Gunpoint dev’s latest pitch: Tactical Breach Wizards

Tactical Breach Wizards

Sometimes an in-joke is too good to not share. Tom Francis (of Gunpoint and Heat Signature fame) is playing around with some new concepts for his next game. One of them, Tactical Breach Wizards, is a running joke from his days as PC Gamer turned real.

Four modern-day mages with kevlar-lined robes and scoped tactical wands, fighting urban crime one room at a time in XCOM inspired turn-based combat. What’s not to like?

Right now, only a few pieces of concept art and rough gameplay outlines exist, all of which you can see on Tom’s blog here. You owe it to yourself to at least check out the proposed abilities of the four character classes. If you don’t at least get a smirk out of the Tier One Pyromancer’s spell list, I don’t want to know you.

Tactical Breach Wizards

The combat as described in the pitch is already quite distinct from XCOM, with a focus on planned and triggered breach-and-clear tactics not entirely unlike Frozen Synapse, minus the guesswork thanks to alternating (rather than simultaneous) turns. Also interestingly, you’d be working through a building one room at a time, rather than splitting your group and exploring a massive complex where enemies could be hiding around every corner.

As with his previous two games, there is also a minor preoccupation with defenestration, with both the Elemental Sharpshooter and Close Quarters Battlewitch seeming designed specifically to knock people out windows in spectacular fashion. I wonder if that’ll become a running theme in all of his games?

I can see this working pretty well, especially if the abilities you get to play with are just esoteric enough to feel properly magical, despite the militarized police aesthetic. There’s no promise that Tactical Breach Wizards will ever be a finished game, but the concept and art was too good to not share, and Tom is letting people sign up to his mailing list to get access to early prototype builds as they roll out.

Disclosure: Tom Francis has just started writing a column for us.


  1. TechnicalBen says:

    Is it sad that my dyslexia made this game sound even more awesome as “Tactical *beach* wizards”?!

    Yet my spelling made it more boring as “Tactical *beech* wizards”. :(

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      This sounds like a tre(e)mendously good concept, so hopefully the gameplay won’t feel wooden.

    • April March says:

      Maybe that’ll be the DLC. They do so well fighting magick ckrime that they get a vacation… but the beach is completely crowded! Their magicks and tackticks will be put to test as they try to find a spot large enough to put an icebox on..

    • Someoldguy says:

      If the first one is a success they may branch out in that direction.

  2. TeePee says:

    I’d be throwing my money at the screen based on the concept alone. The fact Tom Francis (who happens to be responsible for some of my favourite indie games of the past few years) is responsible is likely to result in me screaming my credit card details at my monitor until the game arrives.

    Or the police.

  3. Ben King says:

    i think this is spectacularly nerdy

  4. unacom says:

    Riot Priest nearl makes it an insta-buy.
    If there was a Breacher-Druid, I´d be sold.
    Idea looks very good. Let´s hope there is meat to the bone.

  5. Relenzo says:

    This is beautiful, I’m laughing out loud.

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    Grizzly says:


  7. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    This looks fun, hope he does go forward with it.

  8. milligna says:

    Cute idea, I want this.

  9. caff says:

    I kind of trust Tom Francis to make something like this work. A man with many good ideas.

  10. Ushao says:

    Yup I think I need this

  11. Viral Frog says:

    I want every part of this to be A Thing that happens.

  12. stiffkittin says:

    Hello, yep braved sign-in to add my voice to support for this idea. It seems an astonishingly cool blending of several varied gameplay styles and conceptually clever. This has the chance to be a popular thing, I think. We could also use a new property with echoes of the wit and humour of Team Fortress in these po-faced times!

  13. Jalan says:

    Interesting idea, not something I’d go for personally however.

    On the completely non-helpful side, for some reason I got the idea in my head years ago that he was working on a Gunpoint sequel (or sort-of-sequel) and even after his other games have been released all but stomping that idea into the ground I just refuse to give up on the hope of seeing it happen some day. I don’t know what it is about Gunpoint, but it’s among the few games where I never tired of what it was doing at any given time. Its music was also some of the best modern noir/future-blended jazz-y stuff I’ve ever heard (in or out of a game in general).

  14. second_hand_virgin says:

    the problem is that Gunpoint and Heat Signature are interesting ideas but not so good games (especially HS)

  15. Wetcoaster says:

    The simultaneous turn resolution with no randomness is very reminiscent of what we’ve seen of Into The Breach from the FTL guys

  16. Raoul Duke says:

    Technically, XCOM2 is already “tactical breach wizards” after they threw out the last vestiges of respect for the source material and turned it into a turn based magic game with hero characters.

  17. Eawyne says:

    I was totally unaware this was finally out ! This is great news… unless it goes to GoG, though, I won’t play it. Has anyone any ideas about any such development ?