Macho cops in tactical gear are out and what's in instead? Wizards in riot gear and traffic-cop neon. Yup. Flashlights and lighning bolts are better for taking out crime syndicates than flashbangs. Tactical Breach Wizards is a small-scale strategy game about breaking into rooms full of armed and mohawked baddies and incapacitating them with strategic spell work. Suspicious Developments are about to roll out keys to their first beta test, which you can sign up for now.
The upcoming test will consist of just three missions which you'll tackle with combinations of three wizards. Suspicious Developments say that the early encounters in the game are small puzzles where you're given a tricky setup and challenged to figure out how to knock your enemies out of windows or into walls. Later on, missions become a little more challenging, with new enemies arriving each turn. Those sound a bit more like your typical turn-based strategy games that ask you to manage a constantly worsening situation. They say that the first beta test will be used to gauge what kinds of encounters players enjoy most.
The video below is an extremely short demonstration of two wizards breaking in and quickly blasting a total of three enemies out of conveniently-placed windows. As with most turn-based tactics games, it looks as much like a puzzle as a combat exercise. Last year they did a video actually explaining the combat, if you're looking for a bit more information.
"This prototype also comes with a level editor and Steam Workshop support, because why not. The level editor is the same one we use, and it's very quick and simple to build a room and test it," says the developers' announcement. I'm always a fan of a level editor getting packed in with games because the only thing better than solving puzzles is completely ignoring all of them to build your own.
You can check out Suspicious Developments' announcement post for more details about beta signup. The bottom line seems to be that you'll want to get on their mailing list. They're only giving out Windows keys in this round, sorry produce and penguin people. They don't mention a date, just that keys will come in three batches.
Tactical Breach Wizards' release window is the ever popular "when it's done." You can wishlist it on Steam until it is.
Disclosure: one of Tactical Breach Wizards' developers, Tom Francis, has written for RPS.