Strategy Game of the Year 2015 Runner Up: Door Kickers

By Alex Connolly 28 Dec 2015 0
Jinkies! It's the cops! Jinkies! It's the cops!

I’ve hit the restart button in Door Kickers as many times as my squad has booted doors off their hinges. And that’s awesome, because hitting restart is what I liked most about Killhouse Games’ tight, top-down tactics effort.

What makes Door Kickers special is its speed. It’s not outlandish, but it is a fast game for something proffering the level of strategic fastidious that it does. A sort of fever-dream cocktail of Frozen Synapse and Flight Control, Door Kickers shucks much of the measured and hyper-meticulous planning of the former out. That’s not to say the game is a tactical flash(bang) in the pan. Far from it. Door Kickers retains the core concepts of mapping out movement lines and firing vectors, but has a chunkier presence. It allows its law enforcement pawns to take a few hits, to keep on sweeping. And when things go too far south, restarting isn’t encumbered by scrupulously recoding five-second brackets. You’re back to where you were in mere moments. It gets to the point where, even with the procedural enemy placement, anything but a perfect rating isn’t good enough, and the zen of honing your breaches and lines becomes apparent.

Door Kickers is the tactical flow-state game, the SWAT team racing game. Apolitical, purely mechanical; surgery and score. Restart.

To see all of the games recognized in the Pocket Tactics Best of 2015 Awards, visit the 2015 Awards Index page.
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