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 (335 reviews) - 82% of the 335 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
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (335 reviews)
Recently Posted
EternaTea
( 12.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 16
Halfway is a hugely disappointing game. The camera and controls were not well thought out. The weapons and armor are very basic, as is the character design. There are roughly 4 different types of enemies, and they all use recolors of the same skin. Oh, but they each stand a little differently. The writing is bland and unimaginative. And these aren't even the biggest problems.

The two big sins of Halfway are the sub-par combat, and some of the worst RNG I've ever dealt with in a game of this type. For the combat, the devs use a very flimsy story point to 'disguise' the fact that enemies are just dropped in to the map at will. The only real progression in combat difficulty comes from the amount of enemies spawned, and how many waves come before a mission is finished.

There are three or four different weapon types in Halfway, but only the sniper shows any real usefulness. Best damage, best range, best accuracy. The other weapons in the game only differentiate themselves by having lower stats in those areas.

I can't express how important it is to get the RNG right in a game like this. And Halfway gets it very wrong. The chance to hit is just plain ♥♥♥♥ed. I've missed 4+ 90% or greater shots in a row, and made just as many under 50% in a row. I eventually learned to ignore the percentages completely and take any shot I wanted. I hit just as many sub-twenties as I did eighties and nineties. I found that I got the most successful hits in the 30% - 36% range. Line of sight is also incredibly unreliable, making it almost impossible to judge whether changing a character's position will leave them with a clear shot for the second half of their turn.

As a final aside, the mid-mission interludes are probably the best indicator of what kind of game to expect here. These interludes are a chance to manage your inventory and make character selections, but they can happen anywhere in the game. I'm not complaining about being given a rest from the tedious combat, just pointing out that returning to HQ between an apartment hallway and the apartment you are entering is a great way to destroy the flow of your narrative. It's even more jarring when this 'rest' occurs whithout even having to change rooms.

The saddest part of all this is the fact that Halfway IS a finished, polished product. The concept itself is great, there are no major bugs that I could find, and the textures and tiles that do exist are actually very dynamic and interesting to look at. The bones are all there, Robotality just forgot to add the flesh and musculature that this little monster needed to be a true success.

All-in-all, I was too bored with the lack of progression/development to actually finish Halfway, leaving me with the overall feeling that Half-♥♥♥♥♥ might have been a better choice for the title.


Oh, and the "lovely atmospheric soundtrack" touted in the game's description is a ♥♥♥♥ing joke. If you do pick up Half-♥♥♥♥♥ (on sale, I hope), make sure to play with the music on mute. It's worse than repetetive, and I'm fairly certain it's part of the game's attempt to beat the player by driving him/her to suicide. The sound made by the last bullet you'll ever hear would easily be a great alternative to this games soundtrack.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Trancill
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 16
RNG is so horrible (~30% where you would expect ~85%) that you can basically throw tactics out of the door... lots of shooting back and forth without anyone hitting anything. Very tedious.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
cordinia
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 23
A super-fun Star Trek homage. This game is similar in style and graphics to the old Interplay 25th Anniversary Edition game (if you are old enough to remember that old chestnut). I've not played much yet, but what I have I'm really enjoying. The writing is engaging, and there is a lot of extra detail if you want it. Definitely recommended if you enjoy tactical games in Spaaaaaaaace!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
AdderTude
( 9.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 17
As much as I wanted to have some weapon variety in the game, it becomes apparent to me from the other reviews (both positive and negative) that the only weapon that actually matters is the Sniper Rifle. As the SN is my favorite weapon, I never head out on a mission unless I have at least Sam or Jenna in my party (usually Sam for the guaranteed crit with Headshot). Little did I realize that RNG is very deceptive in this crap game.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the setting and story and all that. My biggest beef comes from the design of the encounters. The small fry are no problem, but in the later levels, I find myself having multiple issues with the insanely stupid hit chance. In one mission alone, I had three out of four characters miss with a 75% chance or greater in consecutive shots while enemies deal better damage and hit with better "precision" despite two conditions: my characters are in full cover and are almost on the other side of the room, far out of operational range for ranged weapons (or so I thought). Multiple times, I found myself raging hard at shots that would otherwise be hits (especially in XCOM; I've never had high hit chances miss multiple times in a row).

As for the design of levels, the only difference is the maps. Beyond that, the game conveniently has the ship jump just to spawn enemies. At one point, the game throws nothing but tough melee characters (complete with hard-as-steel shields, which waste one turn just trying to drop them on one enemy) that bullrush your party and hit like trucks in melee. Oddly enough, the damage ranges on the weapons tend to roll the lowest values in melee combat. The same can be said against the armored enemies, which have 1) tough shields, and 2) high damage reduction, which your party has no access to in any gear in the game.

I really wanted to enjoy this game. But the difficulty wall slaps you in the face with an incredibly unfair RNG shot system, bullet-sponge enemies in later stages, questionable LOS system, and relatively useless characters later on (not to mention the virtual lack of any actual RPG elements in the game beyond the equipment and "special" abilities) make Halfway a promising tactical game that ran a suicide mission and ultimately failed. Skip it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
FalconerHG
( 47.4 hrs on record )
Posted: March 31
Boring and repetative level design and problem with difficulty balancing.

Everything looks the same. The titleset is extremely limited, though lighting alleviates this somewhat. The enemies, however, are unimaginative and repeat themselves over and over and over and... well, you get my point.

There's a thin but nontheless enjoyable story that won't win any prizes but keep you interested enough to want to pogress,

Until you can't that is.

The game is designed to be something to sink your teeth on, something toough - and that is fine, I like a challenge - but there are points in the game where frustration sets in to the point that you'd rather be cleaning motor gang lavatories than play this for one more moment.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
glraven
( 18.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 25
TLDR: A hidden gem! The most fun I've had in a game in the past many months.

I purchased the game due to a friend's recommendation. Oh my was it worth it!!
This is a turn-based strategy game with tactical squad-based combat. Despite its pixel art style, the game is surprisingly atmospheric and contains a nice story that kept me interested throughout the game.

This is NOT a rouge-like game, and the level design is simply excellent. For the 18+ hours that it took to finish the game, I did not find any repetitive elements; each mission feels unique and purposeful. Furthermore, the story did a great job propelling me forward.

In terms of the gameplay, all characters have an active and a passive skill. Different missions will require different team members. However, there is no need to worry about leveling them up evenly because there is no experience system; you improve their stats by equipping them with better gears and giving them items that brings permanent stat boost.

I find the experience satisfying, but if I have to find something to criticize, it will be the lack of death penalty and its limited replay value. However, with the introduction of modding options, I am sure that there will be new reasons to boot up this game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Drew Austin
( 20.1 hrs on record )
Posted: March 23
Talk about crash city. On MacOS it crashes every other level. It also doesn't allow you switch between programs forcing you to quit the app to do anything else in the OS. UI is very basic. The mechanics of the turn-based and character system are simplistic and rudimentary. The writing is a little painful at times, but not that bad besides that. You can't save at any time, only auto-saves meaning when you begin a mission you are commited until it is finished.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
FRI
( 35.8 hrs on record )
Posted: March 22
Nice turn based games and nice story
Helpful? Yes No Funny
CaptainKzer
( 15.6 hrs on record )
Posted: March 18
Good game, would buy and play again. Simple, but in an elegant way. Challenging, but in a fair way. This game left me wanting to play more.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
GiZ1987
( 21.3 hrs on record )
Posted: March 18
Just wow...this was intense - I bought the game during a deal kinda just to see and man was I pleasantly surprised. I played it straight through within two days. Clock says over 20 hours and it was worth every single moment. Well the end was a bit draging, but rewarding none the less.

+ Beautiful PixelArt and superb intro/outro video
+ A lot to discover and a quite pleasant story, though it is classica for SciFi I guess
+ Interesting mix of characters and strategy possibilities
+ Nice sidequests, whish there would've been more

- Replay Value? Not sure at this moment...
- Some little bugs, not too much but it killed my level few times
- Some levels get a bit repetitious, still you kinda wanna move on

Well few games have drawn me in recently as much as this little gem and I really congratulate the developers. It must've been an incredible workload in such a small team.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
poVoq
( 3.1 hrs on record )
Posted: March 16
Well worth it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ivanhoe
( 9.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 16
A good try for turn based squad tactical rpg genre as an indie game. Decent price.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
phoulmouth
( 7.4 hrs on record )
Posted: March 15
Pretty fun, haven't looked into the workshop yet because I don't need to. Game starts to get really unforgiving the further in you go. If you're a TBS nut like I am this is a must play.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Uncle Angry "( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)"
( 15.8 hrs on record )
Posted: March 15
This is so damn fun. Simple yet tough turn based strategy game. Hope it was longer.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Szuuuken
( 13.5 hrs on record )
Posted: March 13
great sci-fi game =)
nice music/soundeffects
great style
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ExHippy
( 4.4 hrs on record )
Posted: March 13
This game is a fairly simple turn based squad strategy game. While I have no issues with the combat sections I was hoping for more from this game. Reviews that I had read mentioned squad management and upgrades, and while that is strictly speaking true it is very very basic. Ultimately there is just the turn based missions, and while they're fun for a bit they're too similar to keep it interesting without something more.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3lives
( 35.5 hrs on record )
Posted: March 7
Nice, but static pixel art that doesn't represent armour or weapons tries to obscure the uninspired design of a turn-based X-Com wannabe with bullet-sponge enemies instead of ai.
You don't need to have taken even a basic course of Tactics 101 at the Academy, but you do need perseverance to endure it all the way until the expected and tiresome final boss-fight and unresolved story ending.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Trance
( 9.7 hrs on record )
Posted: March 1
A nice little Turn Based Game, just not at the same level as Xcom 2.

It took me about 9 hours to beat the game and i had a lot of fun. The game has a interesting Story and some RPG elements(different weapons+armor and Character upgrades).

Pro:
+nice looking
+turn based
+rpg elements
+lots of Missions(main+sidemissions)
+easy to mod the game. It also has Modding tools

Cons
-too easy, tho there is a ng+mode that i haven't tried
-character and weapon balance is off. Jenna Wallace is FAR better than any other character with her insane Berserk Skill. With a good sniper she can kill 7+ enemies in one turn. As for weapons: at the end i used a Sniper Rifle on every character. There was no point in using any other weapon since damage=king in this game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Macragge
( 19.4 hrs on record )
Posted: February 28
This is a tactical game with soul. The story is great, the music is great, and the special abilities are great. It stands toe to toe with any of the AAA tactical games. If I could give it a better endorsement, I would. It's games like this that make me feel like we're living in an indi game renaissance.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 23
A super-fun Star Trek homage. This game is similar in style and graphics to the old Interplay 25th Anniversary Edition game (if you are old enough to remember that old chestnut). I've not played much yet, but what I have I'm really enjoying. The writing is engaging, and there is a lot of extra detail if you want it. Definitely recommended if you enjoy tactical games in Spaaaaaaaace!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
As much as I wanted to have some weapon variety in the game, it becomes apparent to me from the other reviews (both positive and negative) that the only weapon that actually matters is the Sniper Rifle. As the SN is my favorite weapon, I never head out on a mission unless I have at least Sam or Jenna in my party (usually Sam for the guaranteed crit with Headshot). Little did I realize that RNG is very deceptive in this crap game.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the setting and story and all that. My biggest beef comes from the design of the encounters. The small fry are no problem, but in the later levels, I find myself having multiple issues with the insanely stupid hit chance. In one mission alone, I had three out of four characters miss with a 75% chance or greater in consecutive shots while enemies deal better damage and hit with better "precision" despite two conditions: my characters are in full cover and are almost on the other side of the room, far out of operational range for ranged weapons (or so I thought). Multiple times, I found myself raging hard at shots that would otherwise be hits (especially in XCOM; I've never had high hit chances miss multiple times in a row).

As for the design of levels, the only difference is the maps. Beyond that, the game conveniently has the ship jump just to spawn enemies. At one point, the game throws nothing but tough melee characters (complete with hard-as-steel shields, which waste one turn just trying to drop them on one enemy) that bullrush your party and hit like trucks in melee. Oddly enough, the damage ranges on the weapons tend to roll the lowest values in melee combat. The same can be said against the armored enemies, which have 1) tough shields, and 2) high damage reduction, which your party has no access to in any gear in the game.

I really wanted to enjoy this game. But the difficulty wall slaps you in the face with an incredibly unfair RNG shot system, bullet-sponge enemies in later stages, questionable LOS system, and relatively useless characters later on (not to mention the virtual lack of any actual RPG elements in the game beyond the equipment and "special" abilities) make Halfway a promising tactical game that ran a suicide mission and ultimately failed. Skip it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
18.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
TLDR: A hidden gem! The most fun I've had in a game in the past many months.

I purchased the game due to a friend's recommendation. Oh my was it worth it!!
This is a turn-based strategy game with tactical squad-based combat. Despite its pixel art style, the game is surprisingly atmospheric and contains a nice story that kept me interested throughout the game.

This is NOT a rouge-like game, and the level design is simply excellent. For the 18+ hours that it took to finish the game, I did not find any repetitive elements; each mission feels unique and purposeful. Furthermore, the story did a great job propelling me forward.

In terms of the gameplay, all characters have an active and a passive skill. Different missions will require different team members. However, there is no need to worry about leveling them up evenly because there is no experience system; you improve their stats by equipping them with better gears and giving them items that brings permanent stat boost.

I find the experience satisfying, but if I have to find something to criticize, it will be the lack of death penalty and its limited replay value. However, with the introduction of modding options, I am sure that there will be new reasons to boot up this game!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 1
A nice little Turn Based Game, just not at the same level as Xcom 2.

It took me about 9 hours to beat the game and i had a lot of fun. The game has a interesting Story and some RPG elements(different weapons+armor and Character upgrades).

Pro:
+nice looking
+turn based
+rpg elements
+lots of Missions(main+sidemissions)
+easy to mod the game. It also has Modding tools

Cons
-too easy, tho there is a ng+mode that i haven't tried
-character and weapon balance is off. Jenna Wallace is FAR better than any other character with her insane Berserk Skill. With a good sniper she can kill 7+ enemies in one turn. As for weapons: at the end i used a Sniper Rifle on every character. There was no point in using any other weapon since damage=king in this game
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 13
This game is a fairly simple turn based squad strategy game. While I have no issues with the combat sections I was hoping for more from this game. Reviews that I had read mentioned squad management and upgrades, and while that is strictly speaking true it is very very basic. Ultimately there is just the turn based missions, and while they're fun for a bit they're too similar to keep it interesting without something more.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 20 people (55%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
35.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 7
Nice, but static pixel art that doesn't represent armour or weapons tries to obscure the uninspired design of a turn-based X-Com wannabe with bullet-sponge enemies instead of ai.
You don't need to have taken even a basic course of Tactics 101 at the Academy, but you do need perseverance to endure it all the way until the expected and tiresome final boss-fight and unresolved story ending.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
A good try for turn based squad tactical rpg genre as an indie game. Decent price.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
44 of 49 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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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
A little treasure, I got this on sale after watching some YouTube videos. At the time of the review I’m halfway, to round off…

Good: Good graphics old school but with a great deal of detail, an enjoyable story so far, an interesting character progression adding some minor RPG elements. Nice atmospheric music, a few choice missions (you can skip if you want).

Not so good: Accuracy changes drastically your miss several times with high chance to hit, but the bad guys hit you first time. A strange overwatch system which is not very effective. Some weapons seem more powerful than others meaning you start to steer towards them for all party members. Some loot can be hard to see due to so much going on (minor issue).

Overall a good buy especially when on sale, worth a look.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 31
This is an awesome little game that just about any tactics fan should enjoy. There are a few nasty difficulty spikes, but nothing that can't be overcome. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
164 of 187 people (88%) found this review helpful
3 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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182 of 216 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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57 of 59 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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172 of 230 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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67 of 88 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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32 of 37 people (86%) 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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62 of 89 people (70%) 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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37 of 48 people (77%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 2, 2014
Halfway starts with a lot of potential but in the end fails by about 1/3 of the way into the game.

The game relies on too many enemies and a lack of supplies to make the game "challenging". Before the halfway point of the game I found that the combats were simply too unbalanced to make the game enjoyable. You are often found needing to use half your team or more to kill one base level opponent when the team is typically out-numbered 3 to 1 while the opponents inflict an equal or greater amount of damge to your team.

The designers probably intended creative use of terrain to be an equalizer except the cleverly programed AI uses the exact same tactics and seems to have much better "luck" when it comes to hitting their targets. I lost track of the number of times that the heroes missed with a 70-80% to hit chance.

In the end the game ends up a series of combats that degrade into cycle of constant take damage-heal-take damge without the ability to inflict sufficient injury on your opponents in return before being overwhelmed.
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49 of 70 people (70%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
17.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 30, 2014
First impressions of this game were; wow, a retroish 2d strategic scifi rpg. Very nice graphics, sounds and music! The game starts and for a while everything is great... but then the plot is getting boring, some seriously unbalanced battle elements are introduced, boring enemies, very stereotypical characters and the whole game is already well over the halfpoint. You can't predict what kind of stragey/team/equipment you need for each mission, and the whole play is mostly guess-and-fail; trying something little different and failing again... at the beginning the enemies are almost too easy and after some missions they are way too numerous. Using time to plan missions over and over again is not worth the empty plot. The first game that comes in comparison is Shadowrun Returns, which is actually the same game in principle but with different engine/story/characters/etc. Actually this game made me hope Shadowrun Returns would have been made with this game's engine, and with dragonfall story/characters/gameplay balance. That would have been perfect.
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