Into The Breach from the makers of the cult classic FTL, is everything a modern indie title should be. Cheap, deep and utterly engrossing. If you get this be prepared to give bigger games. A back seat for a while, this is the. Spiritual Successor. To the classic Advance Wars that never came.
You control three mechs, sent back through multiple timelines, to try to save earth from the Vek, an insecticide race that is determined to destroy the earth. If you fail, you simply escape through a rift in time and try again, If you die, your pilot and any XP they have earned dies permanently. It is a subtle risk and reward system that ties in brilliantly with the dark theme and tone of the game. There are times when you are losing badly and can just jump into a rift and start again, leaving all the civilians in that timeline to perish. Once you get a handle on how this works you can concentrate on the game itself.
Playing the game it is hard not to be reminded of the Game Boy Advance classic Advance Wars. Each unit has a number of squares they can move and another number they can attack. Artillery can fire in straight lines usually across the map, while jets can jump over the enemy they are attacking and leave a hazard on their square. This isn’t the only consideration as there are environmental hazards like Airstrikes, Tidal Waves and more that can be used to your advantage or accidentally harm you depending on how the turn plays out. There is also the unpredictable AI of the enemy. Does it attack one of your three mechs or does it attack the civilian buildings which support the power grid? If the power grid depletes over the course of multiple levels then the Vek win and it is back to another timeline. More often than not you will think you have them right where you want only for a couple more to surface and target 3 or more buildings. With only 3 mechs and their respective attacks to use, there will always be a level of collateral damage on a playthrough. Luckily you can either repair the power grid or level up at the end of each of the four regions. The choice you make here shows how brilliantly balanced the game is. You either carry on with a full power grid and the ability to take more damage or you buff your mechs but leave yourself vulnerable to a fail state. The choice os yours.
With multiple Mech crews, pilots, achievements and medals to unlock, the replay value of the game is incredibly high. Add this to the portable nature of the Switch and you have a match made in heaven. This year Civ 6 on Switch has some major competition.