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Into the Breach

Developer / Publisher: Subset Games
27 February 2018
Into the Breach - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.80 / 5.0
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5.0
 
 
735 Ratings / 5 Reviews
#495 All-time
#19 for 2018
Humanity is on the brink of annihilation at the hands of an alien race known as the Vek. As a last ditch effort, your squadron has been sent back through time to exterminate the hive at its source. The odds are astronomical and the stakes are incalculably high. Will Earth be saved in your timeline? Or will it be conquered by the Vek, as it has so many times before?
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Title
Into The Breach is a turn-based strategy game played on tiny maps, from the creators of FTL: Faster Than Light. You control 3 mechs, and battle against aliens called Vex. There are some Vex initially placed on the map, with more spawning each turn from the ground.

There are 4 continents, but you only need to complete 2 to be able to go to the final battle. In each continent there are several regions with a battle in each. You need to complete most of the regions before fighting a special battle which includes a boss Vex.

With each battle, you are required to survive several turns before the Vex flee. You need to protect the buildings, with each damaged building costing you power. If you lose all your mechs or if you lose power, then it is game over. “Power grid” level is global between levels; it doesn’t reset, although some battles give replenish it as a reward. Just like FTL, the game is designed to be played repeatedly.

You can move your mech then either attack or repair. The Vex telegraph their attacks so you always know which tile they are attacking. If they are attacking your Mech, then maybe you can simply move away. If they are attacking a building, then you will either need to defeat them or strategically attack them to move them away.

There are multiple sets of mechs to unlock, and you can customise your own squad or choose a random selection. Each set follows the same template but have variations on their attacks and bonuses. The standard set features a mech with a melee attack, a tank with a ranged attack, and artillery with a ranged attack which also pushes surrounding units.

In fact, the standard attacks of the other mechs both damage and push back which gives you an extra aspect to think about. Even when you purchase different weapons, they are always a blessing and a curse because you could damage your own units, buildings, or knock units to disadvantageous positions.

If a Vex is about to attack a building, you shouldn’t attack it from the opposite side, because you will push the Vex into the building and damage it. The benefits of being able to push the enemies means you: can hit them from the side to push them away from the buildings; could strategically push them into other Vex to additionally damage both Vex; push Vex so they will attack another Vex on the next turn. I found I was mainly using the artillery to intentionally miss enemies, because it was more beneficial to move the Vex rather than hit them for 1 point of damage. You can even kill non-flying enemies by pushing them into water.

If you move your Mech then change your mind, you can click the Undo Move button. If you attack and change your mind, then you can Reset Turn, but can only do that once per battle. If you realise you have messed up on a previous turn; there’s nothing you can do except carry on. Losing the battle means you have to start the game again. You can save the game, but it’s “iron man” style so you cannot reload to a previous save.

In each battle, there are a couple of optional objectives like: to protect a certain building, protect units, destroy something, collect something, meet a damage target, meet a kill target - and these award you with stars. When you complete a continent, you can then spend your stars on weapons or energy cores to upgrade your mechs.

Your mech pilots level up with experience which unlocks a couple of extra perks..

Some maps have interesting aspects to them. There may be a “tidal wave” that shrinks the battlefield by one row each turn. Similarly, certain squares may collapse. Volcanic eruptions damage tiles around the map. Some maps have mines and enemies love suiciding onto them.

On normal difficulty, I found most battles challenging, but I found certain maps having too many enemies or the types of attacks they had would mean it would seem impossible not to lose buildings or mechs. Knocking the difficulty down to easy lowers the spawn rate so it seems much more manageable.

There’s a special Vex that doesn’t attack but adds a buff to the Vex on the battlefield. One version increases the health by 1. Another makes all Vex explode on death. This means you are basically forced to go after these Vex first.

However, if there are 3 other Vex attacking buildings, and you only ever have 3 Mechs at most, then is it possible to deal with that scenario? Sometimes you can deal with it because you may be able to knock Vex so your artillery can knock back 2 Vex in one shot; but most of the time you cannot do anything about it. The exploding Vex are a particular problem because if you kill them while they are next to a building, then the explosion will harm the building.

You can prevent Vex from spawning by covering the square with your Mech, or alternatively pushing a Vex over the square. Instead of the Vex spawning, the covering unit takes 1 damage. Sometimes 3 Vex will be spawning so it’s almost impossible to cover all spawns, and when you have current Vex to deal with, it might not even be an option to cover the spawns.

When you fail, you can choose one of your surviving mech pilots to take to the next run. I don’t think this makes a massive difference because you don’t take your cores, so you start off with the standard mech anyway.

I really liked the idea of a small-scale strategy game, and you really do feel smart when you completely turn the situation around and protect all your buildings. When the spawn rates are higher, I was convinced it was skewed a bit more towards luck. It’s definitely fun on the Easy difficulty, and there’s plenty of Mech combinations to experiment with, so the replay value is high. You can easily get 10 hours from it across repeated runs, but fans will play for far, far longer.
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CaptainClam 2021-04-04T20:15:43Z
2021-04-04T20:15:43Z
4.0
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Title
Tactical genious
Into the Breach is an amazing tactical game that shows that great tactics games can be knitted out very simple concepts. You play as a group of time travelling troopers, battling with their 3 mechs an alien evasion. Though the game's use of roguelike systems and multiple avaliable mechs and pilots to select, its a highly replayable title.

The game is all about the proper battles though, and these are often places in very small maps with limited amount of enemies. But everysingle mistake costs you this game, as there is no save scumming or RNG to save you. Well, thats not exactly true, as you have a chance to undo a whole turn once per battle, and there is a small rng chance to avoid damage whenever your buildings are hit. But i feel like these act more like a blacnket to prevent the game from being too frustrating and dont mess too much with the core design philosophy. Its a game that teachs that movement and crowd control is as important as raw damage, and it becomes very cerebral once the enemy starts to outnumber your forces.

For as good as the tactical battles and overal gameplay is, i feel that the game is a bit too simplistic when it comes to its upgrade systems and unlocking of new mechs and pilots. The latter are only unlocked through the use of coins gained by archievements, and these feel extremely gimmicky most of the time. It makes earning the new mechs effectively frustrating, and thus diminuishing the replayability of the title.

Great tactics game that just a few flaws short of being a masterpiece. I had a lot of good times with this one, and its such an immersive experience that it can make you lose track of time. Recommended for sure.
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Threntall 2018-03-15T18:51:04Z
2018-03-15T18:51:04Z
4.0
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Title
Jazz?
Four years later, Subset presents the world with a tempered, understated executable made of pixels and rules. First it's chess against AI, then chess against yourself, until you finally realize it's chess against Designers who have spent four years planning every move.

You are playing notes that have already been composed. And since Gamers are the most audacious artists, we play at our own tempo, timbre and volume. This variety is the extent of Gamers' contribution to the genre, and it isn't nothing. But jazz has not been invented yet!

Into the Breach also exposes the current paradigm of emergent gameplay as what it always has been: the demon Luck. Lightning keeps striking the sand because we keep building sandboxes and we keep building huge metal multiplayer server scaffolds. The beautiful fulgurites are still exciting, but now they're being mass produced and are quickly losing value. Game-changing emergent elements are cheap souvenirs coaxed into being by tireless Gamers and sustained only by the relentless effort of nostalgia, remembering that first strike. Barrelling into the future facing backwards.

So will Gamers ever invent jazz? Maybe not. But film Watchers need to keep their eyes open. Music Listeners don't need do anything at all. But Games need Gamers. Into the Breach's focused and composed understatement undermines the medium, proving that Designers can't just make a Game. They need to make the Gamers. Playing Into the Breach will get you closer than ever, Reader. It's a good feeling.
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bushn 2018-03-02T22:58:00Z
2018-03-02T22:58:00Z
4.5
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Catalog

Kimmu Into the Breach 2024-05-22T09:06:11Z
Android
2024-05-22T09:06:11Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
WaddleD Into the Breach 2024-05-20T21:54:38Z
2024-05-20T21:54:38Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SaintMadeOfPlaster Into the Breach 2024-05-20T10:56:50Z
2024-05-20T10:56:50Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kudlatatecza Into the Breach 2024-05-20T05:51:09Z
2024-05-20T05:51:09Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jovanjovan Into the Breach 2024-05-18T15:53:07Z
2024-05-18T15:53:07Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
chojnito Into the Breach 2024-05-16T14:16:24Z
2024-05-16T14:16:24Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
slendicon Into the Breach 2024-05-13T19:06:41Z
Windows / Mac
2024-05-13T19:06:41Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Loveless01 Into the Breach 2024-05-13T09:38:37Z
2024-05-13T09:38:37Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Nezbie Into the Breach 2024-05-12T21:42:18Z
2024-05-12T21:42:18Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ZacharyK Into the Breach 2024-05-12T17:27:45Z
2024-05-12T17:27:45Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dylan3116 Into the Breach 2024-05-12T14:07:35Z
2024-05-12T14:07:35Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
drg26 Into the Breach 2024-05-07T03:49:55Z
2024-05-07T03:49:55Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (16) Loading...
  • hachedoso 2022-04-19 18:55:38.936948+00
    ^ I think its pretty sad that most strategy games like this (either real time or turn based) seem to believe that a proper campaing with a fully developed universe/story are unnecesary. This game has a plot setting with a lot of potential imo but it only seems to care about it from a gameplay perspective. Anyways good game. Didn't really feel compelled to keep playing after finishing it like 3 or 4 times tho, which can be acomplished in a rather small amount of time
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  • nospr 2022-06-20 18:23:25.838225+00
    Unlike games such as Slay the Spire, it doesn't feel as much a game of finding upgrades and figuring out a good build, but more just figuring out what's the best way to kill or push multiple enemies with one shot. A fun puzzle, but probably should have been an actual campaign instead of a rougelite.
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  • FOLM 2022-06-23 23:12:56.497865+00
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  • coinboy 2022-08-02 23:04:11.103368+00
    new update slaps. its slapping me
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  • CrackTheSky 2022-08-09 18:49:40.686668+00
    Simple mechanics combine in such a unique way to create an incredible amount of depth. Highly replayable, and loads of fun. Perfect for quick 30-minute-or-less gaming spurts, but can easily eat up hours if you let it. Really appreciate the elegance of this one, it goes surprisingly deep with relatively little.
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  • apotos 2023-02-17 03:39:38.256115+00
    having a lot of fun playing this slowly, alt tabbing between turns (you can't skip the move animations lol) and coming back when I've mustered some brainpower
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  • ... 2023-03-15 16:39:58.095798+00
    It’s kind of shallow for a strategy game and if we’re honest it’s a puzzle game dressed up as a strategy game. You never really have to think more than 2 moves ahead and it probably only takes 5 or 6 hours of play before you’ve already worked out the optimal move in most situations.

    I think it has some neat puzzles but how it became one of the most acclaimed strategy games in recent years probably says more about critics not playing many strategy games. Virtually any off-the-shelf Matrix/Slitherine title has way more strategic depth than this.
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  • paulywalnuts 2024-03-20 10:07:53.365151+00
    Lichess puzzles, but better. Just as fun as an FTL run. Can't wait for their third game.
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