I admit; I’m terrible at chess, so I find it somewhat peculiar that I have a love of, and some small amount of skill in, top-down, turn-based, strategy games like XCOM and Valkyria Chronicles. While the royal game has me getting lost in permutations, games like Frozen Synapse have me bluffing and double-bluffing my opponents like Sun Tzu himself.
It’s beautiful really – Frozen Synapse speaks to that side of me that loves a good 80’s cyberpunk novel with it’s abstract blue environments and Uplink-style UI. Move your artificial soldiers with double-clicked waypoints, set their facing, and try to predict the actions of your enemy. Test it, try it, tweak every last aim or crouch command, and then CLICK! Press the Prime button, and your move is committed. If your opponent has also finished their turn, you get to watch your best laid plans gang aft agley.
It was a trick!? That was a feint?! Where did HE come from?! I’ll get him next turn! And so on, and so forth.
So sit in your laptop-lit hacker den, juggling half a dozen a-synchronous PvP matches, or play through the (incredibly story-heavy) single player campaign with 50 missions. Pop online for 5 minutes to do another turn, or play in near-real time for as long as you like. Rescue hostages, bid for territory defenses, or just wipe out your enemies – it’s incredibly deep, wonderfully unhurried, and scratches a strategy itch that’s hard to get to otherwise.
Preorder it from the site, and get it as a two pack for you and a friend, and play the beta now. And here’s a video (one-click upload from the match-resolution page) of me utterly destroying my bf at the game – but don’t worry – he defeated me next game. If you get it, let me know – I’m Bioluminescence, and I’d love to play you!