Halfway is a turn-based strategy RPG taking place a few hundred years into the future. Humanity has started colonising new worlds. Until now, they were alone ...
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (350 reviews) - 81% of the 350 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 22, 2014

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Reviews

“Halfway does not mess around when it comes to difficulty. This is an unashamedly hardcore turn-based experience. And that’s a good thing.”
8/10 – Calm Down Tom

“[...]if you’re wanting an enjoyable sci-fi story with your TBS/RPG elements, then Halfway is more than worth the miniscule price being asked for it. I look forward to the sequel (please).”
7.5/10 – NZGamer

“My tactics insiders' tip for this summer. (German review)”
7.5/10 – PC Games

Steam Workshop

Tell your own stories with the Halfway mod tools, the same tools we used to create the game.
Add new items, maps or complete campaigns including custom assets and share them with your friends and other players over the Steam Workshop.

About This Game

Halfway is a turn-based strategy RPG taking place a few hundred years into the future. Humanity has begun to colonise new worlds and until now, they were alone…



In Halfway you take control of a small team of survivors faced with a violent invasion onboard the colonial vessel Goliath. As their leader you will guide them through the dark and cramped corridors of the ship to slowly take back control.



If you have any hope of surviving, you’ll have to fight, face your fears and outsmart the enemy!

Key features


  • Tactical turn-based battles are at the core of Halfway. Use cover, position, equipment and skills to your advantage in your battles.

  • Unique characters: Your team is formed of unique characters you pick up along the way. Each one of them brings their own story, skills and experiences to the journey.

  • Find yourself in the middle of an engrossing story-line. Step by step you’ll uncover the mysterious events that took place and what it means for you and all of humanity.

  • Immerse yourself in 10-14 hours of gameplay in a beautiful pixel art environment with a lovely atmospheric soundtrack by Gavin Harrison

  • Modding: Map Editor and full Steam Workshop support for your own custom campaigns and missions




System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 or higher
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD3000 or higher with OpenGL 2.1 support
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL supported sound card
    Minimum:
    • OS: Snow Leopard or higher
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD3000 or higher with OpenGL 2.1 support
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL supported sound card
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD3000 or higher with OpenGL 2.1 support
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL supported sound card
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (350 reviews)
Recently Posted
ayalpboon
( 14.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
Gameplay: simple turn-based game, gets a little boring after a while becase all you do is move and shoot with no special mechanics to it. Heavily rely on rng when you shoot unless you go melee (both you and enemies will miss a lot of the times, dragging the game on). 6 out of 10

Soundtrack: Good'ol retro soundtrack that fit the space theme really well but goes on repeat after repeat after repeat... 6/10

Graphics: I like retro pixel art compare to high quality graphics, sometimes simple is the best. 10/10

Story: Pretty generic, main character wakes up alone in ship, finds crews, defeats aliens. 6/10

Overall: I liked it 7/10. Fun simple game to kill time if you don't have anything good to do, but if you're on steam playing games means you don't have anything good to do, SO JUST BUY THE GAMES! :D
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Whelp
( 13.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 10
Great turn based sci-fi/survival horror thing.
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Cinetyk
( 11.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 4
This is turn-based game clearly inspired by XCOM:EU, featuring a retro feel and a touch of the “Aliens” movies atmosphere. The game starts well, story wise: you wake up in huge ship without remembering what happened, it seems like most of the crew have turned to monsters and from time to time the ship does a hyperspace jump seemingly at random. It's up to you to figure out what is going on and hopefully find some survivors along the way, which you do in a linear mission path (with some optional missions) that progresses the story, alongside some dialogues in-between.

The problem here is that the gameplay mechanics are very simple and not very engaging. There are no character “classes”, each character is a unique individual (you meet more along the way), featuring an active ability and a passive ability. Active abilities like if a shot hits it does more damage, a guaranteed hit, teleportation, self-heal, stuff like this. Passive like extra inventory space, bonus healing with medkits, reloads don’t use an action, etc. You can choose between different armor suits with different stats (aim, agility, health, shield strength, armor), and weapons, but I’ve only seen 3 weapon types: assault rifle, “short range” (shotgun-like) and sniper. Along the way you’ll find better versions of them, but that’s it. Also, you have to bring ammo packs and medkits in enough quantities, which adds an element of resource management that seemed more like a chore and a nuisance, rather than providing interesting strategic choices. You can find various stim packs along the way which give permanent boosts to the stats of one character, but I only felt like aiming was truly relevant, because of what I'll mention next.

The enemies I encountered were only the zombie-like husks of the crew, and turrets. The zombies pretty much just run around randomly, the AI is very strange. Your units have low movement and weapon range, the weapons are weak and inaccurate, you fight mostly in cramped corridors and rooms, so the fights turn into looooong crapshoots where most shots miss and so most of the time it's just simpler to run into the enemies to use melee attacks, which always hit. It doesn’t seem like there is any strategy involved, like flanking bonuses, there is no destructible environments, and the abilities you have for your units don’t enable any synergies between them.

You can’t tell between the different enemy “types”, and you can’t tell their HP, weapons and damage. And it’s frustrating to realize that it’s better to do 2 guaranteed melee hits (1 AP each) than to fire with full AP (2 AP) for more accuracy, which is very unreliable. Even trying to get close for a shot at close range, supposedly with better accuracy, is bad, which is not helped by the fact that the movement range is so low.

XCOM's "overwatch" is replaced by "retaliate", which makes a unit shoot back at an opponent that shot at it, and only in that case. But since the A.I. pretty much shoots you from random places, namely long distances, and since your weapons' range is mostly bad, you usually don't hit anyway. Also, without a "proper" overwatch, there is no element of zone-control, which is accentuated by the fact that the enemies walk around seemingly at random, as I mentioned, so, again, the enemies pretty much roam around randomly and confusingly.

All this adds up to gameplay not being very engaging and after fighting through 11h of it, trying to hold on, not even the story kept my interest going, so I sadly decided to stop playing the game.

PS: Also, this game supports but doesn't recommend 1920x1080, only inferior resolutions, and you can tell, since at 1920x1080 the graphics look a little warped sometimes, and the text is small and hard to read.
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[STW Italia] Balthazar
( 13.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 3
Interesting indie scifi Rpg
Fun and challenging with an inspired graphic although "old school"
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Wolf of Dresden
( 22.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 12
Great atmosphere through the art and music. The backgrounds for the ship have a real, lived-in presence and really help set the mood, as does the Vangelis-style music. I really enjoyed the Pandorum-esque nature of exploring a lost, sometimes hostile, ship and the occasional juicy reward of a custom weapon for venturing off the beaten trail.

Game play is perfectly acceptable, but as others have noted, the weapon balance is out of whack, with sniper rifles being preferable to any other category of weapon. If I were rebalancing the game, I would smooth the accuracy drop off on other weapons (so a shotgun is about 100% efficient to 4 tiles) and consider adding special effects to non-sniper rifle weapons (such as having assault rifles suppress the target or fire multiple shots). I would also not design a series of final fights designed to punish weapons other than sniper rifles. Since characters aren't specialized in any particular weapon, this doesn't really constrict your enjoyment of the game or your team's builds - just pick the best options and load your team up with them, rather than worrying about balance.
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cazsim83
( 40.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 11
Halfway is a pretty fun game for a shallow good time. Having logged a little less than 40 hours into it, there isn't really any replay value, which would be fine if it were a deeper game, but the encounters become repetitive very quickly. There are some side areas where you can score equipment that isn't on the "main" path through the game, but the environments of being on the same ship and fighting the same enemy types over and over (the game does throw a couple curveballs at you later in the game) just makes it not worth recommending.

Overall, a VERY solid effort from the devs and if you *really* like games like XCOM or Fallout Tactics (turn-based mode), then this is worth checking out, but don't expect much depth or actual RPG elements.
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mitchell.cameron
( 2.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 9
One of the best games I've played in ages. A very fun xcom-like game with a great story and original setting.
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Two Clicks
( 22.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 3
THE DOWNLOW:
Halfway is a team-based strategy game with tactical elements infused in a Sci-Fi (movie inspired) theme, story and setting. Lending more than just a cursory nod to the cult classic Laser Squad, this indie title sees you take control of a lone space marine onboard the spacecraft Goliath. Out of control and lost in space the ship has been taken over by hostile aliens and randomly makes FTL jumps to who knows where.

The objective is to locate missing survivors, weapons and equipment in order to take back control of the ship across a single mostly linear campaign of around 30 missions. Gameplay mostly consists of two phases; team and inventory management at a temporary base in one of the ships locations; switching to mission locations where simple objectives must be met, combat takes place and equipment can be scavenged.

Along with the management aspects combat is perhaps the game's biggest draw, making use of different firearms, grenades, unique soldier abilities, ammo conservation, healing with med-kits and a basic cover system to shield your team as they manouevre into position to flank visible enemies. Exploration and mission set-up takes place in real-time. Combat encounters are turn-based and are shown from a semi-isometric perspective. Success sometimes depends on the personnel selected for the mission.


THE GOOD:
+ Great setting/concept.
+ Superb story narrative. Well-written and perfectly conveyed through character dialogue. No boring blocks of texts. I loved it!
+ Fast, fun, balanced combat mechanics. Some depth but if you pick the right team can be easy to beat.
+ A mix of easy and difficult levels. There are some that are really well made and use dynamic elements such as teleporting or hidden enemies that lie in wait to ambush the team. Adding that extra element to the challenge.
+ Great end-boss encounter. Difficult but fair. A far-cry from so many other games of this type.
+ Very slick interface that allows interchanging of items between team-mates or containers a breeze. Very similar in style to the Endless franchise of games.
+ Team-mates dont die, they are merely incapacitated until the end of combat.
+ Allows missions to be restarted from the beginning or the previous segment when at home-base, so you can reequip, re-arm, buy equipment from a dispenser or choose a different team.
+ I started out thinking this would be a short game but came away thinking it was about as perfect a duration as Ive experienced in an indie game; at around 23hours.
+ Doesnt need a state of the art PC to run.
+ Zero problems/bugs encountered during playthrough.

THE BAD:
- Graphics dont look so great on higher resolutions.
- Character boosting is done using stimpacks. Making a mistake can be unforgiving. Make sure you know which soldiers you want to use for ranged or close combat and max those out.
- Enemies dont drop items. They are only found in containers. Probably the games worst feature. <sigh!>
- Linear campaign means its not even semi-openworld. There are seven optional mission though to allow you to gain some special items and a few extra pieces of equipment.
- Once you visit a location grab everything because you can never re-visit it to grab anything left behind. Would have been good to have a map mechanism to collect stuff with some sort of random event possibly occuring.
- No undo button. Too easy to make a wrong move resulting in getting punished.
- Most missions allow you to collect everything from containers. There are a few that will force you to leave before you get the chance. So make sure that you move squad members to containers during fights when you eventually get "all" prospective team-mates.
- Some interface issues when playing in windowed mode. Mostly on what or where the window is centred on.
- Cannot move soldiers into same hex as incapacitated team-mate. So if faced with entrenched enemies and you cannot move in to engage in hand-to-hand combat, and you have no ammo - you are basically dead.

AND THE ORDINARY:
* Cutesy pixel-based graphics. Not really my sort of thing but you may like/love them!
* No manual saves. Uses checkpoint saves after mission start or completion.
* Loved the very nice (Bladerunner inspired) soundtrack that matches the pace, feel and mood of the game. Just a pity there arent more and varied tracks.
* Straightforward achievements makes this a possible candidate for achievement hunters but, some are missable and can require an additional playthrough to obtain. There are a few "secret" achievements so be prepared to either "stage" them or complete them on a subsequent playthrough.

VERDICT:
From its Bladerunner inspired theme. To its SF movie inspired setting. To its Laser Squad play-style, Halfway is a superbly made and fantastically enjoyable game to play. Even though I found a few faults with the game I absolutely loved playing it.

It is a fantastic little game with some very accomplished design and gameplay mechanics that more than aimably bring back memories of the cult Laser Squad game of yester-year. I'd says its one of those superior indie titles you should consider if you can overlook the pixelated graphics which even I admit are well-drawn and cute. There is a a decent amount of content for the campaign though some more would have made it a better game.

Overall its an easy title to miss in the plethora of games available on Steam. Yet it is one that Id easily recommend if you like squad level, turn-based tactical gameplay with a decent wad of inventory management. Even with or without a minimal discount its well-worth picking up.

Waiting patiently for a sequel! :)
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NickTheDick
( 16.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 2
It's like Shadowrun Returns™, if Shadowrun Returns™ didn't have the combat system like a polio ridden gazelle.
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rkuhnen
( 14.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 30
Love it!
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 4
This is turn-based game clearly inspired by XCOM:EU, featuring a retro feel and a touch of the “Aliens” movies atmosphere. The game starts well, story wise: you wake up in huge ship without remembering what happened, it seems like most of the crew have turned to monsters and from time to time the ship does a hyperspace jump seemingly at random. It's up to you to figure out what is going on and hopefully find some survivors along the way, which you do in a linear mission path (with some optional missions) that progresses the story, alongside some dialogues in-between.

The problem here is that the gameplay mechanics are very simple and not very engaging. There are no character “classes”, each character is a unique individual (you meet more along the way), featuring an active ability and a passive ability. Active abilities like if a shot hits it does more damage, a guaranteed hit, teleportation, self-heal, stuff like this. Passive like extra inventory space, bonus healing with medkits, reloads don’t use an action, etc. You can choose between different armor suits with different stats (aim, agility, health, shield strength, armor), and weapons, but I’ve only seen 3 weapon types: assault rifle, “short range” (shotgun-like) and sniper. Along the way you’ll find better versions of them, but that’s it. Also, you have to bring ammo packs and medkits in enough quantities, which adds an element of resource management that seemed more like a chore and a nuisance, rather than providing interesting strategic choices. You can find various stim packs along the way which give permanent boosts to the stats of one character, but I only felt like aiming was truly relevant, because of what I'll mention next.

The enemies I encountered were only the zombie-like husks of the crew, and turrets. The zombies pretty much just run around randomly, the AI is very strange. Your units have low movement and weapon range, the weapons are weak and inaccurate, you fight mostly in cramped corridors and rooms, so the fights turn into looooong crapshoots where most shots miss and so most of the time it's just simpler to run into the enemies to use melee attacks, which always hit. It doesn’t seem like there is any strategy involved, like flanking bonuses, there is no destructible environments, and the abilities you have for your units don’t enable any synergies between them.

You can’t tell between the different enemy “types”, and you can’t tell their HP, weapons and damage. And it’s frustrating to realize that it’s better to do 2 guaranteed melee hits (1 AP each) than to fire with full AP (2 AP) for more accuracy, which is very unreliable. Even trying to get close for a shot at close range, supposedly with better accuracy, is bad, which is not helped by the fact that the movement range is so low.

XCOM's "overwatch" is replaced by "retaliate", which makes a unit shoot back at an opponent that shot at it, and only in that case. But since the A.I. pretty much shoots you from random places, namely long distances, and since your weapons' range is mostly bad, you usually don't hit anyway. Also, without a "proper" overwatch, there is no element of zone-control, which is accentuated by the fact that the enemies walk around seemingly at random, as I mentioned, so, again, the enemies pretty much roam around randomly and confusingly.

All this adds up to gameplay not being very engaging and after fighting through 11h of it, trying to hold on, not even the story kept my interest going, so I sadly decided to stop playing the game.

PS: Also, this game supports but doesn't recommend 1920x1080, only inferior resolutions, and you can tell, since at 1920x1080 the graphics look a little warped sometimes, and the text is small and hard to read.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
175 of 198 people (88%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 25, 2014
Halfway is a pretty looking sci-fi turn-based strategy RPG, otherwise known as an instant purchase for me. The game looks, runs, and sounds great, with its pixel style retro look and low key, mood setting sci-fi soundtrack. Without even playing, I could tell this would be something I would enjoy on principle alone, but then I played it.

The game flow is par the course for the genre. You move, they move until one side is dead. However, in Halfway, the mechanics are the first stumble. People who've played in the genre can guess the nuances: there's cover bonuses for you and the enemy, certain weapon types perform better up close or far away, and each squad member even has unique statistics and abilities. Some can cover more ground, others can take more hits. Very quickly, however, I realized that while all the pieces and formulas for a great game are there, Halfway seems to have skewed the numbers diastrously. Spot an enemy out of cover down a hall, well within your weapon's given effective range? Expect a base 25-30% chance to hit: that's all. You can, fortunately, give up your squaddie's move for that turn in exchange for increased accuracy, but wait, it merely climbs to 50-55%, if that. Expect several turns where neither side will land a hit. Then you need to spend AP to reload, which makes firing without that accuracy bonus pointless. Oh, and now the enemy's shields are back up. Whoops, now you're out of ammo. Yes, in a game where you're at the mercy of 10-50% chances to hit, you are stuck with limited ammunition. In one mission, I spent fifteen minutes chasing two enemy units around a circular room. They couldn't hit me, but I had run out of ammo from missing my own attacks as well, so I had to resort to punching them to death.

Well, perhaps my two scrubs would grow up to be gunslinging badasses. I was wrong. I pushed on, and soon my squad jumped up to five. While they all had various, interesting specializations, the game was still taking far longer than it needed too, and not just for the mechanical failings stated above. Halfway is also lacking in several minor mechanics that, when paired with its skewed mechanics, it all build up to an annoyance I can't deal with. No auto-ending turns, no auto-switching after a squaddie uses up his turn, no access to options unless you're at the title screen, very little explanation for the statistics.

Halfway would be a spectacular addition to the genre. It almost seems silly to not recommend it solely because hit chances are too low, but while playing, this creates such a maddening environment that I cannot stomach playing for more than a mission at a time. Guns are useless, and cover and tactics doesn't matter when you're chasing mutants up and down hallways to beat them to death. Playing like that shatters the mood of the game and the point of the genre, and as far as I'm concerned, that is inexcuseable.
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187 of 222 people (84%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 23, 2014
I initially did not buy this game due to Friggleswitz's review. I couldn't find much data about Halfway; not from reviews online, not from videos on YouTube. After he revised his review to be more positive, I decided to buy it. I'm really glad I did.

The "complaints" about this game are doing it a grave injustice. For 11 dollars, I have zero complaints. The storyline is interesting, the characters each have their own personality and abilities, and I love the music. Thematically, it reminds me of System Shock 2 or Dead Space. What irritated me most was the complaint about characters not leveling up. Every game nowadays seems to include xp and leveling simply to have that mechanic in the game. It doesn't matter if it adds anything, gameplay-wise; it's just a matter of having numbers that get higher.

The way Halfway handles progression is by giving you better weapons -- plasma rifles and flak shotguns -- and it works well. I don't feel a lack of game without experience points.

If you're on the fence and NOT expecting an AAA title, but rather a solid and fun game from an indie developer, then I strongly recommend Halfway.
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59 of 61 people (97%) found this review helpful
Recommended
41.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 22, 2015
Halfway is a horror/survival/tactical squad combat game that is part Aliens, part XCOM lite. The plot is simple enough... You are aboard the colony ship on a journey to another planet when you were awakened in a dark ship, signs of combat everywhere, nobody around. What is going on? What happened to the crew of thousands? As you explore the ship, you encounter / rescue other survivors, each with some special abilities, and enemies that seem to have taken over the ship. Can you figure out what is going on, and find a way to get out alive?

The game is drawn in an 2D view with a complete cover system, and the somewhat low-res look is retro-ish and rather charming without overly distracting. The game lets you walk around in "real-time" until enemies are encountered, then it becomes a turn-based game where you and enemy alternate turns, all of his units vs. all of yours. You will also have to rummage through containers looking for supplies, such as health kits, shield rechargers, better weapons, and grenades. Occasionally you'll run into hypos that will enhance your stats. Each character has 3 stats: health, agility, and aim. Health is your hitpoints, agility is how far you can move per turn, and aim is how well you aim your weapon.

Combat is simple: each character has 2 action points per turn. It can be spent on shooting, moving, or misc actions such as "use medpack", "reload weapon", and so on. If you have no visible target you can also set your guy to "retaliate", which means s/he will shoot at any enemies that fired on him/her during the enemy turn, but only once. You can mix actions, like shoot then move, move then reload, and so on, or just make a long-distance dash. There is no "reaction fire" or initiative in this game, only retaliation fire, which can be somewhat frustrating to veteran players of other turn-based tactical games. But once you get used to the mechanic it works just fine.

There are multiple types of enemies as you advance through the plot, and the difficulty starts ramping up, but you also get better weapons to compensate. The simple Mk I weapons don't do that much damage, but are adequate against the weak enemies you encounter. By endgame you have to wield Mk III weapons that do much more damage. you also encounter armor that initially provide little protection, but by endgame you'll encounter Mk V or even Mk VI armor that provides tremendous protection, but enemies can do a lot of damage as well, and is heavily protected.

Cover mechanic is very important, as a "full cover" imposes a -30% to-hit penalty on enemy shots, and that can be significant. Half cover only gives enemy a 15% penalty.

Your armor can reduce incoming damage as well as outright absorb damage with its built-in shielding. The shield automatically recharges after a few turns, and if you can't wait that long you can use a shield recharge pack to recharge it at expense of 1 action point. They come on small (5 pt), medium (10 pt) or large (20 pt) sizes. Similarly, medpacks, also comes in small / 5, medium / 10, or large /20 sizes except they heal your HP.

Each character also comes with a special ability. One guy has a "radar" that can reveal all bad guys on the map (obviously that's moot the next turn, but it's good to have an idea). One can paralyze an enemy for several turns. Another can overload an enemy's shield (i.e. no shield for X turns). Yet another can teleport. To win the battle you will need to figure how how best to deploy the assets that you have, be it grenades, armor, weapons, but also the special skills of each member of the team. Usually you can only deploy 4 members out of 8, so choosing whom to bring and how to equip them is a major consideration.

Fortunately, as mentioned before, you are welcome to search the boxes for supplies. You can also recycle anything you no longer need (like obsolete weapons and armor) so you can use the energy to synthesize stuff that you do need. Killing bad guys also yields additional energy.

The enemies in this game have different tactics. Some dance at a distance, some rush, but all are nasty.

If one of your team members had fallen in combat, don't worry just yet. If you can defeat the current batch of enemies, the member will recover (with 1 HP) at conclusion of that combat phase. However, keep in mind that each mission can have multiple combat phases.

As you explore the ship, you can go on "side missions" which will yield additional loot, and adds to the background of each character.

Having completed the campaign, I'd say I enjoyed this game quite a bit. It is occasionally frustrating, but usually due to my poor tactical sense or lack of preparation (bringing the wrong team members or wrong equipment). If you like the tactical turn-based combat genre, you should give this game a try.
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176 of 235 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 27, 2014
I really wanted to like Halfway, I really did. The game has amazing pixel art and a great soundtrack - my favorite since Dustforce's! However, let me bullet point why I feel Halfway is just a "Halfway" done game.

1- The storyline starts off with a cool half-life type premise. Aliens invading from another dimension. And it happens when the ship jumps, its a cool concept. But the game does not tell you anything for 5 hours of play about why this is happening. For me this was just too much investment to learn so little.

2- Combat starts off neat with each character you control having a passive ability and a unique ability to them. The way you increase your power is by equipping better weapons and using stims to increase stats permanently. The problem is that there is a serious lack of variety in weapons...the only thing different between the guns is their range and damage output. This gets boring very quickly as you find out that sniper rifles are the best in every situation due to their long range, ultra high damage, and mid-range magazine. There is no real reason to equip any other gun you get. The same can be said about the armors as well. The game trivializes its own item choices and hampers you with a very small inventory system so that you do not want to keep any other guns around.

3- Repetition of design. This game is a linear story with static level design. There is no randomness about this. Now this is not a flaw by itself, but it becomes a flaw whenever each level is the same as the last for five hours. There is very little character interaction, story developments, and interesting combat challenges that make the levels fun. I had fun for the first two hours as I learned the game. My last three hours have been boring and repetitious. Combat is not very interesting as there is not a lot of elements to engage you to move your troops around. You basically shoot until you hit, not needing to get to better cover or use a weapon at the right time. This made me cry as a tactical gamer.

4- Itembase. After each mission you get to go to the store to buy goods but you can never buy anything worthwhile, just ammo, shield, medikit, and grenade refills. This sucks! The store gives you nothing to look forward to and should be a reward mechanism in the game. This makes the store feel like an after thought...why not just cram extra refills of stuff in each mission and skip the damn store.

TL DR - The storyline, combat, items, and character interaction all suffer from a lot of repetition. I love xcom, the ufo series, jagged alliance, and a lot of other story driven/tactical based games like mass effect..and even indie games that bear a lot of repetition of combat like risk of rain...but this game never does anything interesting with the game foundation it sets up.
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42 of 44 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2015
This is a fairly slick tactical game in the vein of X-COM. I'll keep this short:

Pros:
- Nice graphics in a pixel-style with a lot of complexity if you stop to take it all in.
- Great soundtrack.
- Satisfying gameplay.
- Interesting armor options with stat boosts.
- A few secrets here and there.
- Decent cover system.
- Perk system (each teammate has their own active & passive perk).

Cons:
- The "retaliate" feature is interesting yet flawed and could really use an "overwatch" to round out the tactical options.
- The UI and controls can be touchy/janky at times and it's never quite clear how best to exit out of screens such as container looting.
- The ending is a bit more anti-climactic than I would hope for, and the story hints at much bigger things than are ever fully revealed.
- You enemies often seem like they have much better accuracy that even your most upgraded teammates, which can make the game feel unfair at times (somewhere around the last 1/3 of the game especially).
- Once you start getting upgraded sniper rifles, there is almost no reason to use anything else.
- Occasionally a piece of cover seems to not really give much cover at all (the angle at which frontal cover becomes negated is not clear).

My playtime was approx 15-18 hours on the first playthrough.

Overall I definitely recommend the game to anyone looking for a tactical game with a medium length, if you can overlook some jank and less-than optimal design decisions in terms of rounding out your tactical options.
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45 of 50 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
I was surprised Halfway hasn't gotten more attention, what with XCOM and other turn-based squad games being so popular in recent years. The promised sci-fi stylings and tactical combat made it an easy sale purchase for me, despite the lack of buzz around it. Now that I'm nearing the end of the game I think I can understand why it flew under the radar, but I also think it deserves a little more attention for what it accomplishes.

Halfway starts you off in control of Morten Lannis, a space marine-looking dude aboard a junky colony ship called the Goliath. He's come out of cryosleep way too early only to find the ship overrun with some very unfriendly types, and it's up to you to help him survive. The way you do this is very similar to how XCOM or the recent Shadowrun games operate. Outside of combat you can move around freely, talk with people, and loot containers. Combat is turn-based, with each of your characters having two (and only two) action points per turn. These points can move them around the grid maps (distance dependent on their agility stat) to find cover, attack enemies, reload weapons, use items, and so on.

It's a very familiar system with only two real stand-outs, the aiming system and the Retaliate option. Veterans of XCOM will notice that the hit percentages in Halfway are really, really low. Starting out, you're going to see a lot of 40-60% shots even from just a few squares away. The reason for this is that you can add action points to your attack to boost its accuracy. A one-point assault rifle shot may only sit at 50%, but adding your other point might kick it up to 75%. This is less important for shotguns but vitally important for sniper rifles, which have very low base percents but get a huge jump from the second point, simulating the need to set up and aim. As for Retaliate, it replaces the familiar Overwatch response with a sort of revenge, where your character returns fire only if attacked. It's not a bad idea but has very limited functionality in practice, and you're usually better off healing up or reloading if you have an extra action point to spend.

Additional characters will join you as you progress, each with their own stats and special abilities. There's plenty of gear to find, including armor (which uses Halo-style recharging shields), grenades, and stimpaks which can permanently raise character stats. You'll need to use everything you find because enemies in this game do not screw around. The campaign spans about two dozen missions, some optional, some multi-part, and all pretty harrowing. Enemies follow the same rules you do, terrible hit percentages and all, but very quickly the game starts stacking the numerical odds against you. By the mid-game you'll be facing up to a dozen foes at once, with the potential to lose a character in a single turn if you're not careful (dead characters revive at the end of combat).

This is where the game starts to grate, because not only is it a long haul through tons of enemies, there's not much variety to the enemies or the combat. For the first 5-6 hours, you're going to be blasting melee dudes and ranged dudes. Only after the halfway point of the game will you start seeing things other than dudes, but this includes things like heavily-armored turrets that only really add to the frustration. Failing a long mission after a bunch of samey combat is incredibly discouraging, and there are some missions in the middle where this is very likely. Missing three 80% shots in a row is very much a thing that can happen, and I definitely went back and forth between enjoying and raging at Halfway for a few nights, I'll admit.

After my last bout of frustration, though, I soon found myself eager to get back to the story. For all the flaws of the combat, the story and atmosphere of Halfway is fantastic. Each of the characters is unique and they all have important relationships that play out through the plot. The banter between them is excellent, with plenty of genuinely funny moments. Even the basic "ship under siege" plot has some interesting twists to explore. All of this is told against a surprisingly deep backdrop of dystopian future society, where people are separated by classes and basic human rights have been reduced to an alarming degree.

The pixel art is top-notch, with smooth animations, cool visual effects, and fantastic little details to find on every map. Sound is up to the task as well, with some really meaty weapon and hit sounds and a somber soundtrack reminiscent of FTL or Risk of Rain. The interface suffers from some bugs, however, making it hard to click on certain option or map elements, and it's bad enough to be distracting. Between that and the combat frustrations I did consider giving up on Halfway a few times, but I'm glad I stuck it out. For the price it's a rich and engaging strategy game that'll last you 15-20 hours, provided you have the patience to push through the rough parts.
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68 of 90 people (76%) found this review helpful
17 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
14.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 5, 2015
I was late to playing this game, so I didn't have any of the bug problems other people seem to be complaining about. That said, it's a really well done game about 50% the way through, and then the whole system falls apart at the end. Really poor balance of gear and stat buffs vs. the enemies, so the only way to get through to the end is to kinda put everyone on overwatch until you can create a hallway of death your enemies will blindly charge into. There are also several characters you have the option of bringing with you that are just huge liabilities to your team, while others are quite overpowered. Overall "Halfway" was a really appropriate title.
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33 of 38 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2014
Having just finished Halfway, I can say this is an incredible game. From the soundtrack, to the unique enemies and battlefields, this game always leaves me guessing. I soon choose favorites among my squad, which was a mistake. The new types of enemies made it very difficult to roll out with the same squad every battle and expect to come out ahead. Although this 8-bit game doesn't reinvent the turn-based strategy wheel, it does change things i feel are for the better. Unlike X-com, your squad doesn't level up based on combat experience. There are stims which increase attributes and weapons to be found on almost every map. No one dies, they are rendered unconscious until combat ends, (which doesn't always mean ending the level)

Recently there was the addition of a map editor, which i have yet to try, but I'm very excited to dive into. I've been told that there will be a place where you can upload your own maps, and be able to play on other's.

All in all, this game was exciting (and freakin difficult) until the very end. If a second Halfway happens, you can be sure I'll be picking it up.

Hell yeah I recommend it.
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63 of 91 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
The story is interesting but ultimately the game fails because the design is BAD. The game labels itself as an RPG, but there are very few, if any RPG elements. All encounters only have one flavor: Combat. And even in combat, most of the levels have very few solutions. In other words: Try to find out what the designer intended, and if you don't, restart the level. This becomes especially true later on in the game where when your team is very underpowered and enemies become abhorrently hard and come in large numbers.

The game features a save system that only allows you to save at your "home base", meaning that if you missclick and cause one of your characters to walk somewhere in combat you didn't mean to, you'll have a great chance of failing the encounter and you'll have to start over. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS GAME, it is unfortunately abysmal in its execution. There are many better games out there if you want turn based combat, like Shadowrun (the RPG, not the FPS). Do not get this game, you will be disappointed.
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