Monday, June 20, 2016

Ground Breakers Gameplay Review

I'm playing Ground Breakers, a turn-based strategy game by United Indie.

The game features a number of different game modes: the campaign takes place on a world map where territory is captured and upgraded for increased income, scenarios are against a rival CEO and increase in difficulty, and the infinity mine allows for new parts to be unlocked. In the lab, robots can be crafted from parts scavenged from missions; however, an arbitrary “correct” combination of parts must be discovered using trial-and-error before unlocking a new bot. In addition, truly custom robots cannot be created: instead, pre-existing blueprints must be followed. Online multiplayer is also available. The objective of each match is to capture “tactic” points (which start hidden on the map) or eliminate enemy units. Each robot has different damage, range, speed, movement, and accuracy ratings, along with special abilities that can be unlocked and upgraded with experience during a match. Units do have a variety of uses and abilities, which increases the strategic options. While the game is nominally turn-based, “time points” are used so that units can move at different paces. The interface does a good job showing where units can move and where they could be under threat. The terrain can change during a match, providing new pathways while eliminating others. Destroyed units do respawn, although it takes some time and there is a respawn limit. The AI does a good job engaging vulnerable units and retreating injured ones. Ground Breakers has some interesting gameplay and multiple game modes, but an overall sense of inelegance and a lack of robot design flexibility hold the title back from mass appeal.