CryoFall – Review
Follow Genre: Survival, Crafting, Base Building, Open World, MMO
Developer: AtomicTorch Studio
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

CryoFall – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Overall simple and fun game mechanics, lots of new materials and cute looks
Bad: Little content, combat and exploring lack excitement, progression can be too grindy
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Survival games are a very unique genre: you either love them or you hate them, there’s no in-between. Generally, that relationship is directly proportional to how willing you are to throw hours into collecting materials – clicking tree after tree after tree, and grabbing rocks until your virtual arm hurts. CryoFall is no exception, offering a grinding experience that is very easy on the eyes.

Story

There is no storyline or a plot as such in CryoFall. You are a survivor, somewhere in the future, trying to rebuild your civilization from scratch on an alien planet. There’s some stuff about galactic factions, and you can personalize your character to the point of looking quite unique (and change it mid-play), but that’s how far any narrative element goes.

Since you will be playing in live servers, you are invited to make your own story, together with your friends (or frenemies, if we are talking PvP). The game actually insists on presenting itself as a “sci-fi colony simulation”, but there are not too many sci-fi elements visible until much later in your playthrough, nor will you necessarily miss them.

Graphics

CryoFall sports a top-down view with a very cartoonish look, and its graphics are good enough for that purpose. The creatures you will encounter look almost too cute for you to want to hurt them (until they start chasing you), and the buildings and materials are detailed enough to keep your interest. The map is the only aspect of the game where looks can be a bit disappointing, as it is too blocky and unclear for you to want to use it more often and engage directly with the world.

Sound

The musical score for CryoFall is cool, with some futuristic notes and overall atmospheric ambiance. The sound effects for everything you do in the game are also quite pleasant and complement its vibe, including the sounds from creatures encountered and items interacted with.

Gameplay

CryoFall is a 2D top-down multiplayer colony simulation or, in other words, a survival and crafting game. It has the particularity that it is based on technological development, which means it is designed to take you from the stone age up until the high-tech era, as you evolve your character and your base.

Like most survival games, its bread and butter revolves around collecting resources to craft into all kinds of elements, in order to aid your character surviving the harsh world. Level-ups happen automatically as you perform actions and fulfill tasks, awarding you “Learning Points”. You can spend these on unlocking new technologies and recipes, and there is a lot of freedom in which path you can choose to upgrade and in which order, depending on what you rather be focusing on: farming, exploring, building a huge high-tech base, etc.

The multiplayer aspect is explored through PvE (Player vs Environment) or PvP (Player vs Player) servers, just like what happens in a lot of other multiplayer survival titles such as Ark: Survival Evolved or Conan Exiles. So if you are looking for a relaxing gaming session, you can expand your base in a PvE server and take it slow, but if you rather have an all-out war and be heavily punished for being offline, PvP is the mode for you.

Most of the game solutions are clever, covering both types of experience – for example, there is an AFK Mode in PvE that activates automatically when you’re online but not actively playing, suspending thirst and hunger. The controls for gathering and running are smooth and the overall menus and skill trees are intuitive, making playing CryoFall a very comfortable adventure. There are some different biomes to explore, and the “Completionist Catalogue” makes for a good incentive to further roam the planet and engage with its creatures. World events happen randomly during the day, calling for duels or announcing special material spawns, as a way of adding new ideas of things to do.

However, not everything is perfect in CryoFall’s wastelands. Although the game general mechanics are simple, building can be anything but clear or enjoyable when you first start out. You must go through a complicated system of first assembling a print of what you want to do, then set it down in the world (in an awkward shadow-version that makes everything really hard to see), and only then actually using your toolbox (that you must now equip) to build the item (if you have enough materials for it). Oof. Add this hassle to the fact that you can’t rotate any objects in the game and that the interior of every base is visible to every other player and you will be left with really big, not so private or good-looking bases. If you are a fan of making them more personal than practical, this is perhaps not the right game for you.

Similarly, although you encounter a nice variety of creatures roaming the world, combat is not exactly exciting, consisting more of a dance of cat and mouse, and you will run out of things to do very fast in your playthrough (at least in PvE). This means that you will spend a considerable amount of time grinding for materials that you need to build something, only so that you can then build something else with that too; until the cycle ends. There is no real sense of becoming stronger against the world (fighting harder and harder foes), more of a steady rise as you reach milestone after milestone in technology and can use that to build more technologically advanced gadgets. End-game goals can become quite shallow and time-consuming, unless you are playing on PvP servers, and CryoFall’s vibe does not really seem fit for a full PvP experience, leaving the game in a kind of awkward in-between place.

Conclusion

Overall, CryoFall achieves most of what it sets out to do. Its cartoonish look is charming and it complements the fun gameplay elements, offering a paradise for players that enjoy a good grind. The developers are very present in the community and are willing to listen, with their love for their product and desire to share going as far as their offer of a free demo of 8 hours for anyone interested in trying it. Therefore, there is space for the game to keep growing. In its current state, it may not be for everyone, and it may lack some excitement, but it is without a doubt a title we can stand by and recommend to the fans of the survival/crafting genre who are looking for a relaxing time.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
CryoFall – Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
ChiChi


Freelance writer and translator who likes to feed in her free time. If you'd like to chat, send me an e-mail to ritajbp@gmail.com!

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