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XCOM and Into The Breach fuse in high-octane new Steam strategy game

New Steam strategy game Tactical Breach Wizards is a fast-paced fantasy blend of XCOM and Into The Breach, and a free demo just launched.

XCOM, Into the Breach, and fantasy collide in new strategy game Tactical Breach Wizards - A soldier wearing a pointed hat with a long, white beard.

Few things are quite as satisfying as pulling off the perfect turn in XCOM, transforming impossible odds into a winning position with just a few clicks. The likes of Into the Breach and Invisible Inc implement that feeling into a more puzzle-style roguelike format, each making you feel like a tactical genius. Yet new strategy game Tactical Breach Wizards may be the coolest such setup yet, combining slick, speedy combat scenarios with snappy, witty dialogue.

Coming from Suspicious Developments, the studio helmed by Gunpoint and Heat Signature developer Tom Francis, Tactical Breach Wizards has been a long time in the making – I still recall his initial half-joking pitch for the militaristic fantasy strategy game made many years ago. But now it’s a reality and set to come out this year. Even better, you can try it out right now courtesy of a free Steam demo.

Tactical Breach Wizards puts you in charge of a group of “renegade wizards in Kevlar” who specialize in high-speed breach-and-clear combat scenarios. Each level begins with you blasting open a door or wall to enter a room, where you must deal with any enemies inside and extract any priority targets or other assets as required. Your squad comes well equipped for the job, each boasting their own unique set of magical skills along with some much more down-to-earth (but certainly no less effective) guns.

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While direct attacks can certainly get the job done, Francis marks this as the third installment in his ‘Defenestration Trilogy’ for good reason – many of the rooms you break into will have conveniently large windows, and knocking enemies out of them is one of the quickest ways to eliminate a dangerous threat. Be careful, however, as you’re just as susceptible to such misfortune, and gravity doesn’t discriminate.

Helping you avoid trouble, then, is the ability to rewind your moves right up to the point where you commit your turn and hand over priority to the enemies. Hopefully, by then you’ll have eliminated the biggest threats, and put yourself in a position to avoid incoming damage from those that remain. But that won’t always be the case; sometimes you’ll have to let one of your troops take damage, or risk a valuable asset being lost.

Lead Zan’s ‘foresee’ ability lets you watch how the enemy turn will play out, which helps you judge what best to do next. If one of your allies is set to be knocked out of a window, for example, you could put yourself in the way to take the hit instead and keep them safe in the action. In extreme examples, however, you may have to make some particularly tough choices.

Tactical Breach Wizards gets free Steam demo - gameplay of the turn-based strategy game.

Building on the excellent action is the dialogue that plays out between each engagement – brief conversations between your crew that are in many cases genuinely very funny from the get-go. You’re given options to talk more for a bit of additional character backstory, or rush through to the fights if you prefer. While we’re still waiting for a full release date, the good news is that you can give it a go for yourself right now.

The Tactical Breach Wizards demo is out now on Steam. The full game is planned to launch in 2024. Simply head over to the store page now to download the demo and try it out for yourself – you won’t regret it.

If turn-based strategy games are your wheelhouse, we’ve selected the best ones to play in 2024 for your perusal. Or if you’re after wizards in a more traditional setting, you’ll find plenty among the best fantasy games on PC.

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