Run-based games are nothing new, but they’re in a bit of a heyday thanks to big releases like Dead Cells and Into the Breach on Switch. Run-based games are really great for mobile, because they provide a lot of depth and satisfying gameplay in a relatively bite-sized package that’s purposely designed for you to play over and over and over again.
Although you might not be able to play Dead Cells or Into the Breach on your phone or tablet (yet), there are still a bunch of great run-based games on iOS to play. Check out our picks for the best run-based games below:
If you ask just about anyone to name their absolute “must-buy” mobile games, FTL is bound to be on that list. With an awesome premise, tons of replayability, and a tough-as-nails roguelike sensibility, it’s a game you can fire up at any time just about anywhere and have a good time. With the release of Subset Games’s follow up title, Into The Breach, this week, a lot of people have been wondering if this game has the same potential to be a smash hit on mobile, and the answer is a resounding yes. Here’s why:
The first thing you might want to know about Into The Breach is that—as a follow up to FTL—it pretty much completely lives up to the hype. It’s a tightly designed roguelike where you control a team of mecha as they try to defend humanity. For a quick comparison, it feels like someone took Pacific Rim and jammed it into a tiny tactical map that looks like Advance Wars but plays a bit more like Invisible Inc., where all of your hits will land, but you have to plan them out carefully to make sure you don’t die or inflict too many human casualties in the process.
On top of that, it has a ton of unlockables, bonus missions, upgrades, and the same great difficulty curve that keeps you on the edge of your seat constantly while playing. As long as a port job of Into The Breach brings the game to mobile more-or-less intact, there’s no need to worry about whether it’s worth a purchase.
As an experiment, I went ahead and tried a couple ways to shoehorn Into The Breach onto my iPad just to see what it would be like, and I wasn’t disappointed. Even without any port work to make Into The Breach’s controls work for touch, the game works surprisingly well. It's also a game that constantly saves your progress, which makes it easy to pick up and put down on a whim. Finally—and perhaps most importantly—Into The Breach’s bite-sized tactics maps fit amazingly well on a mobile screen. Don’t believe me? Check out the screenshot below of the game running on an iPad display. Even in this compromised, windowed mode, everything about the game's UI is clean and easy to read.
The App Store could use another essential release right about now
FTL came out on mobile about four years ago, and since then there have been a few games here and there that seem like they should stay permanently installed on your home screen, but not many, especially recently. Although there are no current plans for Into The Breach to come to mobile, it would be a huge hit, particularly if it struck during an App Store lull like the one we’re currently in.
Since its arrival on the App Store a few years ago, FTL has been entertaining mobile gamers with its irresistible style, regardless of the often absurd challenges it presents. Fans of that fine spaceship management sim will be pleased to learn that Subset Games has another sci-fi game in the works --Into the Breach.
In Into the Breach, the last vestiges of human civilization are hanging on despite a looming subterranean threat. The action plays out on an isometric grid, and you'll have to use your best turn-based strategy skills to win this fight. Massive insectoid monsters erupt from the earth, wreaking havoc. It's up to you, the player to stop them by commanding an army of mechs, all of which can be upgraded as you progress. The cities must be protected at all costs, as they are vital to powering your war efforts.
The game features more of the gorgeous pixel art that we saw in FTL, along with a soundtrack from FTL's composer, Ben Prunty. Subset Games says that Into the Breach will be available "when its ready". The game's only been confirmed for PC and Mac so far, but we expect we'll be seeing Into the Breach on mobile as well, if FTL is any indication.