Parents need to know that “Into the Breach” is a downloadable tactics- and turn-based strategy game for Windows. With a pronounced difficulty and deceptive amount of strategy required despite its simple graphics, this game has no graphical violence — your crew and enemies will simply blip off the screen when destroyed. The focus here is on patient, careful, and logical thinking as you plot your moves against the potential moves of your enemy. There’s no objectionable content included.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
In “Into the Breach”, the remnants of human civilization are threatened by gigantic creatures breeding beneath the earth. You must control powerful mechs from the future to hold off this alien threat. Each attempt to save the world presents a new randomly generated challenge in this turn-based strategy game. As you perfect your strategy and anticipate your enemies’ moves, you’ll be better able to defend the cities and build the ultimate mechs with unique, more experienced pilots, which will hopefully give you an edge against these beasts.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
One wouldn’t think a generic-looking game such as this one about squashing bugs in outer space would have much depth or staying power, but first impressions can be deceiving. The appeal to “Into the Breach” is its captivating distillation of strategy to its very core. Each battlefield is a seemingly meager eight-by-eight grid, which doesn’t seem like much but actually maintains constant tension and requires constant attention. There’s no retreating to regroup — your three units have to be utilized to their maximum potential every moment, or else you’ll pay dearly. Fortunately, a game this rigid also demonstrates a surprising amount of sympathy: Failure isn’t an option, so when you’re defeated, you get to send the pilot of your choice back through time to save the world in another timeline. In this way, you’re able to stack power-ups, buffs, and other goodies to help turn the tide more in your favor next time. You never exactly want to set out to fail, but it winds up becoming a core part of the longer game you’ll play if, say, you are lucky enough to get a pilot, able to grant them and their allies extra mobility, and defense per turn.
The game world is divided into four islands, each with about a half-dozen battlefields and their own unique win states. Usually, you have to squash all the alien bugs, but occasionally there will be extra parameters for victory. The more you play (and lose), the further you’ll eventually be able to get. It’s the odd strategy game where you’re looking forward to failing, and win or lose “Into the Breach” is a blast to experience.
RATING AND CONTENT
Recommended for ages 11 and older
Quality: 4 out of 5
Positive messages: 2 out of 5
Positive role models: 1 out of 5
Ease of play: 2 out of 5
Violence: 2 out of 5
Sex: 0 out of 5
Language: 0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 0 out of 5
Consumerism: 0 out of 5 (Are products/advertisements embedded? Is the title part of a broader marketing initiative/empire? Is the intent to sell things to kids?)
Platforms: Linux, Mac, Windows
Developer: Subset Games
Release date: February 27, 2018