Saturday Morning Gaming: One Of Those Games You Keep Coming Back To
I keep trying to sit down and play something and I see Into The Breach and, jeez, I play that. Just one map, I think. Just one Island.
When I first got it, I saw that there were 55 achievements and seven squads to unlock and I thought “man, there’s no WAY I can possibly get all 55 of those achievements… heck, there’s no way I can unlock all of the squads… that’ll take 30 achievements all by itself!” and then, through playing the game, I got enough achievements to unlock this squad, then that one, then this other one… and as I started slowing down with the achievements, I looked at the achievements that might be possible from the different squads had you try to get and deliberately started to play maps to try to get that particular achievement.
And then, crazily enough, those specialized achievements showed not only how the rules of the game itself worked but how the different squads were able to be played significantly differently than the other squads.
For example! You start off with “The Rift Walkers”. A generic bunch of mechs. There’s one that can punch (and it pushes whatever it punches). There’s a tank that shoots and pushes whatever it hits. There’s a howitzer that does damage to the creature in the bullseye and pushes whatever is in the four squares surrounding the target square.
The first achievement is “Drown three enemies in water in a single battle”. And so you learn that you can punch or shoot enemies into water to kill them. Holy cow, this is something that you’re going to use every single game henceforth. Some monsters have a lot of hitpoints, more than that even a high-level mech can kill them in one shot. But if they’re ground-based (and not one of the boss monsters), you can kill them by pushing them into a water square! What a revelation!
The second achievement is “Kill an enemy 5 or more tiles away using a dash punch”. Well, you’ve only got one mech that can use “dash punch”. It’s also a move that doesn’t come standard. You have to upgrade your mech with a couple of power reactors to use that move. So, in order to get that achievement, you have to master “upgrading your mech”. So now you know that you can kill ground-based monsters by drowning them and you know how to upgrade your mech.
And with the two coins you get from getting those two achievements, you now have enough to purchase a new squad: “The Rusting Hulks”. These guys have achievements that teach you that you can overpower your power grid (your map’s hit points) and that smoke clouds force monsters to abandon attacking for a turn. When you unlock the Zenith Guard, they teach you that bumping a monster into one of your own mechs does a point of damage to it. That shields can protect a square. More unlocked squads teach you that you can block monsters from emerging out of the ground by sitting on the square they’d emerge from. That monsters take damage from friendly fire. That fire does damage to monsters. That you can break both mechs and monsters out of the ice they’ve been frozen into. That there are environmental hazards that allow you to do double-damage to monsters.
And as you play more and more, you unlock more and more things that teach you different synergies between specialized pilots and specialized mechs and, next thing you know, you’re looking at how you’ve unlocked all of the squads… just in time to see that there was a hidden secret squad that will cost 25 achievement points more.
And, at that point, you start wondering “maybe I play just once and try to get one achievement…” and, in the pursuit of that one achievement, you learn how to play more and more and, next thing you know, you’ve got all of the achievements and can now lock the last hidden secret squad. That, once again, teaches you yet another way to play the game.
And now I’m in a place where I’ve done everything and unlocked everything and ready to play something else… but I think “well, just one more map… just one more island…”
My last post talking about the game said “I can see this eating up as much time as FTL did.”
Oh, my gosh. It’s eaten so much more time than FTL did.
So… what are you playing?
(Featured Image is screenshot of Into The Breach title page.)