Kevin C. Wong

Computer Game - Into the Breach (2018) [+]

Into the Breach is a turn-based tactical combat game. You control three units -- the starting three are a Mech that punches, a tank with ranged attack, and an artillery that can shoot over obstacles. Enemy insect Kaiju erupt from the Earth and proceed to attack you and buildings. Protect the buildings and kill the Kaiju for experience.

The map is an 8x8 grid where each square has one terrain (buildings being a terrain). A turn consists of:

  1. Kaiju move and declare their attacks
  2. You move and do your attacks
  3. Kaiju do their attacks

The main part is step 2. Units can move in any order and attack in any order but attacking ends a unit's turn. All attacks can push Kaiju (punch and shoot push the Kaiju away, artillery pushes adjacent Kaiju away from the artillery strike) which is the primary way of making Kaiju miss their targets. You can't move past Kaiju and can't shoot past other units, Kaiju and buildings.

So your turn is calculating the optimum attack pattern. There is no randomness during this part but it's easy to make mistakes. You can undo moves but not after an attack. You can reset your turn once per battle. Otherwise you live with the results and try not to tilt if you calculated wrong.

Each battle you collect reputation and cores. Reputation is used after you complete an island (about six missions) to buy improvements. Cores give your units more energy to power improvements. Every unit has two weapon slots so you can add a weapon or switch out the default weapon. You can also get more pilots and switch them out. Pilots get experience and can level up twice with each level giving the pilot a random ability (e.g. +2 unit HP, +1 reactor, unit can move after attacking, unit can move through enemy units).

When Kaiju damages a building people die and usually you lose a power unit from the grid. If the power grid goes to zero you lose otherwise there is no other effect from having a good or bad power grid.

Eventually you clear as many islands as you want (there are four islands) and go to the final island to destroy the Kaiju homeland. You can go early and the final battle is easier. If you do all the islands the campaign is about 10 hours. There are three difficulty levels. It's a rogue-like: each map and mission is randomly generated and if a unit is killed it still comes back intact next mission but the pilot is dead.

Overall Into the Breach is a neat little tactical game with a bit of replay ability.