Developer Inbetweengames’ acclaimed All Walls Must Fall, an alternate-future tactics game blending Cold War espionage with the dance floor decadence of Berlin’s nightclub scene, is making it way to Switch tomorrow, 20th January.
Originally released back in 2018, All Walls Must Fall’s rhythmic time-meddling action is gleefully high concept, unfolding in the Berlin of 2089, where the Cold War never ended.
Here, agents on both sides are caught in a never-ending temporal loop, hopping around the timeline to thwart each other’s next move. That translates to a supremely stylish tactical adventure that, for no obvious reason beyond the fact it looks incredibly cool, sets each mission to the pounding techno beats and pulsating lights of a labyrinthine Berlin nightclub.
It’s not an easy game to explain succinctly, but missions generally follow a similar structure, combining real-time infiltration and exploration with turn-based combat. Activities, from chatting with bouncers to discovering new areas, earn points that tick down as you move or perform more advanced actions – certain stealth options, for instance, or rewinding time.
It’s the latter that’s core to the experience, proving particularly fascinating in combat situations, which require you to map out your moves one action at a time before letting them play out in a rhythmic dance to the background beat. Here, rewind lets you cheat death (as long as you’ve got sufficient points to do so) but, more importantly, can also make everything, from bullets to enemies, move backward – everything except you.
That means it’s possible to do things like force enemies to retrace their steps into more advantageous positions – say, out of cover – but there’s a trade-off in that reversal might also restore their health or revive previously eliminated foes. What you end up with is an unusual temporal toolkit that’s full of fascinating possibilities and tactical potential.
Eurogamer’s Christian Donlan was rather taken with All Walls Must Fall, calling it a “wonderfully strange and inventive and oddly lovable clockwork blaster” in his Recommended review. And if any of that appeals, you can pick it up on Switch’s eShop from 20th January.