All Walls Must Fall – Review
Follow Genre: Tech-noir Tactical
Developer: Inbetweengames
Publisher: Inbetweengames
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

All Walls Must Fall – Review

Site Score
Good: Brilliant soundtrack and concept
Bad: Unpolished execution
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Developed and produced by 3 man studio, Inbetweengames, All Walls Must Fall was first released on steam in 2018, where it received mixed reviews. Alongside a well-praised mini story game, The Mammoth: a cave painting, it makes for their only release to date. Now, this small company has released its game on Switch to provide an on the go tactical indie adventure. With a focus on strategy, time manipulation and rhythmic music to play a randomly generated campaign, it seems like the perfect handheld game to dip in and out of.


Berlin, November 2089: The Cold War never ended. For 150 years both sides have used time manipulation technology to observe and counter each other’s every move. Now this fragile state of affairs is approaching a breaking point, as a rogue nuclear strike will send the world into turmoil. Both sides have scrambled to send agents back in time to find out who is behind the attack and how to prevent it. If they fail, the whole world will turn to ash, forever.

The bio of All Walls Must Fall paints an intense picture. Set in an alternate timeline, with the ever-popular, if not wholly original, “What if this never happened” backstory, the player takes on the role of a time-traveling agent tasked with saving Berlin in one night, no matter how many attempts it takes. And of course, the only way that this can be resolved is by committing espionage across Berlins districts and finding intel or bombs in every high-end LGBT+ nightclub in the city.


The concept behind the graphics is both creative and pleasing. A 2D hand-drawn, low poly art style for the figures in a 3D setting brings to mind a tabletop board with paper scenery and card tokens. This style is a small nostalgic pull for some maybe, and a generally pleasing aesthetic for others. However, in practice, it isn’t nearly as effective as intended. The screen is often cluttered and chaotic, distracting from targets and points of interest, making it hard to appreciate any of the artwork. Additionally, the detail of the characters and background has been significantly downgraded from their original PC version. While a quality drop is expected when porting to a handheld console, the difference in quality is surprisingly high when the content of the graphic design seems quite minimal compared to what the Switch is capable of.


The soundtrack is one of All Walls Must Fall‘s better features, to the point it is often described as a rhythmic tactical game. This initially gave the impression that the game was going to have a music or beat type feature that the player had to adhere to. The club music and techno beats deliver a fun and intense rhythm, and lends an air of intensity to the gameplay. Every move costs time and every mistake uses up energy that might be needed later, all the while a driving bass beat dictates you and your enemies’ movement. It is arguably a perfect integration of gameplay and soundtrack.


Inbetweengames has strived to make a tech-noir isometric strategy game, with an interesting twist. And to that end, All Walls Must Fall is a rousing success! The game is challenging, requires stealth, foresight, careful thought and patience at nearly every step. As you upgrade your abilities, you can respond better to combat and circumventing threats. This includes upgrading your guns, your resources for time manipulation and your key abilities. It is very satisfying to manipulate the time of everything around you without affecting yourself; especially when you trip every possible alarm and reset it all so you are standing next to your target with them none the wiser.

However, the execution of some otherwise brilliant ideas drastically affects the gameplay. Every scene of blurry details is chaotic and crowded, while the controls on the Switch are clunky and awkward, causing the player to waste time and resources because they took the wrong door or went in loud instead of quiet. The abilities onscreen are easily mixed up, causing further waste in a challenging game that requires near meticulous resource management. The combat is also excessive to the point of being best completely avoided. Should it start too soon or without the means to rewind enough time, it becomes a bloodbath that completely alters the ending.

After half an hour of play, it becomes painstakingly clear that this is the whole game. The game is basically going to nightclubs that have little variation, even if they are procedurally generated, enjoy pleasant rhythms, and rewind yourself out of danger. Not to mention the arbitrary/random conversation minigames that are both tedious and poorly designed. While we weren’t able to maintain the interest to keep playing that long, we learned that the randomly generated campaign is apparently the same small handful of mission arcs reshuffled each time.


All Walls Must Fall has great promise. It has a brilliant design concept, a fantastic soundtrack that sets the tone incredibly well, and the means to provide a near-flawless handheld experience. And that’s even with a short playtime, and a plot that attempts to provide a parable that reflects on free will, moral ambiguity and the meaning of freedom. That’s a theme that can push away almost as many people as it attracts!

However what it delivers is a repetitive and clunky game, where the player must measure every step of an unclear maze and dread every conversation of randomized “Fear, Flirt or Respect” targets. It does make you wonder why, that a game with an unpolished feel, whose updates in the last two years seem to be only language additions, was even ported to the Switch when so much work was still needed.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
All Walls Must Fall - Review, 5.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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