Brings the simultaneous turn-based strategy genre up-to-date and lets you give detailed, accurate orders to your squad.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,811 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.

HOLIDAY SALE! Offer ends January 2

-50%
$24.99
$12.49

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.

HOLIDAY SALE! Offer ends January 2

Buy Frozen Synapse: Complete Pack

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

HOLIDAY SALE! Offer ends January 2

Buy Frozen Synapse: Soundtrack

Includes the Frozen Synapse Soundtrack

HOLIDAY SALE! Offer ends January 2

-50%
$5.99
$2.99

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.

HOLIDAY SALE! Offer ends January 2

-30%
$54.99
$38.49
 

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
19 of 20 people (95%) found this review helpful
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
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
14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
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
17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
50.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
A very engaging turn based tactical game that offers an enjoyable single player and a fun and competitive multiplayer both of which are deeply satisfying.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
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
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
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
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
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
30 of 52 people (58%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
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
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
90.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
Better controls than the prime version.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 15
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
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
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
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
Great fun with friends.
And the campain is good.
8/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 16
I am amazed how this has any good reviews.
The standard product is buying the game twice, so you can give it to a friend. Really it looks like it's trying to justify charging 23 bucks for a single sale.

Aside from all other critical thoughts I also had the displeasure of graphical and gameplay bugs in the first 2 hours of simple campaign play.

The game is paradoxical in almost every aspect:

It is a turn based game,
yet ultimately actions are done timebased.

It puts very little effort in the story telling,
yet it drowns the player in expositional dossiers, conversations and monologues. Luckily you can skip them all.
You need to micromanage and possibly run simulations of every nanosecond,
yet the choices you can make are very simple and gameplay lacks any depth.

Machine gunners are the "bread and butter" unit you control very precisely,
yet their aim is so horrendous that engagements outside of shotgun range feel completely luckbased.

Waist high objects give cover,
yet standing on the corner of a wall does not give sideways cover.

Standing behind waist-high cover is an advantage,
yet ducking(so you fit below waist-high cover) has no effect aside from hiding behind cover.




I mentioned gameplay lacking depth, let me go into more detail on that.
Your mindless drones have no inventory and never need to reload. You can not change weaponry, the drones you use or how they are distributed on the map at the start of a singleplayer mission.
The options available are wait, move, aim, duck, ignore all enemies, ignore a specific enemy and prioritze a specific enemy and reversals of these commands.
That's it.
If your guys are in ♥♥♥♥ positions, your enemy has to make a mistake. Your drones can not have more than object in their hands. So unless that object is a grenade thrower or rocket launcher, the only feasible "strategies" are
1. to be in a good position and aim, motionless, at the correct angle.
2. move, preferrably without line of sight, to a better position and do 1.
3. exploit positioning mistakes of the stupid AI and shoot them in the back. If even possible. If not possible, do 1.

If a drone is standing still and an opposed drone comes around the corner, both having the same weapon, equal cover and given all appropriate commands(aim at that direction, focus specific enemy), then the drone that stood still will always win.
There is no time to outmaneuver the enemy drone with your own drone in a single turn, either. Rewarding inaction with 100% chance to win an encounter is atrocious game design.

The graphical bug I encountered seceral times was hatched green neon lines connecting my selected units with my other units for no apparent reason

The gameplay bug I encountered after a particularly long processing time for the first turn, including 2 prompts to kill the program, because it didnt respond.
It changed a unit of mine from a sniper to a machine gunner. While no other downsides, it was an annoyance.


The music was nice, I guess.


In summary, a shallow and unresponsive tactical game that requires huge amounts of micromanaging miniscule movements.
It feels like playing counterstrike without grenades from the top down perspective, which is entirely the wrong perspective for that kind of gameplay and also lacks grenades.

Would not recommend.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 5
One of the best strategy games i´ve played in the last few years. I know i was a little late for the party, since the game is allready a couple years old, but i just got it on a Humble Bundle and it´s amazing. Must have, must play. I´m sure im going to spend a lot of time with this one, both on PC and my Android Phone.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
This game is a MUST have in everyones library. Its gameplay is ridiculously easy to understand, its graphics are just unreal (watchdogs aint got sh*t on this), its just alltogether an amazing game. My friends and I sit down and we say "hey what do you wanna play?". Their response is always, "Frozen Synapse of course you dipsh*t". 10/10 would bang.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
32.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
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
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
30.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
Have you ever wanted to play a game where your tactical thinking was rewarded without having too much hassle or any difficult mechanics to grasp? Yes? Then this is the game for you.

Frozen Synapse is an absolute wonderful tactical battlefield commander game. You are able to control several of your soldiers on a randomly generated map against either a human or AI player and lead them, showing whether they should duck or stand up, engage or continue on sight, time their actions, etc., all in hopes to out-think your opponent and guess what they will do. You are given planning phases which, although they may be lengthy, give you the chance to test every possible scenerio to your liking, giving you the ultimate think session of your life every turn.

Frozen Synapse also has great co-op in it's expansion pack, which gives you the same tactical fun with a friend. I highly recommend you get it - it's called Red Mode, or something like that. Another great feature this game has is the ability to play multiple games at a time. You get popup invites from other people, which you can either accept or deny, into their games, which allows you to play however many games you want to play over any period of time you like, which leads to the bad parts about this game.

I'm not going to lie, this game isn't perfect. There's no punishing system for abandoning games, which happens a little too often with bad mannered players who don't want to finish a losing game. Not only that, but It does have two or more glitches (you can plan to move your soldier through a wall, but the game says that you can't do that, and an extra move when trying to walk beside a wall, really nothing that major or game-breaking) which can annoy you a little, but it won't consistantly happen to you.

My final verdict for Frozen Synapse is this - if you are a fan of thinking games, especially chess, GET THIS GAME IMMEDIATELY. If you are not, wait for a sale, because you very well might enjoy this game for it's easy-to-understand, but hard-to-master mechanics. A solid NINE out of TEN from me on this wonderful game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
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
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 16
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
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 1
Definitely a lot of thought went into this game, I'm looking forward to playing through it more later, at the moment it seems very interesting.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
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