Kevin C. Wong

Revisit - Into the Breach (2018) [+]

When I reviewed Into the Breach three months ago I found it a nice contained tactical game and mentioned there was some replay ability but had only played with the base squad of Mechs. I've spent the last three months playing most days and discovered that each of the seven other squads change the game play significantly.

Rusting Hulks: a flying Mech that jumps over enemies to stun them in smoke, an artillery Mech with a secondary weapon that inflicts damage to Kaiju in smoke, a Mech that pushes surrounding units. This squad doesn't kill quickly but creating smoke and pushing Kaiju in smoke also stops their attacks so you have a bit of time.

Zenith Guard: laser Mech that damages all in a straight line (you have to place carefully to not hit buildings), ramming Mech that takes damage as you deal it (the pilot that adds Mech armor is very useful here), flying Mech that can pull a target a square closer or throw a shield over units and buildings. With this squad I tend to use the flyer to shield the rammer so it doesn't take damage the first couple of attacks.

Blitzkrieg: lightning Mech that damages a chain of units and chain can continue through buildings, harpoon Mech that can bring a distant unit to adjacent range, rock throwing Mech that can do damage or use its rocks to block paths and emergence holes. Lightning Mech is the heavy hitter but it'll also damage the other Mechs, which sometimes is necessary to get a big lightning chain going.

Steel Judoka: sumo Mech that tosses opponent behind it, artillery Mech that does a bit of damage and pushes all adjacent units, gravity Mech with an artillery gun that pulls a unit one square closer and a secondary effect where Kaiju do extra damage to each other. This squad is designed to maneuver Kaiju into hitting each other but in general I could rarely get this done. But the squad is still ok doing straight up damage.

Flame Behemoths: flamethrower Mech that does no damage unless target is already on fire, artillery Mech that does a bit of damage and sets target on fire, flying swap Mech that can swap spaces with another unit 1 to 4 squares away. This squad doesn't take fire damage and levels end up full of on-fire squares. I love the swap Mech with max power it's great dunking Kaiju into holes and water or getting them to hit each other.

Frozen Titans: melee Mech that causes target to spin 180 degrees, shooter Mech that shoots both forward and back (careful shooting buildings), artillery Mech that freezes itself and target. At first I tried to maneuver so that the artillery fires (freezing itself) then the shooter fires and frees the artillery Mech but that's not easy to do. Later I settled for shooting the artillery when needed and spending the next turn healing (which also puts out fires and unfreezes a Mech).

Hazardous Mechs: jumper Mech that takes damage and damages all adjacent squares, shooter Mech that pushes itself back and takes a bit of damage, flying Mech with an ACID weapon that also pushes plus a secondary where killing Kaiju heals the killing Mech a bit. Leaping Mech with the pilot that can attack twice is nice since the attack is also a movement with no range limit so the guy can get around the map quite quickly albeit taking self damage. One thing is that no matter how negative hit points you go, the healing from killing Kaiju starts you off at zero so no matter how negative you get as long as a Kaiju dies you're still alive.

Taken together defeating the game with the seven other squads, and getting each squad's six achievements, takes a long time and it's entertaining. You can unlock random squad and custom squad each of which has its own achievements. Using a custom squad of three of the same Mech is not easy.

If you unlock every achievement there is a secret squad. I looked it up online and it's Kaiju Mechs with hybrid pilots. Unfortunately the Distant Friends achievement is really hard to get. If you damage a mountain you might see a glow and if you destroy that mountain a beacon is revealed. Get to the beacon and a special pilot appears.

But the beacon only appears once every 15 or so games and it could it be any mountain after the first island. If I'd known about it at the start I could have kept a lookout for it. Now that I've finished all the other achievements I don't particularly want to grind a couple dozen more games looking for the beacon.

Anyway, almost four months of game play for $15 is well worth it (and I think I bought this as part of a bundle).