From the grandiose space adventures of Starfield and No Man’s Sky to the tactical intricacies of FTL and Rebel Galaxy, shipbuilding is always one of the most delightful aspects of any good space game. Exciting new strategy game Breachway implements all the essentials of ship upgrades, resource management, and crew recruitment in a gorgeous deck-building roguelike that splashes in a little of my favorite parts from games like Into the Breach and Slay the Spire, and we now have a date for the game’s Steam Early Access release. Even better, a free Steam demo lets you try it out yourself this week as part of Steam Next Fest.
Breachway, from developer Edgeflow Studio and indie strategy publisher Hooded Horse, puts you in the Captain’s boots at the helm of a starfaring vessel seeking out The Signal. This deck-building roguelike strategy game has you build out your ship and assemble its crew as you travel across the stars. The numerous ships, weapons, upgrade modules, and crew members at your disposal mean that every run offers new potential synergies and strategies. I had the chance to play its demo ahead of launch, and I’m really liking what I’ve seen so far.
The ship construction of Breachway bears somewhat of a resemblance to the masterful FTL, although its card system gives combat a rather different pacing. Each weapon or piece of equipment you fit to your ship comes with a set of cards, and as you collect more on your adventure, you’ll be able to match offensive and defensive ability cards to their matching equipment. So a ‘blinding pulse’ that deals damage and reduces enemy attack power for a turn will need to slot into a laser weapon like the modified cutter, for example.
Your resources carry over between turns, and they’ll grow based on how you’ve distributed your core reactor power – so if you’re playing a more defensive style, you may wish to favor energy points over the more attack-focused ordnance or utility-based mass resources. Your crew also offer powerful bonuses that can be deployed in an emergency, although they require spending morale points, which can replenish faster or slower depending upon how your crew feels about your leadership and decision-making over the course of the run.
There’s lots of additional tactics and tricks to uncover as you play more. Much like FTL or Into the Breach, you’ll see your enemies’ upcoming actions. Precision attacks can target these individual facilities to temporarily knock them offline. Alternatively, you can build up hull heat to inflict damage over time, or fire off missiles that take a turn to reach the enemy ship, essentially letting you queue up coordinated bombardments. It’s all rather satisfying.
Breachway launches on Friday March 22 in early access on Steam, GOG, and the Epic Games Store. In addition to this, a Breachway demo will be available throughout Steam Next Fest from Monday February 5 to Monday February 12, if you’re interested in trying it out ahead of the release date. You’ll get to experience the tutorial, first zone, and two ships, giving you a taste of just what Breachway has to offer.
In addition to this, we’ve picked out even more of the best roguelike games on PC to give you that ‘one more run’ craving. Alternatively, explore the great beyond and discover what’s out there with the best space games to play in 2024.