Door Kickers

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Welcome back. Today we’re covering Door Kickers by Killhouse Games, released on Steam in October of 2014. In case the title didn’t tip you off, this is essentially “Breach and Clear Simulator.” But rather than being an FPS in the style of the SWAT series, this is a real-time-with-pause strategy game. As such, reflexes are less important than you’d originally expect. As long as your officers aren’t badly positioned, they’ll handle aiming at and firing on enemies just fine on their own. Thanks to that ability to pause at any time and plan your next move, you can respond to unexpected events, such as an attacker kicking a door open on the other side of the map to come at the back of your formation.

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At first, there’s not much room for any actual strategy. Your officers are all fresh recruits with the bare minimum of equipment and you can’t even give them a gun bigger than a pistol until you unlock the next class. The only real question you have to ask yourself is “is this room worth a flashbang or breaching charge?” And I think that’s a shame, as while I appreciate the effort in not overwhelming the player with options, it would have been nice to let them snag something to have in addition to the standard kit. Thankfully, it doesn’t matter what game mode you play on. Be it on campaign or single mission mode, EXP and Stars and Officer Promotions are granted for completing missions. So, if you don’t feel like you’re up to running a certain campaign, you can come back with a wider array of equipment at your disposal. Fair warning, though, officers that die in campaigns stay dead unless you restart the mission completely, while officers downed in single missions do not. I found this out the hard way and lost all but 2 people. I personally don’t like that sort of thing, but I know other players enjoy the feeling of actions having lasting consequences.

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There’s not much to the presentation. The top-down view doesn’t leave much room for showcasing graphical power, and the sounds aren’t anything beyond what is required. That said, the interface is very easy to work with, and the base tutorial consists of a single screen rotating through the functions available, explaining what they do as it demonstrates how to do them.

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The only other problem I have is that there’s a weird delay between telling an officer “do ____ at this door” and them actually starting to do it, which has messed up my timing on more than one occasion.

Door Kickers is normally $20 on Steam, but right now it’s $4 until the 4th of January, so this would be a good time to snag it if it sounds like your sort of game.

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