Wildfrost First Impressions

Wildfrost is a roguelike card game set in a cold and snowy world. It was recently featured during the Nintendo Indie World Showcase, plus it was part of Steam’s NextFest. Chucklefish were very kind to provide access to this demo outside of that window, so today I am going to bring you my first impressions of Wildfrost.

Wildfrost is card game set in deep winter – there’s frost and snow everywhere. It’s a rougelike, so you’ll be going through multiple runs and playthroughs of the game. Each run you battle monsters and try and forge a path through them to the Sun Temple. Get to the Sun Temple and the world will defrost and peace will be retored to the land (hopefully).

When you first start your run, you have to select a Leader and a starting pet. Protecting your leader is of upmost importance, which usually means placing unfortunate others in their way. Leaders are randomly generated and have different skills and stats related to which tribe they came from, plus they influence the starting deck of cards. As you progress through Wildfrost you’ll unlock new decks from other tribes, and you can switch things up.

Melting your way through the monsters is no easy task. Enemies are plentiful, and you’ll have to collect friends along the way in the form of other card companions, slowly developing a card deck strong enough to take on the toughest of enemies. As you make your way through the battleground, you can select which path to tread, with different paths giving you cards, loot and upgrades. This reminded me of the overworld in Super Mario World on the SNES, atlhough here, once you have gone down that path, there is no going back.

As you make progress and win battles you can upgrade and customise your cards. This includes hanging charms on your cards to give them that extra edge in battle. Charms enhance card powers and unlock other bonuses too. There is also an element of town building to the game, which was very unexpected and enjoyable at the same time. Snowdwell is your home and you can develop the town, build new shops and vendors which helps unlock new cards, find new tribes, take part in events, plus you have daily challenges to take on. Win matches, collect resources to develop Snowdwell, and open up more options to help you in card games. The loop is simple, but it’s been implemented in a very charming and effective way.

Card battles aren’t simple either, it’s going to take all your strategic thinking to take on these tough enemies and get to the Sun Temple. This will mean picking up new cards, customising your deck, including adding elemental combinations and understanding and using the ‘counter’ system.

The game is being developed by Will Lewis and Gaziter. Will has previously worked on a rougelike platformer Caveblazers and Gaziter worked on Forager. They’ve decided to come together and release Wildfrost. From what I have played so far it’s really good fun, and I’m looking forward to the full release.

The artwork is fantastic and the anmiations throughout are well done. As a fan of looters, I love it when you have to smash the ice and pick up new cards and open the loot crates. The card games look relatuvely simple at first, but don’t be fooled, this is a tough card game, as enemies tend to overwhelm your leader quite quickly. It’s going to take me a while to get used to the strategy in the game, however, if you are a card game veteran then you may find it much easier than I did.

Wildfrost is being developed for Nintendo Switch and PC, and hopefully it’s going to be available on Steam Deck as I can imagine putting many hours into it over the Christmas holidays, relaxing on the couch playing a few rounds of Wildfrost. If you are interested in the game then check out the Discord to chat with the developers, give @WildfrostGame a follow on Twitter, or join the Wildfrost subreddit. Finally, be sure to wishlist the game to be notified as soon as it drops!

Developer: Gaziter & Deadpan Games
Publisher: Chucklefish
Platforms: PC and Nintendo Switch
Release Date: Winter 2022