Netflix’s push into gaming may not be a smash hit, but it seems to be slowly growing its library of games. I’ve just got the latest game to join its ranks, and I think it’s an absolute must-have on iOS and Android.
The game in question is Into the Breach. Released in February 2018 on PC, this turn-based strategy game meets roguelike (where game elements are randomly generated each time) spread across other platforms like Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android. Then, in July this year, it was added to the Netflix games list, which meant that Netflix subscribers like me could download and play it on Android phones, iPhones, and iPads at no additional cost.
I did exactly that, and I’m hooked.
Life is a breach
Into the Breach is made by Subset Games, who also developed FTL: Faster Than Light, another roguelike game based on managing a starship as it transitions from enemy forces to the safety of a friendly fleet; it’s one of my favorite games and it looks awesome on my iPad mini. So rave reviews aside, I had high hopes for Into the Breach.
Luckily, just search for the game in the App Store or Google Play Store to bring it up, pointing out the Netflix version. A quick download later, and a connection to Netflix on some devices, and I was in.
Into the Breach grabbed me right away with its menu music composed by the simply brilliant Ben Prunty. A brief low-fi pixel art style intro explains that the Vek, a race of giant monster-like insects, have all but destroyed humanity, and to reverse that, a team of mechs must go back in time and defeat them. before the cataclysm occurs. It’s like Edge of Tomorrow is crossed with Pacific Rim.
As for the action of the game, everything is turn-based, which means there is no great pressure to rush into strategic decisions. But there is certainly pressure to make the right choices. The brief tutorial explains that players are given a trio of mechs to use to defend certain objectives and slow down a seemingly unstoppable onslaught of Vek for a number of turns before the objective is reached or the monsters retreat… for the moment. moment.
It sounds simple. But like a game of chess, Into the Breach is less about clearing a board of enemies and more about outmaneuvering rivals and choosing to sacrifice a unit to achieve an objective.
What’s interesting here is that players are notified of each Vek monster’s next move, whether it’s attacking a robot or hitting a civilian structure. This presents the challenge of determining if any of your units can withstand a hit and still have enough hit points to survive the mission, or if you can withstand the hit to your power grid, which decreases with each attack. against energy-producing civilians. buildings and the game is over if it reaches zero.
There are times when you have to make the tricky decision to damage or even kill one of your own units to take out a swarm of Vek, winning you the mission but potentially losing an experienced pilot. If this happens, a pilot will be replaced but will not be the seasoned veteran you had before.
All of this makes for a game you think you’re going to dive into for a quick fight, but one that can completely absorb you. I found with FTL, so I was ready for the “just one more shot” nature of Into the Breach.
Unlike FTL, which is only available on the iPad for mobile gamers, Into the Breach works pretty well for accessing a mix of smartphones. It’s very easy to use on my iPhone 13 Pro, despite my concern that it might feel a little cramped, and it works pretty well on my Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. But if you can, I’d suggest give it a spin on something like and iPad mini, which strikes a good balance between screen real estate and portable form factor,
No matter what mobile device you’re playing Into the Breach on, I urge you to give it a try. It won’t cost you anything if you have a Netflix subscription, and it’s a great way to get the most out of the service rather than waiting for the next episode of Better Call Saul or another season of Stranger Things.
And I really hope Netflix adds more stellar indie games to its service, let’s say the excellent Bastion, because while people might not be flocking to Netflix’s games library just yet, I still think it there is a lot of potential here.