Door Kickers. As soon as I heard the name of this I knew it was going to be up my street. It is. It’s awesome. Door Kickers is about a swat/patrol team who go around taking out bad guys. Boom!
There’s not much plot here. You have a squad of troopers which you can customise. There’s a host of single levels or a campaign mode which unlocks later and you can attack them at will. In essence you have an overhead view of an area and will select entry points for your troopers. You then draw paths around the levels, hit play and they carry it out. As you’re setting it all up you need to consider who is covering how by selecting waypoints and trigger points, which way each person is covering as they move through rooms, and when you come to doors how you enter – do you kick them, breach, pick lock, use a crowbar, flashing….
The tactics here are really fluid. You can quickly draw lines to try different approaches (which works really well on tablet as well as with a mouse – I preferred a tablet for drawing routes although it was slightly easier using a mouse for selecting angles to cover along the waypoints). At any point you can jump in and control the troopers in real time, or pause and start setting out another set of waypoints. This makes the whole thing really dynamic. At the end of each round you get a replay which you can go back to and jump in to replay or do things differently.
There are loads of options for customising. Starting off with pistols, flashbangs and breach charges you can unlock (quite quickly) things like lock picking machines, assault rifles, shotguns, shields and silenced weapons. Lots of different types of guns can impact your playstyle as well as varying levels of armour and combinations of gadgets. I really enjoyed mixing and matching combinations to get the best score.
Level scoring is pretty simple – clear it in a time and get three stars. Less time is two and completion is just a basic one star. You also get an extra credit on certain levels for planning a route and not intervening or using just one trooper. Objectives come in a bit later where you might have to rescue a hostage and get them out for example or defuse a device. This adds another level to think about, if you’re noisy going in they might panic and shoot a hostage. Not cool.
There’s a cover system to consider for your own use and the enemies, and other objects such as windows which can give you a heads up. Campaign mode takes this to another level with a series of levels back to back. If anyone gets injured or dies you can’t use them even in single player until the campaign is over (either through death or completion) and they open back up. It’s a sort of permadeth experience without too much of it being permanent (although there is an iron man setting for the hardcore).
On both iPad and PC/Mac you can easily download a few mods – these range from extra levels, extra weapons, adding blood and gore or changing the music. A nice little touch. Also there’s a random level generator in case you get bored of everything in the game, and enemies will randomise each time you play on the set levels anyway. Finally on PC there’s the option to create levels which is cool.
Door Kickers is a really easy to play and really deep tactical game with loads of replayability. It’s strategic but also action focused if you elect to play in real time (admittedly this is tough to play it completely in real time controlling quite a few troops). It’s also often in sales and only 69p on iPad at the moment so it’s one hell of a deal.
Reviewed on iPad/PC