Subset Games’ FTL came out of nowhere on kickstarter to deliver a fresh take on Rogue-Like design as the genre began to expand outward. For their next game, we have a title that could either be described as a puzzle-rogue-like or a turn-based puzzle.
Into the Breach looks very unassuming with its aesthetic straight out of the turn-based GBA genre. Your mission is to save multiple timelines from giant bugs with your fleet of mech suits: think Groundhog Day meets Pacific Rim.
The twist of Into the Breach’s gameplay was how each battle turned into a tactical puzzle. As the player, you knew exactly how much damage you could do, where the enemies were attacking, and the possible outcomes. Your mission was to figure out how to mitigate the threat in the most efficient way possible while keeping your mechs and the buildings standing. Similar to FTL, this is a game where a good run can keep getting better, and the opposite can happen.
The further you play in each run, the harder the maps get and the more tricks the bugs will pull out to stop you. As the player, you have to use the knowns of each battle to help deal with the unknowns.
The depth of Into the Breach is hidden much like the evil bugs coming to get you. Each mech/mech team has different unit types and gear they can use. The starting team, as an example, was good at pushing enemies around the field and messing with their intended targets. The more you play, the more you’ll unlock to try out. Advanced play of Into the Breach is like trying to solve a puzzle that has constantly changing pieces to it.
As with FTL, the game makes use of its achievement system to not only reward players who master the game, but to also make sure that novices would not be overwhelmed by all the choices available. If you’re a turn-based strategy fan looking for something different, I can’t recommend Into the Breach enough.
Just like with FTL, Subset has another solid foundation if they want to continue growing the experience with new content down the line. I just hope that we don’t have to wait 6 years for their next title.
We’re down to the top 3, and the bronze award goes to one of the most polarizing games I played this year.