The Frosts: First Ones
Gameplay 7
Graphics 7
Sound 8

The Frosts: First Ones is an interesting adventure game set in a harsh and frozen world. Players take control of a hunter named Berak, who embarks on a rescue mission to find his missing neighbor. While the gameplay mainly consists of walking through the environments, there are some interactions with other people and close encounters with dangerous wildlife. The game is very short, and the story ends just as things become more intriguing, but the low price and unique setting make it worth checking out.

Gameplay: Limited interactions but the journey through the snow-covered world is quite neat.

Graphics: Pixilated and lacking in color, but still very detailed and packed with interesting scenes.

Sound: The soundtrack and sound effects are really good

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The Frosts: First Ones

Developer: Ivan Sukhanov | Publisher: Ivan Sukhanov | Release Date: 2021 | Genre: Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Times are tough in the world of The Frosts: First Ones. The only season is winter, and every year it becomes colder and colder. Berak is a hunter living in a small village on the edge of a forest. The game opens with Berak’s neighbor, Cilla, approaching him in tears after her husband Hendrik fails to return from a hunt. Cilla fears the worse as it has been a week since Hendrik departed, so Berak reluctantly agrees to set out in search of the missing hunter.

It is up to players to guide Berak through the harsh and cold environments while scanning for clues that may lead to Hendrik. Although Berak is a skilled hunter, wild creatures such as wolves, bears, and boars could quickly end his journey if he is not careful. However, far beyond the areas Berak is familiar with, other mysteries are waiting to be discovered. Thus, what starts as a relatively mundane rescue mission eventually turns into something much bigger and mysterious.

The Frosts: First Ones is a very short game, so we can’t reveal too much more about the storyline without spoiling some of the best elements. It is the work of solo developer Ivan Sukhanov who has crafted a very enjoyable adventure that, unfortunately, won’t appeal to everyone. Although the Frosts features some danger and Berak can die if players are not careful, the game mainly involves a lot of walking. Berak does not have an inventory that players must manage, stats to monitor, or even puzzles to be solved. Instead, players must navigate the lonely snow-covered environments until they trigger the next story element. It is still a gratifying experience, and the story takes some unexpected turns, but the pace might be a little too slow for some players.

Visually the game features a minimal color palette, with most scenes dominated by white, brown, and blue. Despite the sparse colors, each area is very densely packed with detail to the point where it is easy to lose sight of Berak as you guide him through the frozen flora. It’s not always obvious where to go next due to all this detail, but luckily the areas in the game are not as big as they appear either. Players who wander off the beaten path might be rewarded with a glimpse of something unique, but mostly invisible walls will block your progress. The game is viewed from an overhead perspective, and we loved the small touches, such as startled birds taking flight when Berak ventures too close. Occasionally Berak will encounter other humans that can be engaged in conversation or, more likely, wild animals that must be avoided. Some of the encounters with the animals can be a little annoying as they can instantly kill Berak if you make a wrong move. In the case of a wild boar, we tried everything to sneak past it, but only one specific route actually worked.

Luckily the game autosaves before any dangerous encounters, so not much time is lost if Berak dies. However, we were unfortunate enough to encounter a bug with this system after exiting the game shortly after it autosaved. Upon returning later, we couldn’t proceed with the story as the next sequences would not trigger no matter what we did. In the end, we had to restart the game and lose more than an hour of progress in the process, but this appears to have been an isolated incident. The Frosts: First Ones is quite a short game too, so it is easy to complete it in one sitting.

The soundtrack for The Frosts: First Ones was created by Anvar Hazgaleev and offers plenty of great tunes to keep players company during their lonely trek. Some unexpected instruments, such as an electric guitar, also make an appearance in the soundtrack but fit the game’s tone surprisingly well. The sound effects are also very good, and it is almost possible to feel the extreme cold thanks to the crunch of Berak’s footsteps in the snow and the howling of the wind. The game even features some sparse voice acting by Berak, although it can be hard to discern what he is saying at times. The rest of the dialog in the game is handled via text, and it is evident that the English translation is quite rough. We never had any trouble understanding what was being said or described, but all the writing could benefit from a lot more polish. The game can be played with a controller or keyboard and mouse. The controls are very straightforward, too, with one button reserved for using, taking, or inspecting and another for jumping. Jumping makes navigating some of the areas easier, but the scenes that require interaction, such as climbing up a cliff or healing an injured animal, feel a bit too much like trial and error.

Overall, The Frosts: First Ones is an interesting and unique game that offers a very different experience. The fact that it is mostly a walking simulator coupled with the stark environments and pixilated visuals might also limit the appeal to some players. However, despite being very short, the game is priced low enough to make it an impulse purchase for anyone even remotely interested in the premise. With this game, the developer has created a very compelling game world, and we would love to see future titles that delve more into what happened before and after Berak’s rescue mission.

System Requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1+ 64bit (or later)
  • Processor: Intel or AMD Dual-Core at 2.4 GHz or better
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 840M / AMD Radeon 530
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 1 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX®-compatible
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7 SP1+ 64bit (or later)
  • Processor: Quad Core Processor
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or better
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 1 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX®-compatible

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