.
Cons: Graphics are stylized and serve their purpose, but I was left missing a more gritty, true to life atmosphere. Greater variety and customization of weapons would be a plus. Only the deathmatch game type can be played in offline skirmish mode.
Summary: Frozen Synapse is a turn-based game with a distinctly tactical focus and thrilling one-versus-one combat. It feels a lot like chess but with rocket launchers. Unlike the traditional back and forth of other turn-based games, Frozen Synapse's turns play out simultaneously in five seconds of real-time action. There are only a handful of units, each with a specialized weapon and movement speed, but they are all equally deadly in the right circumstances.
Excerpt: “Why did I do that? What in the name of all that is holy have I just done?”. That’s my brain hours after I’ve committed myself to a move on Frozen Synapse. Long after I’ve turned my PC off, those little green men inching their way to what is surely impending doom still haunt my thoughts.
Pros: Simple but full of depth, Incredible sountrack, Just really very good!