Absurdist magical XCOM-alike Tactical Breach Wizards is coming this August, with its free demo available to try right now

Turn-based tactics game Tactical Breach Wizards has been on our radar for some time, but we don't have much longer to wait on this whimsical take on the House that XCOM Built: a new trailer at the PC Gaming Show revealed Tactical Breach Wizards's August 22 release date, while a free demo of the game is now available on Steam.

Tactical Breach Wizards, which comes from former PC Gamer writer turned indie developer Tom Francis' studio,  is built on a premise I can only describe as "Shrek-like:" classico, high fantasy stuff existing side-by-side with tacticool carbon fiber modern military chic, with the player taking control of a squad of crack soldiers with cheeky pun names. The Navy Seer is an operator-diviner with a wizard staff sticking out of his M4, while the Freelance Storm Witch is a private dick who can cast lightning magic. Rounding out the hero crew, we also have a healer, the Necro Medic, and tank, the Rebel Riot Priest.

It looks like our main foes will be a mirror rival Mystery Inc. of sorts led by "The Black Ops Chronomancer," but I'm still jonesin' to learn more about the "Druid Mafia" mentioned in previous trailers. If they're doing organized crime in the name of preserving nature's balance, they can't be all bad, right?

All the arenas shown off in Tactical Breach Wizards' trailers have been deliciously small, with a seeming emphasis on tightly wound combat puzzles that demand you take advantage of the operators' unique movesets. The Witch, for example, can bounce thunderbolts between enemies and around corners, potentially knocking them into level hazards, while the Navy Seer looks like he specializes in turn-delayed traps and other fittingly predictive moves.

It all adds up to an intriguing, exciting addition to the turn-based tactics space, a more XCOM-y offering in contrast to all the Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem-inspired fare we've been seeing. Tactical Breach Wizards' apparent emphasis on environmental hazards and using spacing to efficiently eliminate foes also reminds me of our 2018 game of the year, Into the Breach.

I'm excited to finally get to check out Tactical Breach Wizards' demo on Steam after having waited for so long, and if you want to keep up with the game ahead of its August 22 launch, you can wishlist it over on Steam as well.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.