Breached is a very odd game. It has you playing an astronaut unfrozen on Mars trying to figure out what going on around him and to fix the shelter around you and then splits into two sections. Firstly a 3d first person survival and exploration mode where you pilot ground based drones to collect parts and mine minerals while trying to avoid anomalies that cause you to start to lose control of the drone when you get close to them. There are three different types of mineral that seem to group together by type and you’ll need all three to get the right blend to fuel your shelter.
Once you get back with the three items your drone can carry you move to the second part of the game using a text menu system to experiment with the minerals and break down the parts. Hopefully the parts will break down to the components you need to fix the oxygen generator and the tests you do on the minerals will work out to give you good fuel. Breached gives you a chance to do a couple of things a day – take out a couple of drones or a drone followed by an experiment or two and then adds a eight day time limit before the oxygen totally runs out. It’s a little frustrating and with a little practice and exploration turns into hoping that the parts break down into the components you need before you run out of time and die. For a little flavor and backstory there is a daily log that lets you make a few choices and click through hashtagged older partial entries to try and figure out what happened.
The game starts with confusion – why are you being woken, what’s happening and who am I? This sense of confusion extends to the UI and everything that goes on and that creates a very atmospheric game that feels like the start of something bigger but unfortunately fails to deliver it.
Price: ± £4.99, currently on offer at £4.49
Paid extras: Soundtrack DLC £.79 and Content DLC £.79 that includes artwork, a comic and wallpapers
About Drama Drifters and Nikdu Games Inc
Drama Drifters is a distributed company based in Russia. They previously released a demo called ‘Isles of Umbra’ and created it and the basis for Breached in game jams. Nkidu Games is a small publisher set up in 2013 that’s focused on smaller indie games.
- Target audience: Niche sci-fi and mystery fans looking for something odd
- Target age range: Teens, Adults, Older adults
The game has numerous flash and flicker effects which indicate when a drone is getting too close an anomaly.
Essential information is never conveyed by colour alone but the UI cannot be configured if there are issues for the player.
There is no spoken content in the game and all information in the 2d portion of the game is presented in written format. The drone piloting 3d sections use sound to indicate distance from mineable areas and from the anomalies. It is possible to judge these visually but the audio is a significant help and it is significantly harder to play when muted.
The sound effects and music are on two separate volume controls and can be individually muted.
Ergonomic accessible controls
Breached is totally controlled by the mouse. In the 2d menu system everything is point and click and when piloting the drone the mouse is moved to change heading with the left hand mouse button to accelerate and the right to brake.
There are keyboard controls available but they are not configurable and the developer themselves recommends using the mouse instead.
There is a single difficulty level and the nature of the game is such that if you get a drone section wrong and lose the drone without bringing back minerals or parts this is very hard to recover from. Lose a couple of drones and completing the game is virtually impossible.
Piloting the drones is a first person experience that feels rather odd and over smooth. The viewpoint is mouse controlled and can be pointed upwards or downwards considerably which doesn’t actually affect the motion making the motion and viewpoint slightly unsynced at times. If you suffer from motion sickness the game is not for you.
There is no graphic violence in the game apart from a couple of sprays of blood the player coughs up onto screens and with the possible exception of feelings of isolation or memory loss no obvious triggers.
Environment & People
Breached costs just under £5 on Steam which is right at the bottom limit for a new PC game. To beat an understand the game totally will probably take two or three playthroughs at 1-2 hours each. After beating the game there is little replayablity.
Platforms: PC and Mac,
Length of game 1-2 hours
Number of players: single player only
Recommended length of play sessions: complete play through
Difficulty settings: one setting
OS: 64-bit Windows Vista or later
Processor: 2 GHz dual-core 64-bit CPU
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: DirectX 10 compatible GPU with 1 GB video RAM
DirectX: Version 10
Storage: 5 GB available space
Additional Notes: Integrated Intel graphics are not supported. They should work (Intel HD 4000-series or better), but with issues.
OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit versions)
Processor: Intel Core i7-3770 / AMD FX-8350 or better
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290 or better
DirectX: Version 11
After playing through Breached twice in the last few hours I find myself coming away from it dissatisfied. Not so much because of what is actually in the game but more because it feels like the start of a game – somewhere in between a demo and the introduction to a bigger game. It takes a number of concepts and ideas from other games and stitches them together but doesn’t finish in a way that satisfies. If you looking for something different to spend a few hours on you’ll find it interesting but most will find the experience frustrating and ending too soon.