With so many shooters available for iPhone and iPad, the door was wide open for a more tactical experience like Breach & Clear. The turn-based strategy game puts you in control of a four-man squad charged with killing bad guys around the world. There's no regenerating health and it only takes a couple bad moves for everything to spiral out of control. That said, enjoyment comes from analyzing each combat scenario and finding the best possible ways to dispose of enemies in the quickest times possible. That, and obsessing over your fire team.
To be fair, all the levels we played were on the drab side, comprised of office cubicles that make the corporate world more dangerous-looking than it has any right to be. The first set of levels reminded us of the film Office Space, not exactly the best impression of a military-themed title.
With these four heavily-armed killing machines, you have the option of keeping the squad together or breaking it into two-person teams if the mission allows. From there, you tap a soldier to bring up his cone of vision, whereupon which you're free to plot his next move while adjusting the direction he's supposed to look; hint, it's a great idea to point him towards terrorists.
If you've played games like this before, tactics are more or less the same. Standing out in the open is generally a terrible idea, and it's in your best interest to move the soldiers into cover whenever possible, especially since you won't know who's behind a door without buying/equipping a UAV drone.
Speaking of which, Breach & Clear comes with a variety of automatic weapons to purchase using in-game currency, as well as attachments (grips, laser dot sights), helmets, camouflage and consumable items like grenades, health packs and other useful things. Obviously, the more equipped your squad, the better chance at survival.
In addition, you're able to level up these soldiers to improve such stats as health, accuracy and speed, to name a few. You'll even unlock different perks, like dealing damage while laying down suppressing fire.
Overall the game's a good time but has a couple issues, the least of which are those boring cubicles. Most importantly, we feel the touchscreen controls don't work as they should. We'll go to adjust a guy's vision/movement cone, only to make several repeated taps because it didn't appear the first time. We also wrestled with the camera, largely because zooming in too close obscures the aforementioned cone.
Breach & Clear's developers have key areas to improve, but the initial launch provides a more cerebral take on video game warfare. If you prefer to think before squeezing a trigger, this flawed game may hold your interest.
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