The Riftbreaker (TD/ Survival-ARPG/BaseBuilder) 2020

The dev made X-Morph: Defense before, so I guess you can expect something similar.

BTW, this is available on GOG as well:

Yes, you need to place wall in front of the tower, preferably in double layer. You need to find choke point in map to place wall and tower to maximize the return of resources. In this regard, this game is like “they are billions”.

Holy cow. If you’re that passionate about this, it’s got to be amazing.

One question. After looking at this and their previous game X-Morph I’m concerned it’s got too many action arcade shooty bits? Kinda hoping it’s at the same level of Factorio.

Well…out for 2 weeks after surgery…downloading this now…looks cool.

The action is very much like an action-RPG or twin-stick shooter. Lots of running backwards while you shoot/punch oncoming swarms. But the difficult combats aren’t about reflexes so much as figuring out vulnerabilities of specific enemies, ammo management, and navigating the environment. There are also some parts of the game that are a bit like the “commando” levels in an RTS, where you go in to fight rather than build a base. Nothing you can’t handle if you’ve ever played an action RTS.


I bought it “blind” after Tom’s reaction to the game. But I’ve heard lots of good things about X-Morph, so it’s not a “totally blind” thing - the devs definitely know what they’re doing.

Played about an hour on the XSS. Runs good, graphics are pretty. I don’t really like twin stick shooters but I enjoy base defense type games. Playing on Easy to get used to all the systems. Thought it was more of a quick mission kind of thing but built the Communication Hub which enables you to research more items to build and use and wow, it’s a pretty large research tree. 3 trees actually. I need to change my mindset and think long term now. It’s cool so far.

I’m not sure what kind of expectations the prologue/demo set up, but that is absolutely the right way to think of Riftbreakers.

It’s a long-term proposition built to be played as a campaign game on a set of procedurally generated maps. In the course of playing, over many hours that will probably include lots of setbacks, you’ll progress through the tech tree and the bestiary, even if you stall your economy and have to rebuild everything. But those two elements – the tech tree and the bestiary that unlocks much of the tech tree – are your progress, more so than whatever your economy is doing or how your character build is ramping up. Normally, in this kind of colony management sim, you might be tempted to restart. But in Riftbreakers, don’t restart! Gauge your progress by the tech tree! As long as time is passing and you’re queuing up tech, you’re making progress.

Also, keep in mind that it alternates playing style a fair amount. You’ll explore the ecologies, clear out hostiles, expand your base, and optimize your economy, but not all at the same time. Oftentimes you’ll only be doing one of those four things at a time, ignoring the other elements entirely. That’s as intended! Don’t feel like you have to play this as an exercise in keeping spinning plates in the air. Feel free to just focus on one type of gameplay at a time.


That’s reassuring for me, multi-tasking is not my strong suit.

This is sounding cooler and cooler. I should give it a spin since it’s on GP.

I tried the demo during that big demo bash over the summer I think it was? But I found it pretty darn difficult, or at least got overwhelmed with choices pretty quickly and I got kind of bummed out and quit. Maybe the full game’s tutorial is better at easing you into things than the demo did.

Hmmm. I actually dislike twin-stick shooters quite a bit. If the demo is a good representation of the game I’ll give that a try.

This changes my perception of the game entirely, and make it sound much more palatable. Very good to know - time to grab that demo!

The prologue / demo is a holodeck style training mission for your character to learn the basics, even with graphical glitches! It has nothing to do with research though, so that stuff is all saved for the campaign.

I’ve played it 4 times now, and it always ends like this for me:

Whoever survived it I think is lying! :P

Played a few hours this afternoon. Pretty decent, but I find the controls to be a bit clunky as you switch between weapons, abilities and construction.

I like how your base naturally grows to accommodate nearby resources, but I don’t think I’ve played far enough in the campaign to get the hooks into me. Plan on playing another few hours tonight.

The “orbital scanner” screen – this is basically a list of all the instances you can visit – tracks your overarching objectives. This is the place to go if you find yourself lost in the moment-to-moment weeds, which is easy to do. There’s a lot going on at any given moment, but the game is built to let you focus however you see fit. Which is easy to do when you look at the list of objectives. Just pick one when you’re ready and run with it.

That said, there’s been one constant for me: you can never have enough carbon and iron. Err, excuse me, carbonium and ironium (it seems like “ironium” was “steel” when they recorded the voiceovers, since the robot sometimes bitches about not having enough “steel” when he clearly means ironium, and I’m, all, like, “dude, I don’t have any steel because we’re not even making it!”).

These two things are the foundation for your economy, and most of your resource crises will be a shortage of carbon or iron. Or energy, of course. You can also never have too much energy. There are plenty of mid-game sinks for extra energy, so you’ll be glad if you overpower your bases.

So, the first rule of Riftbreaker is A.B.B.C.I.&.E. “Always Be Building Carbonium, Ironium, & Energy”

God, so much this. But I think I finally figured it out: Riftbreaker is a game in which you climb in and out of a vehicle.

When it’s time for combat or exploration, I climb into the vehicle, which means taking up a game controller and playing an action-RPG/twin-stick shooter. Simple and intuitive. But when it’s time to build stuff, manage resources, and tune the economy, I climb out of the vehicle, which means putting down the controller and playing a city-builder with a mouse and keyboard.

I don’t think either control scheme works well for both types of gameplay, so for me, it’s always one or the other. I’m either in the vehicle and driving around with a controller, or I’m out of the vehicle and managing my economy with a mouse-and-keyboard.


I’m used to playing Grim Dawn like that - controller when I’m ARPG-ing, mouse and keyboard any time I need to do inventory management or anything of the sort - so I guess I’m golden. ;)

Both works but djiz mouse and keyboard rules as usual. Good simple beer and pretzels game, good fighting and nice graphics :)