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CRYOFALL on STEAM Review of Alpha Build

From indie creators AtomicTorch Studio, CryoFall introduces a fresh take on the cooperative multiplayer survival genre. Featuring stunning 2D graphics that impart a unique handcrafted feel, CryoFall challenges you to explore new worlds while uncovering long-forgotten secrets and technologies, as you piece together the story of the planet’s long-lost citizens. In this tense, sci-fi survival RPG, you and other crash survivors must find ways to thrive on a harsh and unforgiving planet in order to build a functioning colony, starting small and working through a deep technology tree that will satisfy even the most hardcore of survival fans.


Having played this for several hours solo and finding only "sleeping" survivors - presumably other players on this 'Alpha Build' edition - I haven't been able to get very far. Every time I collect enough resources, much of your first hour or more will be continually collecting just about anything you can and then Crafting them into primitive tools, a wild animal pops up and kills me. I get the option of 'Respawning' or 'Respawning in my Bed'. Seeing as I can never get enough material to actually make a bed I have to Respawn at a random location. Pressing 'M' brings up the Map which shows your position (as a teardrop arrow) and unless you have explored a lot of the area it is quite likely it will look as if you are on an island - further exploration will eventually complete the map. On this map you will also see your prior Tombstones, each of these will last 60 minutes rewal time, and if you can get back to them you can regain all the resources that you lost (and thus dropped) when you died.

The problem I have had so far is locating any of the Tombstones. According to the map I am sitting right on top of one and yet there is no sign of it whether I zoom in or zoom out, and after many deaths in a very short time I think that either I am making too many errors or the game is not for solo play and that you have to join up with other 'survivors' thus forcing you to make alliances. This is billed as an RPG but it is unlike any actual RPG I have played, it is more like an animated cartoon-style (almost retro graphics) exploration and survival adventure. There is no character creation (except Male or Female and a few adjustments) and there is little you can do to stay alive if on your own and attacked.


Apart from the Chickens, that only run away from you, as they know that you can catch and kill them, virtually every other animal/creature that you come into contact with can and will kill you in seconds. Even if you have made some of the implements - stone hammer, knife, pick, axe etc you have very little chance of killing them before they kill you. Your best chance of staying alive is to run away until the creature chasing you is no longer visible on the screen, most of the time you are then safe (not always - and if you step back that way and the creature is still there it will be back on your screen and you will have to run away again. Have the screen zoomed out so that you can see not to run straight into another adversary.

Once you have tools you can break rock, gather all manner of extra resources from them apart from just stone, chop trees (those that are laying on the ground) collect reed type plants (from which you can make rope), small stones & sticks (used with rope to make the tools) plus you can pick berries and other plants that give refreshment, as in Food and Water, which you also need to stay alive - creatures aren't the only things that can kill you.


The graphics are the better side of retro and your character looks slightly hapless, rather like Guybrush Threepwood (could be his cousin if gormless looks are any indication), but the movement is truly retro as your character glides over the terrain using the 8 main compass points using the Arrow keys singly or in combination (going diagonally you press forward or reverse and one of the sideways keys at the same time.

As you travel across the terrain you will come across the water that surrounds the game land as well as crossing various different terratin types. Within these land areas you will come across fences, follow close by a fence and you will find an opening. A lot of the time the creatures will not pass through the opening into the enclosure, sometimes they do but that appears to be when the fence is not creating a safe haven (how you tell which areas are safe and which aren't is trial and death (err I mean trial and error). Inside these enclosures I have found beds belonging to other characters, unfortunately you cannot use someone else's bed and besides they are usually standing (asleep) very close by - you wouldn't want them to suddenly wake up and go all Three Bears on you.


I figure there must be a way to collect what I need to Craft and then build without dying all the time and that by endeavour I will eventually discover it, but at the moment this isn't happening for me. When running from a creature you can right click on 'pick-up' resources (small stones, grass etc) without stopping and you will get these into your backpack but if you click on a 'gather' resource (berries etc) you have to stop, and then the chaser will catch and kill you.

You can craft armour and weapons but not right from the beginning, thus be prepared to die or run away regularly. Mapping out as much of the area as you can before dying is helpful, the landscape maps itself as you move through it. You can keep the map overlay up and as you move your teardrop cursor will also move, but sadly you will see any beasties too late and you will be exterminated by sharp claws and teeth.

As you progress (make that 'if') you can learn how to make fires, cook food and craft without any special requirement, but finding a workshop and table etc gives you many more options.

Not totally convinced at the moment but it is growing on me. Certainly a game that, like the adventure itself, needs more time and exploration. 


Game Features:

Check out the CryoFall fact sheet for more details on the extensive features of the game:

To find out more about CryoFall, visit the game’s official website:





© Chris Baylis 2011-2015