12 Days of Pros-mas - Day 7: Into The Breach

On the seventh day of Pros-mas, my true Spud sent to me: another pro game. That’s right, none of that bird rubbish. Who even wants 7 swans a-swimming?

As mentioned before, today is day 7 of 12 Days of Pros-mas! Let’s not beat around the bush here, you’re here to see some pro games and I am obliged to give you them lest the masters get out the cane.

Into The Breach

Into The Breach is a turn-based strategy game developed and published by Subset Games, who also developed the excellent FTL, as the description of the game excitedly lets you know.

Into The Breach is an interesting case for resolution as we don’t really know what the resolution is due to pixel counting being very hard for this game. It does seem to run 60fps though, and the art style goes for an appealing 16-bit look, which should give some of you older people a wave of nostalgia as you sit on your rocking chair and yell at youngsters to get off your lawn.

As I got into the game, I was treated to a bleak scene, where humanity had been destroyed by an alien threat called the Vek. It’s ok though because my protagonists had the ability to go to an alternate timeline to try and find one where we win. So, at this point, I was invited to play the tutorial mission, where I discovered what the gameplay was for this game. The player is in charge of controlling 3 mechs, one that can punch, one that can shoot in a straight line, and one that can shoot over objects. These attacks deal damage but also push enemies, which can cause them to miss buildings with their attacks, cause them to fall into water and die or even get them to attack each other.

To win, all I had to do was survive for the number of turns shown in the top right corner and not allow the power grid to reach zero. Bars of power were lost every time a building was damaged.

So, with all this knowledge now firmly learned, I proceeded with the actual game. Each level starts with you placing down your mechs, and I’m sure there’s some strategic way to do this that’ll let you win more efficiently but I couldn’t be bothered with that, so I just placed them somewhat randomly. Then I killed some bugs, accidentally let some buildings be damaged and got shouted at by the HQ guy who had been guiding me through this process. He really wasn’t a great cheerleader.

Shortly after this, I got to a mission with a lot of mines on the floor, which I thought would be relatively easy as these mines instantly kill enemies who step on it. It turned out to be a bit more difficult than I thought when they killed my artillery, destroyed my power grid, and caused the timeline to be lost though.

When this happens, all your progress in the game is reset.

So, I got back to work a bit more carefully, and started doing a lot better. I could tell because the HQ guy actually started saying positive things to me. I got through the levels of the first island then was suddenly stopped when I was told HQ was under attack by some big enemy. I quickly got into this mission, discovering the enemy who was the same size as all the other enemies I’d thought but just had a bit more health. I managed to get through this, but with some issues: I was down to one power bar and one of my units had died.

Upon beating this level though, the first island was saved. I was then prompted with an upgrade screen.

I can tell you now, I never actually used any of the weapons you could buy as I couldn’t figure out how to activate them. The extra energy was very helpful though. 

Then I moved on to the second island. This was relatively similar to the first island, and I got through it without major difficulties. Got another boss level, finished that with not too much damage, easy stuff. Then I was given a choice: continue with the other islands, or go straight to the final level. The prospect of actually beating a game in this series was very exciting, so straight away I went to the final level, where I was greeted with a volcanic area and a lot of aliens.

I managed to beat the first part of this level, but 2 of my units had died in the battle. Fortunately, they were revived for the second part of the level, where I had to defend a bomb that would wipe out these aliens for good. It was a tough fight, and I finished the last turn with all 3 of my units dead, but fortunately, the bomb was safe and exploded, saving the world at the cost of all my people.

So there we have it. In an unprecedented turn of events, I actually managed to complete a game in this series!

I enjoyed this game overall, it was quite challenging but fair, and the combat required a lot of thought. The visuals were pretty with their retro style. The progression is a bit weak, but when it’s a game that can be over so soon you don’t really need that in-depth progression. So, this game will be joining the nice list.

Nice:

-Monster Jam Steel Titans

-Jotun: Valhalla Edition

-Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

-Kine

-Sundered: Eldritch Edition

-Submerged: Hidden Depths

-Into The Breach

That marks the end of day 7. I promise that a naughty list does actually exist, but all these games have just been too enjoyable to put on them! I suppose it’s a good problem to have though. Well, I’ve got to go cook my master’s 5-course meal. See you tomorrow!

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