Brings the simultaneous turn-based strategy genre up-to-date and lets you give detailed, accurate orders to your squad.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,874 reviews)
Release Date: May 26, 2011

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

Buy Frozen Synapse

Includes two copies of Frozen Synapse - Send the extra copy to a friend.

Packages that include this game

Buy Frozen Synapse: Soundtrack Edition

Includes one copy of the Soundtrack and two copies of Frozen Synapse - Send the extra copy of the game to a friend.

Buy Frozen Synapse: Complete Pack

Includes two copies of Frozen Synapse - Send the extra copy of the game to a friend.

Buy Frozen Synapse: Soundtrack

Includes the Frozen Synapse Soundtrack

Buy Frozen Cortex Mega Tier

Includes everything in the Soundtrack Edition (apart from a different unique trophy) PLUS Frozen Synapse Complete Pack! Additional EP and soundtrack by nervous_testpilot, in-game helmet, celebration animation, behind-the-scenes videos.

Downloadable Content For This Game

 

Recommended By Curators

"A multiplayer tactics game in which you plan your actions and they're all then executed simultaneously against the enemy. Killer soundtrack."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“Ceaselessly thrilling.”
9/10 – EDGE
“Excellent and inventive...it's such an achievement.”
9/10 – Eurogamer
“The most moreish and brilliant game I've played in years.”
95% – bit-gamer

About This Game

Frozen Synapse is the ultimate tactical game on PC and Mac.
It brings the simultaneous turn-based strategy genre bang up-to-date and lets you give detailed, accurate orders to your squad: classic gameplay with a modern interface.
Plan your moves, test them out, then hit the "Prime" button: both you and your enemy's turns are executed simultaneously.
Competitive-but-intuitive multiplayer and a huge single player campaign mean that Frozen Synapse will give you hours and hours of tactical delight.

Key features:

  • Get a FREE full copy of the game for a friend with every purchase
  • 5 challenging multiplayer modes, including the innovative bidding-based “Secure” and “Hostage Rescue”
  • 55-mission single player campaign with dynamic dialogue and thrilling near-future narrative
  • Powerful Skirmish Generator
  • Facebook, Twitter and YouTube integration
  • 15 Steam Achievements
  • Integrated IRC chat as well as various community features
  • Random generation combined with hand-crafted content means that levels and maps are different every time
  • Critically-acclaimed electronica soundtrack by musician nervous_testpilot

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB
    • Graphics: Netbook integrated graphics
    • DirectX®:
    • Hard Drive: 220 MB
    • Sound:
    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
    • Processor: 1GHZ PowerPC (or Intel)
    • Memory: 512 MB
    • Graphics:
    • Hard Drive: 220 MB
    • Sound:
Helpful customer reviews
39 of 41 people (95%) found this review helpful
54.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 3, 2014
It's a shame when people have only AAA games in their mind and ignore hidden gems such as Frozen Synapse. The game is not for anyone - that can be said about any game out there. But in this case what I mean is that unlike other games where you just rush and kill everything in sight, in Frozen Synapse you must take a slower and more tactical approach. You are in command of a squad of soldiers, each equipped with different weapons, from shotguns through sniper rifles all the way to rocket launchers. The game has a good tutorial which can make a person understand the basic and more advanced tactics - from the standard take cover tactics to the more advanced search and destroy where each member of the squad covers the blind spot of the other and thus advance in their search for the enemies. Afterwards people can chose whether they want to advance to the campaign, practice against the computer in skirmish matches or go online against other people around the world. This is a game which would be more suited to the gamers which favor brains and strategy over the standard gamers which know only how to react and rely on reflexes while gaming ... If you are of the first type - I recommend buying this, if you are from the latter one - prove us wrong, joins us and show us ! :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
25 of 27 people (93%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
Frozen Synapse is a great turn-based game with stirring tactical multiplayer battles that reward clever thinking. This game perfectly demonstrates the fact that looks aren't everything.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2014
Frozen Synapse is phenomenal. I bought a multipack ages ago, and remember eyeing it with great interest before release. Finally got around to playing it, and being turn based, it can suck the hours away.

One of the major hooks is that you can simulate the actions you think the enemy will take before you complete your turn. This allows you test a bunch of potential outcomes in advance, and it ratches the tension up tenfold.

There are loads of features built into the client: a chat service (communicate with your opponents without needing Friends list functionality), piles of multiplayer modes, a built in IRC client so you can discuss strategies or find new opponents... There's play-by-email functionality, hotseat (aka pass the keyboard) multiplayer, full coop for the campaign, and I don't think I've even mentioned the DLC yet!

Add all that goodness on top of one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard and a cyberpunk inflected premise and story, and you've got a winner. Immense value for the money. If you have any love for turn-based strategy, be sure to pick it up!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
Okay, so I'm not much of a tactical person, but Frozen Synapse is a lot of fun. Planning out your exact next moves and seeing what the enemy could do in certain situations... and then the rush of seeing everything actually unfold....
It really is a lot of fun. And it's really nice to listen to.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
Frozen Synapse is a turn based game where the turns are simultaneous. You plan what you want your units to do in the next 5 seconds, and you and your enemy enact their plans at the same time. The graphics are simple, yet interesting, and the singleplayer campaign is quite detailed.

Pros:

- Turn based
- Can run the plan of the current turn, and re-watch previous turns
- Many modes
- 25 dollars for a 2 pack
- Simple, easy to use UI


Cons:

- Hard to master
- High skill cap
- Quite a few advanced techniques that are not mentioned
- Simple graphics
- Forced to buy 2 copies
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
57 of 100 people (57%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 18, 2014
You know what makes chess the ultimate strategy game that has lasted for thousands of years? It's simplicity.

Frozen Synapse takes the turn-based strategy game genre to an extreme level of meticulousness. This is saying something in a genre that already resembles something like chess with more rules.

I am a long-time fan of turn-based strategy games, with the X-Com iterations holding a special place in my heart (well just the first two and the remake actually), so I am no stranger to intricate control over characters and exhaustive planning for each turn. However, there are two questions that must be answered in the affirmative for any TBS game to be considered "good":
First, are the controls efficient?
Second, is the game fun?

Unfortunately, Frozen Synapse fails on both accounts. The painstaking level of control over every minute movement of your troops is maddening and superfluous. You are the most anal-retentive military commander in all of history, and while the game provides a reasonable explanation for it, your troops are apparently mindless drones. Simply adding more controls over every little movement does not make a TBS game superior to others. Extraneous controls weaken a strategy game's enjoyability by obstructing its very purpose: strategy. Very often, you will find yourself losing rounds/games because you forgot to set a drone to look in a specific direction or to duck at the right moment, or walk quickly/slowly. Not because you didn't realize that those moves were necessary, no, because you FORGOT. There are so many options to set for each individual unit, that you can easily spend an hour just setting up a SINGLE TURN. I am not exaggerating, the multiplayer gives opponents a week to post their turn! This kind of burdening complexity removes the players ability to strategize and gives advantage to the player who is most able to memorize details. Strategy is about out-thinking your opponent's moves and countering them, or recovering from a weaker position with superior tactics, NOT micro-managing the user-interface.

So is it fun? Well, Frozen Synapse insists on you monitoring every sniffle and cough your troops make, so the majority of the time playing this game is spent staring at a screen of unmoving drones and identical walls, running simulation after simulation to determine the highest likely method of success. It would be just as fun to compare tax audits to determine which IRS agent was the most efficient!

Speaking of identical walls, the graphical quality of this game is terrible. I have never before claimed to need high quality graphics in a game, in fact in many ways the fight for ever greater graphics is ruining the industry, but if ever there was a game that needed better graphical design: this is it. The neon colors that honestly looked cool in the trailers and screencaps are horrendous to look at after only ten hours or so of gameplay. Every character looks the same, every wall is identical, you are a robot commander of a robot army killing other robots for no reason whatsoever.

Some of the positive reviews said the game was "easy to get into, but hard to master," and this is an outright lie. This game is hard to get into and hard to master. I will say it again: strategy games require simple controls so the only thing between you and victory is your tactics. Not fun.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
90.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
Better controls than the prime version.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
86.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
I love it when a plan comes together, and Frozen Synapse is my favourite turn-based game.

It’s similar to ground operations of X-COM, for example, but in purer, simpler form. There’s no base management, inventory, RPG elements. All units of the same type have identical stats. And, unlike X-COM, RNG does not make much of an impact on outcomes of firefights, if any. The typical ‘chance to hit’ mechanic is replaced with ‘time to hit’. If enemy unit is in cover, your unit will need more time to hit him; if enemy units runs into your stationary unit, your unit will shoot first because he had a bonus to this timer, and the enemy had a penalty for running. Thus, if you can predict what your opponent is about to do, you can be 100% sure what will happen when they encounter one of your units. If.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=188303206
The best thing about this game is the ability to plot your opponent’s expected moves and run a simulation that will show what will happen if you do this, and they do that. You can run as many iterations of this as you like before submitting a turn.

In multiplayer FS becomes a game of psychology, misdirection, bluffs and double bluffs. You have to be able to make accurate predictions, but also behave unpredictably, be stealthy, feed misleading information to your foe. And make plans that account for every eventuality.

The maps are random and asymmetrical, but scoring takes this into account. Plus, you can use premade symmetrical maps or make your own. You can even play a flat version of cs_office if you’re so inclined.

There’s a long single player campaign with interesting missions and a cyberpunk-themed story. You can play it in coop, too. And it’s fairly hard. Only 0.6% of players have completed the campaign according to Steam achievement stats. But two of the missions at the end are somewhat glitchy and many people may have quit just because of these.

Downsides: I’m not too fond of the graphics. 3D perspective makes it hard to see whether you have line of sight sometimes, I would prefer to have a flat 2D mode. Thankfully, there’s a line of sight tool that works like a ruler. There’s no offline chat in multiplayer, which is disappointing for a game you can play via e-mail.

Red DLC adds shield units (really cool) and the ability to host coop games and play single-player campaign with a friend, among other things. You can use the new features in multiplayer even if your opponent/partner doesn’t have the DLC. So I’d get the Complete Pack while it’s on −88% sale.

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=184591910
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 27, 2014
This game is challenging, and kind of obtuse. It really demands that you experiment a lot with the controls, and try to plan things out well. It's extremely easy to lose your troops, have the entire mission go pear-shaped, and have to restart it. This can make things frustrating, especially when the game has such a completely literal interpretation of your goals. You can be defending a particular room and be almost done, when an enemy walks in and instantly gets his face blown off by a shotgun blast. Trouble is, he technically set foot in the room, so you have to restart.

It's not like many other games, that's for sure. Oddly enough, I'm just not sure I have the patience for it.
Still a good design, though.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2014
I like tactics games, but didn't think I would like this game, and so passed it over when I first saw it. I couldn't have been more wrong. My friend gifted me his bonus copy, and I have been playing it nonstop since. It seems like a sort of real time/turn based hybrid and can seem very intimidating at first, but at its core it really is just a turn based game that rewards careful planning. You give your soldiers orders that they then carry out over the course of a 5 second round, and you have a chance to revise the orders each round.

The controls seem complicated when you first start as well, but they are actually both remarkably simple and surprisingly powerful - you can give incredibly intricate orders to your troops with only a few clicks and drags. The asynchronys multiplayer lets you take pretty much all the time you need for your turn, and lets you juggle multiple games if your opponent does the same.

The soundtrack is pretty killer, too. If you're on the fence about this game and you like tactics games, you won't go wrong picking this up.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
-Quick Review-
Frozen Synapse is a turn based strategy game where you utilize several different types of units to execute a variety of commands. Combat mechanics are based on: Direction, movement, cover, and weapon speed.
-Detailed breakdown review-
Story: I have yet to figure out what type of creature I am… in the campaign mode, I’m under the impression that I’m an artificial intelligence named “Tactics”, whoever had the bright idea of making me an AI apparently need to be shot in the foot, because I proceeded to fail the next ten attempts at the campaign.
The campaign has a total of 55 missions, this game’s appeal is in its competitive aspect, think of this game as a “modern” chess game, although the objectives can be changed from simply “capture the king” to, capture the flag, team elimination, etc.

Game Play: There are five basic units in the game: Machine Gun, Shotgun, Sniper, Grenade Launcher, and Rocket Launcher. Each have different abilities, for example the shot gunner can run fast and does is the fastest at weapon draw, while the Sniper is slow to shoot, but can shoot from almost across the whole map and moves very slowly.
As you get into the game the different units make more sense and you start to learn how to implement them accordingly. I practiced against the computer on campaign… which admittedly felt like bashing my face against a brick wall, but eventually strategies started to stick.

Achievements: There are 16 achievements for this game, one of those achievements requires beating a player named “bin” who is apparently no longer playing… Ergo, this achievement is broken in my book. The rest of the achievements are very straight forward and require either winning a game mode, or doing something specific in the game.
The two hardest achievements are probably “get to level 100” and “Beat the campaign”. Hardest might be the wrong term though, maybe “the most time consuming”? Regardless, there is a fair amount of activity in this game if you’re going after achievements.

Price: Frozen Synapse commonly goes on steam sales, so that is when I would suggest purchasing the game, at the time that I’m writing this review the game is actually 88% off for the next 43 hours. At the standard price of $24.99 that’s probably too high of a price for a strategy game like Frozen Synapse for most people, you can easily pump 20-40 hours into the game… again; if you already know you like strategy games and enjoy learning new ones.

Conclusion: Again to recap: the story/campaign wasn’t particularly intersecting for me, the game play is very precise (a requirement for strategy games), achievements are “meh”, the price is high unless on sale.
I’ve enjoyed playing this game, I would suggest it to people who *already know* they like strategy games. When you first jump into this game it’s definitely daunting to comprehend what’s going on. The game itself tries to help with a lack luster tutorial, but in the end it doesn’t prepare you for the cruel reality of “campaign”. (Unless you happen to be a young strategic genius, who in that case, go back to your business classes and leave my review alone.)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Can't recommend it enough. I love it! It's like chess with guns.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
32.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
Great turn-based strategy game
This game is one-of-a-kind. I love RTS, but there is something to be said about this game. At first glance, the game looks poorly made and of low quality. However, don't let the simple graphics fool you. This game is thoroughly enjoyable and offers indepth planning you wouldn't expect. You plan your turn the same time as the opponent and wait for the outcome. If you love strategy you have got to try this. You won't regret it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
Frozen Synapse - Raymond K. Turcotte

I swear this may be one of the only darn games that you need to play the tutorial to understand how to play the game. But besides that, this game was and is excellent. I heard of this game from the PC Gamer magazine when it first came out. I won this game, I wouldn’t buy it. Over 20$ is too much for me (My opinion whtevr) Thanks to the 2014 holiday I was able to achieve this game I was looking forward to playing. It was exactly what I thought it would be.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 12 people (58%) found this review helpful
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
The concept of Frozen Synapse is pretty solid, but the gameplay has too many problems to be an enjoyable experience. The map and unit placements are randomly generated, and much like Solitare, the deck is often stacked against you in such a manner as to make it impossible to win no matter what you do. Losing units at the start of the first turn before they are able to act is commonplace. Furthermore, the units themselves often inexplicably fail to do what they are ordered. Rockets and grenades are often launched at trajectories different from what was input, while some units simply don't engage an enemy directly in front of them (and yes, "Engage on Sight" was selected). I have also had instances where a unit glitched against a wall and became stuck in place as cannon fodder. The tutorial was largely useless; I learned more through trial and error in a few randomly-generated skirmishes.

All-in-all, I really want to like Frozen Synapse, but the frustration from bad spawns and glitches outweighs any enjoyment in the end.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2014
I'm only a few hours in so far and have not touched the multiplayer yet. The detail in this game is amazing, you can set just about anything you can imagine when you are planning and moving your troops. I actually passed over this game tons of times while it sat on my wishlist because the images when you just glance quickly look kind of like crap. Then today I actually watched the video and when the multiplayer gameplay footage came up I was sold. I really like that both sides set all their actions up at the exact same time then we hit a button and it all plays out in 5 second increments. I love xcom, but hated online that both sides move one at a time b/c it drags those matches out so long and it's actually very boring waiting for someone else to move while you do nothing.

I only did the first several levels and died several times starting on about the third one, it gets pretty difficult. The gameplay and commands could definitely be a bit overwhelming at first if you aren't familiar at all with these types of games. I'm very familiar with these types and it took me a little bit of time to fully learn it smoothly. The only negative I have right now is that cover can be a bit tricky to figure out exactly where to be to not get hit from angles. It seems like your character has to have the waypoint marker a nice little bit past the corner in order to actually fire at someone while being safe. It's not so much of an issue in SP b/c you can test it out by controlling the AI which is a really awesome feature. MP could cause a few potential issues trying to play quickly and guage where you need to be exactly because there is no actual cover symbol to let you know you are locked in. You can also drag a line of sight for your char across the screen to see what danger you might be in, but you still just have to kind of guess some being that the corners are a little funny. I really wish we could rotate the camera and adjust the angles, but not a huge issue either.

If you like tactical turn based games then you will really like this game. I know it looks bad in the images, but it is really a ton of fun. I would love to see a new game which has the same gameplay and mechanics from this game, but with a customizable squad which you can lvl up with skills and several different weapons + permament death option.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
One of the greatest turn-based games I have ever played.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
81.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
The single player has an incredible story, filled with a unique world and interesting characters. The gameplay is quite unique, as you and your opponent input your commands at the same time to guide actions within 5 second increments. The interface however is clunky, and the multiplayer has a severe slippery slope effect in many modes, where losing even one unit can put you in too far a disadvantage to make a comeback.

The Red expansion adds more single player missions, a new unit type, more multiplayer modes, and most importantly allows you to play through the single-player campaign cooperatively.

This is a great game for the campaign (through singleplayer or coop), but fails as a reasonable multiplayer experience.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
Well, to be honest, the ai in the skirmishes at least (that's all I've played so far) is pretty bad. They aren't hard enough, and a lot of it comes down to what units you are assigned by luck. Furthermore, it's very slow-paced. The units should move at like 3x the speed. I also find myself having many draws between two rocket troops who simply can't hit each other unless one side stands too close to a full-height wall. For $3 I guess it's okay, but I really didn't have too much fun.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
Ima write a review for this ♥♥♥♥♥ because none of my friends are MANLY enough to try it (not that a review will change anything). Frozen Synapse is a lot of things, but first and foremost is it's a turn based simulation game where you plot out your turn against an enemy who does the same, and the game runs the scenario each turn. That in itself opens up a broad range of gameplay opportunities which Frozen Synapse utilizes but sometimes not to their full potential. The tutorial covers is very comprehensive though you'll find there's a lot to remember and you might have to go back to it to brush up your skillz. The game has a story but honestly it might as well not have one just as easily, though it does have a cool premise so why not. All in all I think this games pretty fun and if it's ever below 10 bucks git it!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny