|Platform(s)||Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Switch|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, co-op Multiplayer|
Door Kickers is a real-time tactics video game developed and published by Romanian indie studio KillHouse Games. The game was released for Microsoft Windows on October 20, 2014, and later for the iPad and Android on June 24, 2015 and September 4, 2015 respectively. A Nintendo Switch version was released on December 26, 2020, published by QubicGames. A sequel, Door Kickers 2 – Task Force North, which follows special operations forces in a fictional Middle Eastern country, was released in 2020.
The player controls an elite squad of SWAT operatives who are pitted against several varieties of criminals and terrorists.
Door Kickers allows the player to create a squad of up to ten playable characters, each of which is able customized with classes, weapons, armor, utilities, and gear. Every class has a unique variety of weapons, each of which caters to particular situations and playstyles. As the team completes missions they will level up, both as a squad and individually.
The five available classes are Pointman, Assaulter, Breacher, Stealth, and Shield. Pointmen are equipped with just pistols and no primary weapon, but have the highest mobility out of all five. Assaulters can choose between submachine guns and rifles, and Breachers are allowed to have shotguns. The Stealth class allows players to silently dispatch enemies with suppressed weaponry, and the Shield is equipped with a riot shield and a sidearm, with no other gear.
As the team levels up, the player will earn Doctrine points which can be allocated to improve the squad with abilities and perks. Leveling up a character individually will also improve their experience in the field: marksmanship, assault shooting, and field skills will all be upgraded upon leveling up.
Campaigns and single missions
The game has six main campaigns, each with a different amount of missions. As a player completes a level they will be rewarded with up to three 'stars' depending on their performance during that mission—stars are used to purchase weapons and equipment for the operatives. Single missions are missions not tied to a campaign and can be completed at one's own leisure without having to worry about permanent squad casualties. Door Kickers also features mapping and modding support.
Missions can be of eight varieties: Clear Hostiles, Hostage Rescue, Bomb Defusal, Stop Execution, Protect the VIP, Arrest Warrant, Dope Raid, and Robbery in Progress.
The player views the game from a top-down view. Areas not in view of the squad are marked with a blue or black fog-of-war. In some missions there are multiple points at which one is allowed to deploy operatives, allowing for strategical collaboration between the group. The player is able to manually draw out walk paths for their officers and plot out orders along the path with their mouse, as well as specifically manipulate where they look. A pause feature allows the player to path several characters at the same time and have them simultaneously perform their orders.
Hence the name, Door Kickers relies heavily on breaching rooms. The game gives players several options in doing so, however, and allows them to fine-tune every detail due to the pathing mechanic. Players are able to order operatives to breach rooms in a variety of ways, such as with breaching charges or just kicking it. They are also able to order their characters to throw flashbangs or other grenades into the room before allowing their operatives to rush in. Once again, the player is able to map out specific paths for the operatives to follow, allowing them to finely control exactly what each operative does at any given point: they can be ordered to cover each other and engage enemies through simply adding look orders to their path.
The team also has the ability to handcuff enemies with arrest warrants, rescue hostages, defuse bombs, and escort and control a VIP; these actions can be performed by the player by simply issuing the relevant instructions on an operative's path.
In some missions, off-map sniper support is offered.
|PC Gamer (US)||8.4/10|
Door Kickers was positively received by critics. Rock, Paper, Shotgun stated "Door Kickers is a smashing top-down tactical masterclass, with enough missions to shake a nightstick at, randomised enemy placements to add further variety, and a bundled level editor allows devious designers to create their own maps and missions…Door Kickers is a complete package of planning, panicking and policing." Indie Statik proclaimed that "...It’s a thing of beauty and manages to capture the planning and satisfying execution of more complex strategy games, as well as the gung-ho and the popping-off of growly man in military shooters. (...) It’s probably the best man-shootery game I’ve played in years." In a Giant Bomb Quick Look, Matt Rorie praised it and said he liked the game quite a bit.
Sequels and spin-offs
Door Kickers 2 – Task Force North
A sequel, Door Kickers 2 – Task Force North, was released through Steam Early Access on November 3, 2020. While the game was initially planned for a Q4 2016 release, the game received substantial delays and was trapped in development hell for several years. An official release trailer debuted on February 4, 2020, teasing a Q2 2020 release date ― however, this too was pushed back several months.
Door Kickers 2 is set in the Middle East and features improved weapon variety, equipment, AI, and various new gameplay features in a 3D environment. Many of the features that were criticized in Door Kickers were improved in the sequel, such as the stealth mechanics.
Door Kickers: Action Squad
Door Kickers: Action Squad is a spin-off created on behalf of KillHouse Games by another studio, pixelshard. The game was first teased on August 1, 2017 in a comic on the KHG website. A day later, an official trailer was released. The game strays from the series' traditional top-down gameplay in favor of a side-scrolling action game.
- "Door Kickers is out!". 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
- "Door Kickers update + iPad version!". 2015-06-24. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
- "You can now kick doors on Android!". 2015-09-04. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
- "Door Kickers Gears Up For A Switch eShop Release This December". Nintendo Life. 2020-11-28. Retrieved 2020-11-28.
- Stone, Tim (21 October 2014). "SWAT I Think: Door Kickers". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
- Giant Bomb (2014-10-30), Door Kickers: Giant Bomb Quick Look, retrieved 2016-07-20
- "The Bestest Best Tactics Of 2014: Door Kickers". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
- "Door Kickers 2 - Task Force North". 2016-01-17. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
- "Door Kickers 2 is coming". 2020-02-04. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
- "Door Kickers Comic #5". 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2017-08-06.
- "Door Kickers: Action Squad Teaser Trailer". YouTube. 2017-08-02. Retrieved 2017-08-06.