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

Very nice. One restart and then I won the Prologue. I need better sentry towers or I just need to build 50 of them. I love the way all the bits work together. I’m not a fan of tower defense games, but as has been discussed the base defense is only a portion of the game play. My biggest problem was figuring out how the dumb power connectors work. I wasn’t paying attention and just haphazardly laying them all over the place.

I do like the penalty for dying. You drop a weapon and don’t have access until you get back to where you died and pick it back up.

Still a lot to figure out, but it wasn’t quite as overwhelming as I feared.

I thought the weapon loss thing was a weird death penalty. I mean, what do I care if I drop some sword that cost 200 carbon and 100 iron? I’ll earn that much just from slaughtering the local wildlife on the way back to where I died.

But then you start to get better weapons and they get, uh, really expensive. You can damn sure bet I’m going back for that exceptional sword with the extra damage mod and the stun mod because it cost 10k carbon and 10k iron and 1000 of some weird resource that’s only trickling in from the cactus farms I’ve built at an outpost way out in the desert. Plus, that’s my only stun mod!


Tom is really good at dropping weapons. :)

That is why McMaster always has to carry the extra guns and ammunition for him. ;)

Riftbreaker was a total unknown to me. I’m not really into factorio type building stuff, but the time and combat elements look like I might want to try this one out. I see it has full controller support. Maybe Riftbreaker is a good candidate for Steamlinking to the TV while eradicating the alien hordes. Maybe?

The problem is that the city-building stuff is going to be a bit of a PITA with a controller. It’s do-able, but it won’t be pretty!


I’m playing on Xbox, and I’m not finding playing with a controller too cumbersome. The building cursor you can control with just the right stick, so you can be stationary and just move that around and build stuff. That does take your right thumb off the buttons though, so laying down (or repairing), say, a line of walls means you have to move the stick with your left thumb, while holding down A with your right. Nothing I’d want to do in the middle of combat, but the game doesn’t really do that (at least so far), so eh. It’s fine.

On the other hand, there’s plenty of obtuse-ness. Reloading your weapons is kind of not explained that well. It talks about ‘your base’, but your base doesn’t really have to be contiguous in any real way. That took me a bit to get my head around. Your base is just all the structures you’ve build around the map? Ok. I researched the Cobalt Scanner, wanting to upgrade my towers and do other stuff that required Cobalt, but couldn’t find a way to build the scanner. Turns out I had to advance the storyline. Ug.

My problem with the controller is that it’s just so cumbersome to move the cursor around with a controller. It’s much easier with a mouse-and-keyboard, and I’m finding a lot of my building and maintenance is basically “painting” areas, whether it’s laying floors, stretching power lines across the map, arranging walls, setting up swaths of specific buildings, upgrades, or especially repairs, which can be a real pain until you learn to “paint” them. It’s super easy to just hold down the mouse button to draw whatever I want with the cursor, and the cursor movement is more pokey and imprecise with a game controller.

It’s a factor of how many armories you’ve constructed. The more of them you have, and the more they’re upgraded, the more frequently your ammo refills. I believe the refill rate is even listed for each site on the orbital scanner screen.

All of the secondary resources require unlocking a specific part of the map first. That’s really the only “storyline” in the game. There’s also a lot of stuff gated by alien samples, which you’ll find in combat or by using the bioscanner once you get it.


Is this game a comedy?

Most games are comedies.


Yeah, the painting thing was what I was referring to with the left thumb/right button thing- you can just hold down A and it adds stuff as you move the cursor until you release it, then it starts the build. I can see how using a mouse would be easier and more fluid, but the controller is fine- like I said, it’s not like you are doing it in the middle of combat.

And yeah, I ended up figuring out the systems like ammo, eventually, but since it’s so different from a normal game (press Y to reload, or something) it took a bit. Ditto for energy and materials storage. You build physical structures, so I thought you had to connect them somehow, but no, you can have discrete little self-powering mining operations all over, and they all feed into the same pool, which is cool.

The problem with the Cobalt detector was that it allowed me to research the tech that let me build the detector… which then didn’t show up to be built anywhere, and the game gave me no clue as to why. I had to build the Orbital Scanner for that to trigger. Since so many other techs have building reqs, they should probably add Orbital Scanner to that one to prevent confusion like mine.

I made it to the Desert, I’ll probably go and explore the other biomes before going too far down the quest lines. I do like that it gives you a lot of time, and let’s you kind of go at your own pace, with no big events happening until you hit another milestone.

Only if it also has sarcasmium.

Put a bunch of hours into this today. All the limited missions to the other zones are pretty fun. Except that one with the acid where you had to scan the thing. That was just stupid.

I’m glad Tom gave the advice to just roll with the setbacks. I’ve had my Rift Machine destroyed. Twice? Three times? Twice. I don’t do tower defense games, so that’s something I’m kind of just downplaying, but I’ve found that when the hordes come, I can just go out and confront them myself, kiting the various groups together, and pounding them with my Power Fists that have a life leech mod on them, heh.

Watching the developer stream, this dude plays on grand scale thinking.

6 of this built , 6 of that queued up, walls at least 4 thickness.

The twitch ingame vote system for events to torture or help the player is great.

Dev dropped some in game codes as I was watching today for mech skins:


I’ve been building my L2 walls double-thick. And his place is so well-ordered! And he has 300k+ energy? I’m obviously doing this wrong.

I had been placing individual power connectors, the dude just drags them where he wants to go and they all auto place.

Yeah, I saw that, too. Totally didn’t realize you could do that. Speaking of tips, I learned a bunch from loading screens going between mission regions. They were actually useful for once!

I love how he forget to put up defense towers, in a tower defense game.

Meh. I have very few, as noted above. When I get a message that a horde is coming, it marks the places on the map edge they’re coming from. I just go out near the two closest ones, and when they start to appear, kite them toward the third and take care of them out in the jungle. Very few ever get near my base.

I’m still not sure if I’m enjoying this or not. Partly because of the continual nest nonsense.

I realise this has tower defence elements that call for frequent waves of enemies, but holy shit do I not want to hear them announced any more.

I burned out a nest because the game told me I should and because I was getting tired of the constant “a new wave of enemies is on their way from a nearby nest, you should find it and destroy it!” only to find out that five minutes after killing it a new one pops up, triggering all the same messages over and over.

Never mind that I have the planet soaked in so many mines the minimap is yellow and newborn bugs are sucked into a gravity mine with their entire family before taking their first breath.

Please do tell me when the big timed wave is coming because I’ll probably need to wade through a field of blood and chitin to replant my mines, but shut up about the nests already.

This is what I meant by the game’s “paint” interface. When I’m stomping around in the mech on a hostile planet, it’s super easy for me to put down the controller, take up the mouse-and-keyboard, and then – swish swish swish – I’ve painted a little outpost of fully upgraded carbonium mines with banks of solar energy panels and wind turbines, with an energy cell to get through nighttime and rough weather events, with an AI hub to support some defenses and a repair tower, and a wall around the whole shebang. I don’t even need a doorway in the walls because I can reach everything easily with the mouse cursor.

It’s the same with pipelines and power connections. I can just swish swish swish them across the screen. Or, I can set it up where I pick up the controller and walk across the terrain, laying power connectors, pipelines, flooring, or walls in my wake. Basically, dropping infrastructure as I travel. It’s really easy once you get used to it and once you learn what little bits and bobs you need to drop in any given situation.

If you destroy nests, not only will the messages stop, but they won’t spawn the things that are bothering you. :) I know that may sound obvious, but I was confused early on about the difference between routine spawns and nests. You can’t do anything about the former, but the latter is an event to which you should react.