Into the Breach is a turn based roguelike strategy game. Although its artstyle is similar to Advance Wars, it has more similarities with the likes ofMario + Rabbids and X-COM.
Your job is to command a squad of three giant mechs to defend the populationagainst monsters known as the Vek. Levels consists of an 8x8 grid on which players command their three units and must survive five turns. Each level also contains optional objectives offering rewards which help your chances of progression. The variety of the levels is impressive considering it's confined to an 8x8 grid, however due to the roguelike nature, early level strategies canbecome repetitive.
The game is broken up into four islands, each one consisting of a choice of five of seven randomised levels and a boss. Once two islands have been completed, you can either take on the boss (whose difficulty scales to how many islands you've completed) or tackle another island. Like similar games, turns aren't just about doing damage and defending yourself. They're also about pushing your opponent around the map, making them attacking each other, or applying various environmental / elemental effects. One thing that makes Into The Breach instantly stand out from similar titles is the fact that the enemy telegraphs their punches before your turn. This unique mechanic turns the strategy element almost into a puzzle, working out which attacks you can avoid and which enemies need to be destroyed.
The story isn't really at the forefront, as the game generally tries to just keep things focused on the gameplay. There are some nice touches though, like the excitement of citizens as the mechs arrive, and ending a game translating to one of your pilots having to abandon the timeline. Seeing the credits roll is relatively easy. However the real challenge and longevity of the game lie within the in-game achievements and the seven different mech classes you can unlock throughout the game. Lack of touch screen support is slightly disappointing, however it's understandable as without a stylus or an undo button it'd be easy to slip up by making the wrong move.
Into The Breach feels like it's found its home on the Nintendo Switch. Its short levels are perfect for the handheld system, and its addictive gameplay and roguelike nature make it hard to put down.
INTO THE BREACH / DEVELOPER: SUBSET GAMES / PUBLISHER: SUBSET GAMES / PLATFORM: NINTENDO SWITCH (REVIEWED), PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW