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Into the Breach review
by Sebastian

Another very fine game from Subset Games. I enormously liked their first game, Faster Than Light (FTL) and their second game is even better. It is a round-based strategy game in which you control three bots/tanks and you have to ward off enemy attacks through a series of levels - the enemy attempts to destroy the buildings on the map and your bots. You need to survive four rounds and not loose too many building to succeed.

You can man the bots with something like heroes (they have special skills but you start out just with one and have to find others) or regular soldiers. You can also upgrade the bots to gain special skills, most of which you have to buy from the mission rewards.

There are 10 different sets of bots (3 apiece) which you can use in a campaign, and having just played three of these sets I can already say that they change the strategy completely.

This is probably the game with the highest replayability I know. Every map, every bot-set, every playthrough is completely different. And it is very mind-challenging. You have to think ahead at least a turn to get a perfect result. It is a bit like chess.

And one thing I love and hate about this game (and same goes for FTL) - sometimes, you get kicked in the ass and there is no way around it. No matter how good you are at the game, sometimes you get into situations that are unsolvable - but you always feel like if you had done something different a few turns ago, it would have been fine. You have to admit defeat and start over...

I'd recommend this to any round-based strategy fan who likes a mental challenge :)
«Blew my mind»
«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»
«Constantly dying and enjoy it»
«Beaten more than once»

Other reviews9

Journal Style Review:

I’ve played a dozen or so hours and honestly I’m a bit disappointed. I expected more based of the 88 opencritic score (with 70+ reviews). Granted I have only played slightly under half of the mechs but I’ve beaten the game a couple times on 4 islands so I’ve seen what the enemies have to offer I think. I don’t know, it’s just not that clever, or maybe it’s just not that fun. It’s fine. I’ll keep playing every now and again when I want a puzzle game.

I beat it a few more times with different mechs but it still feels repetitive. I’m done with it. I expected more out of this game.

Final Score: B
While the game itself is very solid, it offers little incentive to play other than the potential feeling of victory. Seems like a great way to pass time on the train though, so I eagerly await a release on iOS/Android.
«Beaten more than once»
Translated by
Microsoft from French
I am completely addicted to into the breach. At first glance, it is only an n-th small tactical that really does not pay mine. 2D chart with no particular charm, looped loop, medium sound effects, no history just a context that holds in 1 sentence, a squad of 3 poor Mechs, 8x8 grids to play in 5 rounds... nothing sloppy but at the grip everything looks rather low-end. And then I dove in and I got caught up in the mechanics. The combinatorial is just staggering. Playing into the breach is like solving a matte problem in 3 strokes to chess. only 3 Mechs are on the ground (there are 10 different games to unlock) but each Mech is unique and the challenge is to make them work together since the 3 play each round. The tactical logic is totally deterministic, we know exactly where are the enemies (invaders like balèzes insects), what they threaten, what damage they will do, what are their characteristics and skills, we know exactly what is the environment, both the properties of the terrain as well as the events of the grid (nothing special, volcano, thunderstorm, aerial support...). The only unknown element is how the enemies will position themselves in the next round. A part consists in the release of 2 to 4 Islands and a final fight more or less strong depending on the number of islands that one chooses to make before. The Islands have specific terrain and opponents. On each island, you have to do 5 missions that each have their own specific objectives (destruction, protection, use of elements). The objectives are optional, their purpose is to earn rewards that will enable the evolution of the Mechs. The Mechs can be sacrificed, they are repaired from one fight to another but we lose the pilot. The Mechs can work on its own but the survival of an experienced driver who gives good bonuses is important because we can reuse one for the next campaign. The only critical point is not to lose too many buildings, they are associated with a global energy grid and if it falls to zero it's game over. Some Mechs do direct damage, some do repeated damage, others can move friends or enemies, others project shields, others have combined actions... each fight becomes a kind of mini-puzzle where we move our parts and those of the opponent while using the peculiarities of the terrain. For example, there is a skill that with a shot on an empty box between an enemy and a friend will push the enemy into the nearby water box while exiting the friend from another villain's firing line and with a little luck put him in better position for a Gir. This kind of analysis of the position and combinations of effects is permanent in into the breach and this is what makes all its salt and makes its repetitiveness all theoretical. Each small campaign of a few fights in 5 small rounds on their small grid 8x8 will be different from the previous one, because we will have chosen another sequence of missions and other Mechs that we have made evolve otherwise and suddenly the puzzles will be Different. I love this game but it will not appeal to any tactical fans. My feeling is that, in terms of intellectual approach to implement for its resolution, it is closer to failures (with a reflection on 3 more hits accessible anyway) or an invisible Inc or even a contraption maker than an XCom.
Is like chess but with robots with guns and mutant monsters.
Fun and challenging if you want to do it perfect
«Just one more turn»
Incredible work of game mechanics, artstyle and music. Modern chess, where you know exactly what your enemy will do on his turn and it's not making game easier, but gives it more uniqueness and depth. Not much plot so you don't need to worry about that and concentrate on playing. Just a great game
«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»
Haiku Review: Challenges abound / Fun until you beat it all / Still don't like rogue-likes
Favorite Thing: The strategy component is simple with only 3 units to control but very engaging!
Least Favorite Thing: Runs are extremely short and the only thing driving one to replay is unlockables.

Date Completed: 2018-09-01
Playtime: 8h
Enjoyment: 7/10
Recommendation: Yes, but it's not a strong yes. It's just not my type of game and after one completion my interest has gone downhill.
5 hours in, and I reached the end a few times. I can't recommend this game as here is why: Pros: Core gameplay is great, challenging, but fair. Cons: 1. You don't feel like you improve over the course of the game. The final level treats you like little pathetic shit, the same you used to be in the beginning. 2. Upgrades are lame and unrewarding. 3. It takes to long to unlock new squads. 4. No story. 5. Finally, all of this contribute to overall low replay value.
Elegant and well-designed, this strategy game brings innovative dynamics to the table. Attacking is utilizing limited actions to maximum benefit. You also can't avoid some negative effects even when you play perfectly. The game is ingenious for showing the enemies next target to attack. So you often need to negate the enemy's action. I'd say that at times it feels more like a puzzler than a strategy game. Basically you try to find the least terrible outcome for you each time. For this the game is hard but still a unique and fun experience.