Sly sci-fi adventure/puzzle game will work your brain quite well, although it’s got a few issues. Still, if you want something uniquely replayable, this has got your name and number all over it.
Developer: Drama Drifters
Publisher: Nkidu Games
# of Players: 1
Release Date: 6/22/2016
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Score: B- (75%) BUY IT!
Have you ever lost your keys in your own home, had a devil of a time searching for them, only to discover yourself in bed, waking from a dream that was all too real… until you get ready to walk out the door but end up having to look for your keys? But then… you REALLY wake up and you’re just staring up at the ceiling, but wanting to pinch yourself hard because you want to be 100% sure you’re NOT dreaming this time? That’s BREACHED in a nutshell.
Indie developer Drama Drifters has cooked up a beautiful-looking sci-fi/mystery adventure game with a simple yet complex manner about it. Simple in that it’s relatively short, but complex in that it needs to be replayed a few times in order to see everything it has to offer. So, that short length ends up being initially perplexing if you go in expecting anything other than what the game has to offer and you’re back in the think of things doing it all over again.
Waking up from suspended animation on a strange planet, Corus Valott finds his life support and a few other important systems down for the count. A bit of memory loss thanks to that damage has left him a bit fuzzy on certain things, but Valott knows that without stuff getting back online, he’s not going to survive. All he has is a flying drone that can gather random materials and a few days to sort things out before he’s doomed and forgotten.
That, dear reader is where you come in, of course. All you need to do is use that drone’s limited daily power to collect data and materials, get them back to the base and combine them carefully. An easy enough task… but poor Corus isn’t his best thanks to his debilitating condition. As noted above, it’s quite like that lost key dream within a dream within a dream thing to some extent.
Inside the shelter, tasks are divided into three portions. Going over your Journal and the day’s tasks in Notes, finding an area to send the drone on the Map, and trying out results of those findings in the Lab. The drone sections are where you take flight, zooming across the alien landscape searching for assorted items while hopefully avoiding any trouble from the strange anomalies that can stop the days progress cold by shutting the drone down.
The main issue with the game comes from the calculations required to mix materials thanks to the need to figure out what’s missing from the equation. Taking notes (yes, in an actual note pad or some digital device) helps out a bit. But with such limited time, mistakes will be made.
The game is in fact, designed to be played ore than once unless your deductive reasoning is so dead on that you can not only locate the correct materials to combine, you actually get the percentages accurate on that first go. Not so amusingly, things seem to be randomized for each playthrough, meaning a ingredient and formula locations and formulations will be different. This is a bit frustrating, but somewhere along the line, you may shrug your shoulders, adjust that thinking cap and knuckle yourself in the head with your mouse for thinking this was going to be all too easy.
The game looks and sounds great, all otherworldly ruins and a few locales that have some impressive scenery to ogle. You’ll learn to avoid the glowing alien stuff save for when you need to try and gingerly sneak past before jetting that drone away like a bat out of hell. There’s a lot of trial and error in navigating, as you may come upon some hills your drone can crest and others where you’ll needs to find a better way of getting from one point to another.
Warts and all, BREACHED makes for a pretty solid game and it’s not expensive at all. If you love the mental challenge of figuring out things as you go and realize that it’ll take a few plays to see where things end up, this one’s for you. Just don’t call it a “walking Simulator” as it’s more of a “Flying A Drone Around To Discover What The Hell Is Happening” simulator. Or something like that.
Review code provided by the publisher.