Bionic Dues is a tactical, turn-based roguelite with mech customization. Out-think wide-ranging tactical situations featuring robots with bad GPS, terrible aim, insecurity, a lack of focus, a tendency to backstab, and dozens of other maladies to exploit.
User reviews: Very Positive (198 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 8, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"A tactical, turn-based roguelite with mech customization. Recommended for people that love tactical combat, meta and micro-strategy."
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Recent updates View all (6)

September 17

Bionic Dues Official 1.101 "PerformanceBot" Released!

This one includes drastically increases the graphical performance for the game.

It also has a few bugfixes, and two new conducts: Shorter Campaign and Random Exos.

Enjoy!

Click here for the official forum discussion about this release.

0 comments Read more

August 26

Bionic Dues Official 1.100 Released!

This one includes the real images for the new achievements (many thanks to community member nas1m for working on these!) and a single small bugfix for the shotgun.

Steam integration for the new achievements will come soon, and won't require a further client-side update.

And that will mark the end of the 1.1 cycle. Hopefully another beta cycle will start breaking things again soon, but either way 1.1 should be a good stable version for folks to enjoy until it's time for another official.

Enjoy!

2 comments Read more

Reviews

“What's wonderful about Bionic Dues is that it manages to combine meta-strategy and micro-strategy... It's like a fast-paced, mini-XCOM.”
Andrew Groen, The Penny Arcade Report

“Top game moment: Realising a momentary oversight has condemned you to almost certain doom, but then, with only a perfect set of well-thought long-contemplated moves, you pull everything out the bag, blow the rig, and get the hell out of dodge to receive a hard-earned mission successful.”
8.5/10 – Richard Nolan, Strategy Informer

“Bionic Dues delivers tough decisions, sweeping tactics and enormous mech battles; packing massive replayability and unpredictability into its budget price point. A 'Rogue-lite' to remember and to savour through numerous scorched-earth defeats and hard-won victories.”
8/10, Editor's Choice – Jonathan Lester, Dealspwn

About This Game

Robot rebellions should be quelled by the best of the best. When the best of the best are killed... it's up to you. Subdue the uprising in time, or your corporate overlords nuke the city.

Bionic Dues is a tactical, turn-based roguelite with mech customization. Guide multiple classes of Exos through a variety of missions filled with enemy robots that are as buggy as they are angry. This is at least as bad as it sounds. Explore for loot, destroy key robotic facilities, and brace yourself for the final attack by your enemies... just as soon as they can pull it together.

Features

  • Out-think wide-ranging tactical situations featuring robots with bad GPS, terrible aim, insecurity, a lack of focus, a tendency to backstab, and dozens of other maladies to exploit.
  • Over 40 unique bots, ranging from the hilariously inept-but-dangerous DumBots, BlunderBots, and BatBots to the terrifyingly effective WyvernBots, DoomBots, and MurderBots.
  • Carve your own path: choose 30 to 50 missions out of the 120 you discover as you explore the city map. Which missions you choose determines how prepared you will be for the final battle against the massing robot army.
  • Missions come in 23 different general flavors, and are entirely procedurally-generated like a floor of a traditional roguelite.
  • Mix and match your squad of four from six classes of Exos: Assault, Siege, Science, Sniper, Ninja and Brawler. Each has its own build and weaponry.
  • Choose an overall pilot from a roster of six to add a powerful perk that lasts your entire campaign.
  • Customize your four Exos with procedurally-generated loot that grants weaponry and defensive upgrades, new abilities, and more.
  • Difficulty levels ranging from quite casual to incredibly hardcore.
  • Save and reload your game with ease any time, or tough it out in ironman mode.
  • Stellar soundtrack by composer Pablo Vega, headlined by the game's title theme "The Home We Once Knew."

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor: 1.6Ghz CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Screen resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OSX Intel CPU and "Leopard" 10.5 or later.
    • Processor: 1.6Ghz CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Screen resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10 or later, although other unsupported distros may work
    • Processor: 1.6Ghz CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Screen resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
    • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
20 of 20 people (100%) found this review helpful
41.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
I thought I'd put up a review for this really underappreciated little game.

Developer Arcen Games makes wildly creative, deep, and eccentric genre-benders, the most celebrated of which is their asymmetrical space RTS/4x/tower defense, "AI Wars." AI Wars is clearly a great game, but somehow it's this one that I keep coming back to.

Bionic Dues is Arcen's take on a "roguelike," but of course in proper Arcen style it is totally unique.

Basically, it has a lot in common with a proper roguelike: you guide your characters through a series of procedurally generated dungeons. But there are a *lot* of interesting twists:

- You have 4 characters, (which are actually some sort of mecha exoskeleton?) in any combination of "classes," but can only use one at a time, and it takes a turn to swap them out.

- Loot and inventory customizaton is of primary importance. Each bot has *tons* of inventory slots, in several categories, and each class is different. Carefully poring over the hundreds of components you find, and optimizing their arrangement on each robot chassis, balancing your overall strategy, is the part of the game that I find utterly addictive. (It feels a lot like ship design in Gratuitous Space Battles, another of my favorites.)

- There is a sort of top-level strategy layer linking the dungeons. In between runs, you re-arrange robot parts, and choose your next raid target based on likely risk/rewards and your overall position in the map, with a global counter ticking down to a final level full of particularly nasty enemies.

- Understanding enemy AI and abilties is really important. There are a lot of enemy bot types, with simply-defined behaviors that are nevertheless complex in their interactions, and they appear in randomized combinations that can really change the way you approch a given dungeon.

- The game can be played with a number of different difficulty options, and core gameplay modifiers like the addition of permadeath, ironman mode, and time-limits on turns. This really allows you to tweak the game to your liking; you can choose to allow save-scumming, seeking the perfect run, or you can make it a much more tense and chaotic affair.

One thing that needs mentioning: a lot of the art assets are just awful-looking, especially on the strategy and inventory-management screens. To enjoy the game, you will have to be able to get over this, and see the item illustrations as purely functional conveyors of data. This works fine for me, but I'm sure it turns a lot of people off. Thankfully, I think the dungeon art is pretty nice-looking.

Frankly, I also found the music and voices to be awful (though a lot of the sound design itself is pretty nice,) and I tend just turn it off and listen to my own music.

Despite all the ugly warts, I keep coming back to this one. If you like procedural turn-based dungeon crawling, and find yourself spending a lot of enjoyable time comparing stuff on inventory screens, this might be a good one for you.

I also like that it lends itself well to short play sessions; you can pop in for a quick dungeon or a bit of stat-crunching without feeling too committed. It's also a good game to have running in the background while you're doing something else, taking a turn now and then.


All in all, this is a deep little game that's well worth its price tag - at the time of this writing, it's available at the ridiculous sale price of $1.99, and no roguelike fan should miss it.
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
This game plays somewhat like a roguelike dungeon crawler. You spend a turn to either move or take an action, then all the enemies do the same.

Each mission takes place in an enviroment of connected corridors and rooms where you get aggro from nearby robots and use your abilities to either avoid them or kill them. The goal of each mission is to achieve objectives, leave the map, and get diablo style prefix-item-postfix style loot, complete with color coding for rarity.

You have a team of 4 different characters (exos, human sized robots) but they all occupy the same map tile, and you can only have one active at a time. That's the twist in the particular dungeon crawling game. It takes a turn to switch between your exos, which you'll want to do because the different exos have different abilities and limited resources like ammo and hitpoints.

After each mission you can customize your exos with all that neat loot you've been finding. The various parts you find tend to be multipurpose, so there are always choices to make, both about what exo gets what part, and where on the exo to put the part.

I found the exo equiping part of the game very satisfying and had several super tricked out exos specializing in incredible shield tanking, firepower, stealth/virus attacks, and stealth/virus attacks near the end of my first game with the default character and exo setup.

Overall, I'd say this made the medium difficulty campaign fairly easy. The final mission(s) were mostly a chore to hunt down all of the bots. I've yet to replay the game, but replayability seems high since you can pick different character bonuses and exo team composisions each game. Not to mention all the random stuff.

Having played AI War, The Last Federation and Skyward Collapse, I would say Bionic Dues is my favorite Arcen game.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
28.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 16
Wonderful unique turn based and creative game, fun and addictive. If you like turn based strategy games you will love this. The game is finish able even on the first try. The ability to save whenever you wish is a big plus. The interface is easy and straightforward as long as the option for mouse movement is NOT selected (If it is, then placing mines and turrets in a specific location will be a nightmare). The mission variation is fantastic and constant trying to choose which mission to do next and trying to decide when to fight the final battle adds tension to the already tense and fun dungeon crawls. There are several types of missions, and which one you choose can have a significant impact on how the game progresses. A new game starts on the city map where you choose from a web of different mission types. As you complete or fail missions, more are revealed. You win the game by either surviving the inevitable final bot onslaught, or lose when your headquarters are destroyed. There is a lot of replay ability value as your strategy will need to change depending on the lead character you select and the mech team you select. During the missions, you only control one mech (called "exos" in game) at a time, but you have four in your stable. There is a ton of generated loot you can use to improve your exos with, which you get from completing missions, find in chests, or buy from the shop. You can swap your exo for another at any time, though it will cost you an action. You lose the mission if all four exos are destroyed. There are six different exo classes, with an epic variation of each. There are also six different pilots to choose from, each with a unique ability. A solid game, that gives you a deep tactical experience.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
90.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
Saving a the city from a robot invasion gotta be fun, right? Well it is! Especially if the robots are riddled with bugs for you to exploit at your own leisure.

The result is a very fun rogue-lite with a unique twist that got even better after the recent (and free!) 1.1 update, which radically improved balance, upped the challenge level significantly and threw in a bunch of optional conducts to make your experience even more !!fun!! by emphasizing the rogue-like aspect of the game (Permadeath anybody?).

Feeling superior 'cause you are able to find a solution to any hairy situation given the time even on Expert or the aptly named Misery difficulty?
Enabling "On Your Toes" will turn your game upside down. Who said the bots will always be waiting for you to do something ; )?

The only gripe I have with the game at this point is the customization of your mechs (called Exos), which can consume significant time especially in the late-game. Lovely if you are into min-maxing your stats for growing periods of time, a little too much work if you just want to be off on your next mission.

Definitely worth a shot!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
63.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
A fun, engaging dungeon crawl. There's something incredibly engaging about learning your character's strengths and weaknesses, outfoxing your rather dumb (by design) enemies, gathering ever-more impressive loot to outfit yourself, and racing towards the finish line.

I've sunk many a lazy afternoon into this game, and have no regrets. Neither will you.
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19 of 33 people (58%) found this review helpful
23.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
Do you want to play with some mecs? Do you like strat games? then i have a deal for you! Come play Bionic Dues! where you will have fun the entire way, saving hostages. blowing up factories. You may think everything is easy, until you get to the final part of the game where there are thousands of enemies to kill. and there all pointing there guns are you >.<

8/10

enjoy ^-^
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
This game feels imperfect. But in that, it has replayability. The gameplay is such that, your Exo (bot) can be 1-hit fairly easy, especially when you are just learning. Not to mention AOE damage can also take you out. So, losing a bot is easy. You can usually still succeed with your other 3, and you don't permanently lose the bot unless you are playing with "Dead is dead" enabled... which I think isn't available until you've beaten it once. I found the upgrade system alluring. If the art was more aesthetic I probably would have given it much more of my time.

gameplay: 7/10
art: 6/10
theme: 8/10
sound: 8/10
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
WARNING: this game has an amazing song that runs on the title screen it may hypnotise people to recommend the game.

yes the game is great actually i didn't expect it to be so much fun
and the only bad thing about this game is the User Interface.

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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
151.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 25
Randomized top-down turn based "dungeon" crawler (1 turn = 1 move, like one step in cardinal direction or taking a shot, for you and your enemies). Your "party" can consist up to 4 different "members" of various "classes", but you only get to control one of your "party" members at a time, and swapping them in and out is a move on its own.

And there's also Mark XXVII Looted Epic Loot of Looting system thrown in for a good measure.

Except instead of going deeper into a fantasy dungeon, you go deeper into a sci-fi city in order to fight off crapshoot AI menace or your corporation will nuke the city, just to be sure, which means millions of lives lost as evac is, apparently, not an option (due to hand-wa... I mean, overcrowding).

The city exploration facet adds whole new dimension to the game - instead of one direction, down, you get a choice where to go next and the web of accessible missions grows as you go. Do you want to focus on particular type of loot? Make yourself stronger or enemy weaker? Or perhaps the next mission is not too great, but is located strategically and you need it to unlock path to some juicier mission in sight?

In default settings you get 50 missions/days to prepare for the ultimate showdown, each passing day meaning enemy robots grow in strength and number for assault on your base, and you are hoping to keep up, occasionally bringing them down a notch or two.

This is quite a roguelike experience, although permadeath and iron man mode, iron man mode, aren't turned on by default and who knows, maybe you want to keep it that way, at least at first, because the game is rather not easy as it is.

And it is actually a thinking man's game, if you just want to go guns-a-blazing, you're in for a bad time. It's not a top-down twitch shooter; you need to be very deliberate in your actions.

This is an interesting mix of ideas, as one should expect from Arcen Games. Has the potential to suck you in good, but also I see potential for it not hitting right notes with everybody. I, for one, certainly dig it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 9
Difficult to learn, easy to master; the opposite of what I look for in a game. It looks good on paper but in practice it's clunky and tedious. You'll spend 2 hours reading everything there is to read about the robots, to find that none of it has helped you.

3/10. I strongly recommend you not spend money on this game.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
The combat was pretty fun, and unlocking stuff with Science points.

Thank you for the Linux games Arcen!
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119 of 129 people (92%) found this review helpful
14.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 3, 2013
Similar Games:

XCOM, Dungeons of Dredmor, and to a lesser degree Hack, Slash, Loot

The Good:

High level of strategy in gameplay
Missions require a careful monitoring of line of sight and placement, even choosing which mission types to take on can affect the player’s success
Humor is quirky and tongue-in-cheek, but always amusing
All the typical fun RPG tropes are here!
Hacking, converting an enemy, and stealth
Also some uncommon ones like turrets
A plethora of different starting bot types to suit all gaming-types
Assault (goes in first), Siege (carries the big guns), Ninja (Silent, but deadly), Science (hacking specialist), and many more
The bots have a variety of imaginative weapon types that drastically change gameplay strategy when switching them
A large amount of loot that can dramatically impact the outcome of mission, so proper inventory management and planning is key (but thankfully quite fun!)
Within the inventory management system is a power balancing mechanic that limits the amount of powerful tech that the player can have equipped on each bot, which adds another wonderful layer to the strategy
There are fun “rogue-lite” elements of random chance events that can change the outcome of a mission (a positive… honest!)
For example, when hacking an unknown terminal and watching it explode and take out my bot in a brilliant display of fire sprites
Another “rogue-lite” addition of random procedural maps, enemy types, enemy placement, and traps
Knowing which equipment to use is made easier by the easy to read comparison stat screen at the bottom of the inventory (similar system to a diablo-like)
A pretty awesomely cheesy song starts during the menu screen that shouldn’t be missed
Any options that I felt the game should have after playing it for awhile, were surprisingly available in the extensive options screen
For example, the option to navigate the game with a “grab and move” mouse function
A Gamer’s Glance at my favorite gameplay moment: Being chased by a suicidal “bomb-bot” and knowing it would take my exo out if it continued its advance, but then realizing that I had enemy conversion points left and ending up sending it back to its friends armed and ready to go!

The Bad:

Tutorial could have been much more extensive
For example, using and understanding the inventory screen took a lot of trial and error (NOTE: this has been improved greatly by the implementation of patch 1.005)
Not knowing that the player can blow up friendly terminals was an issue at first, because I favored the Siege class
Hovering over an enemy will show the player how much damage will be done with the equipped weapon
While some of these may be a “RPG” fan give-in, going through each of the numerous fun mechanics of the game at the front end would have sold me on the game that much faster
Certain mission music is repetitive and grating, but thankfully changes its “tune” after a short time
The voice over work (while well done) on the tutorial and mission end screens seems unnecessary
Jokes are hit and miss, though luckily hit more times than miss
There are repetitive canned voice over lines from the bots during battle
Heard “Why was I programmed to feel pain!” more times than it was funny
Difficult to tell visually when stealth is active, which can lead to some trouble when playing on mute
Would have loved to have seen some variation in the environments, which understandably would be difficult given the setting
Just would have been nice to see some color and “life” to the tilesets
Maybe throw in some secret areas that could be found by blowing up a wall (there are enough explosions that the chance of finding one would be relatively frequent, yet surprising)
Can you play it while the children are awake?:

Absolutely. The game is quite tame and all battles take place between robots. The strategy element is quite advanced though, so little Jimmy might not get the most enjoyment out of the game playing by himself.

Did I make time to complete it?:

I played for 15 hours and found it very enjoyable throughout. The game has so many layers that I never found myself bored. Highly recommended to the rogue-like and XCOM-like crowd!

Recommended Purchase Price:

$9.99

or

100% of current retail value of $9.99

Reviewer:

MisterS42

http://www.gamersglance.com
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40 of 43 people (93%) found this review helpful
143.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2013
Another gem from Arcen, highly recommended if this genre is up your alley! Bionic Dues is a turn-based strategic roguelike where you control four exos (remotely piloted mechs, basically), only one at a time but hot swappable, through a variety of missions towards a final showdown with the enemy robot force. It shines in all the right areas: intelligent randomization, loot, equipment options, a variety of different mission types, lots of different weapon types, exo specializations and commander perks, plus a bunch of achievements. Individual missions are typically pretty short (5-10 minutes tops), so it can be played in short bursts if desired. I've already sunk a ton of time into this, with much more on the horizon. It can be challenging, but good strategy will usually bring you out on top. A demo is also available at Arcen's site. http://arcengames.com/
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96 of 135 people (71%) found this review helpful
24.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
While the basic formula for a rougelike strategy game is here, Bionic Dues ultimately falls short due to balancing issues, bad information management, and generally poor presentation.

Walls of text and disorganized information are repeated issues in Bionic Dues — a problem that begins as soon as you begin your campaign. With no introduction, you're shown a screen with the portraits of four exos (your remote-controlled mechs) and a pilot, and are asked to select your team for the rest of the game. You can only take four of six exos with you; and can only select one pilot of, again, six. Each exo is armed differently, though you're only given a small description of their capabilities on a hovering text box. The same goes for the pilots: each their own brief backstory, and a special ability that affects the performance of the team. "+50% to all propulsion stats—" "A Mark-4 part will have stats like a Mark-6—" "He was able to sneak into the Bahamut Device installations—" But you've been given no story and have no idea what the gameplay is like yet. What's a Mark-6? What does the propulsion stat do? What's a Bahamut Device? None of this has any context, so you're just guessing at what might make an effective team and hoping for the best. If you later don't like your choices — well, tough; you're stuck with it.

Upon selecting your team, you're dumped into a map screen and given a one-page briefing of the situation and your mission. It's then explained that the city is under attack by a robot rebellion, and as the sole remaining pilot, it's up to you to prevent annihilation. That's the extent of your story. No characters are introduced, your pilot is never addressed by name, and the voiceover guy doesn't even explain who he is. As no real world-building is done, and your choice of pilot has no effect on the extremely-minimal story, it makes the whole process of choosing a pilot superfluous. Who cares what their names are, what they look like, or what very brief backstory they each have when it doesn't change anything in the campaign and is never addressed again? "Choose your pilot" could have easily been "choose your buff," then addressed the player, themselves, as the pilot of the exos.

Pressing OK clears the introductory text, and then several more bulletpoints of information are thrown on screen at once, explaining several basic gameplay mechanics before they're necessary. You can go straight to a mission, but the screen is flanked by icons of your exos and enemy bots, with a big green arrow reading "Customize" pointing to your team. Clicking on that gives you another text box of info, and behind it, way more info as you're shown the stats of each exo and every item in your inventory. This was the biggest and most repeated problem encountered: just way too much disorganized information at once, often without context. Each exo has 14 base stats to keep track of, and then as many as five weapons with up to 23 more stats, determined by equipping items to a potential 30 inventory slots.

Get used to the customization screen; with up to 50 missions in the campaign, you'll be spending a lot of time here between fights. This does allow you to specialize each exo with careful delegation of items and theory-crafting, but eventually I got tired of sinking so much time into figuring out exactly which item would be best-equipped where and on which exo, with so many possibilities and little nuances, that I skipped it unless I picked up something that was an obviously big upgrade. This may have been easier with better information management, but everything in this game comes as a wall of text in the same typeface. There's very little colour differentiation, and absolutely no graphics or icons used for quick identification. I started skipping the customization, because it wasn't fun; it felt like homework. However, you can only neglect dedicating yourself to this process so much, as the enemy forces get stronger with every mission. Do it, or eventually you will be outclassed.

See how much information is written here so far? We haven't even gotten to the first mission yet. Each mission is represented on the map by a different icon branching outwards from your headquarters. You have to complete them in succession to explore the city, until the final battle on the fiftieth day. Bionic Dues outright tells you that the final battle is on day 50, which is unsuspenseful. Your basic objective is to grind through the missions, upgrading your exos with loot and potentially weakening the enemy forces in preparation for one final and massive battle of attrition. If you mess up enough along the way, you can reach that final day, fail the battle, and lose the whole campaign.

The battles are turn-based. Your team has to explore a randomly-generated, grid-based battlefield, eliminating enemy robots and potentially destroying certain objectives along the way. All four exos move together on the same grid point, like an old RPG party. Only one of them is active at a time, and that will be the one who can fight and take damage. Moving, firing, using a special ability, or switching between exos takes one turn. Most of the enemies will remain inactive until you aggro them, and then they'll each take their turn after you make your move. They're not particularly challenging; most bots can be dispatched easily by being outranged or lead into traps. However, if you're not tactical, there are times where you can find yourself flanked, cornered, and overwhelmed. You can lose one of your exos in an instant with a poor choice of moves. So what happens then? Can you repair the exo, or is there some sort of penalty? Do you need to replace it, or go through the rest of the campaign with only three on your team? The game never explains, beyond that you'll receive one less piece of loot at the end of the mission.

The way each battle plays out varies depending on the type of mission, represented by the icon on the map screen. For example, some turn all destructable objects into powerful explosives, some have hostages that must be protected, and some power up every exo and bot to perform one-hit kills. This adds a little gameplay variety. However, the battlefields, themselves, are visually very bland and repetitive. They all take place indoors, and the scenery doesn't change from one part of the city to the other. Their dark grey floor colouring offers low contrast from the black, unnavigable negative space, sometimes making it hard to distinguish where you can and can't move your exos.

Once you complete your objective, you have to navigate to the exit of the level. While this does give a chance to explore and pick up any missed loot, this is often dull, as the main objective and the exit aren't necessarily going to be placed nearby each other. Often you'll find yourself navigating empty corridors as you search for the way out, which may not be easy to find. The exit isn't an actual physical exit from the battlespace, but a circle on one of the tiles, which may be hard to spot at times when it's in the fog-of-war shadow. Poor contrast plays an issue here again. Making it to the exit, in itself, is anticlimactic. You'll be immediately dumped back to the map screen, with no victory fanfare or continuation of a story.

Once you've done that, go spend a while calculating how to best upgrade your exos, then repeat the process 48 more times to make it to the final battle. There's no build-up to this moment — it's treated the same as every other mission. The final battle is an endurance run, pitting your four exos against the remanants of the enemy bot army, or as many as can fit in the map at once. It's not harder, just longer. And once you win, your reward? A "congratulations" text box. Then you just sit on the map screen. That's it.

While the basics are here, Bionic Dues falls short, still having massive room for improvement in its gameplay and presentation. Not recommended.
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28 of 32 people (88%) found this review helpful
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 21
Bionic dues is a roguelike, and plays pretty similar to standard rogue games. You take an action, then everything else does, repeat untill enemies are dead or an objective is complete. You get four party members that you can switch between at any point (costs an action) but only one of them can be on the field at a time, so you're really always controlling a single hero, not a squad.

First it should be said that, like most arcen games, Bionic Dues has amazingly good music. Although they are merely adequate as a game developer, they have the amazing Pablo Vega on staff doing all their music. This is especially noticeable in the hauntingly beautiful title track, The Home That We Once Knew. A song so brilliant i'd recommend buying this game JUST to hear it, despite its other flaws. It really sets the scene and is a truly amazing first impression, sadly it's mostly downhill from there.

This game has an unfortunate problem shared by other Arcen titles, in that the game bombards you with information right from the beginning, telling you in pointlessly explicit detail about the final battle you'll eventually have and how to win it. Aside from being overwhelming and working very poorly as a tutorial, this also instantly takes away any sense of novelty or mystery from the game, and you're never really in doubt about what will eventually happen. The final battle is hyped and foreshadowed repeatedly, and warnings about it are shoved in your face constantly.

At the beginning you choose four of the six classes, and one of the six available leaders. this is probably intended to encourage replayability, but i didn't really feel any desire to play it again.

After every mission your'e rewarded with a tide of loot with witty descriptions that modify lots of stats, and you can equip your party between missions using these parts. Each squad member has 20-30 equipment slots, so you'll spend a lot of time in there tweaking with equipment loadouts, which is kind of fun at first. However after a while of playing, the system starts to feel shallow, as there's a pretty small range of values that can actually be adjusted, and thusly not much room for "builds" or any real modding strategy. You basicalyl want everyone to be reasonably tanky, and all their weapons to be strong enough to 1-shot enemies, with reasonable amounts of range and ammo. this isn't hard to accomplish.

Eventually you'll stop caring about most of the loot you get, and just briefly scan the inventory for unusually high values, there's too much of it, and once you've seen one +50% damage mod, you've seen them all. There's no unusual combinations or interesting unique equipment, just ever-increasing generic values, the novelty fades quickly.

Each squad member has a small (preset, non-changeable) selection of weapons, and with certain missions they can get a permanant upgrade which gives them additional weapons and equipment slots (again, preset). These upgrades are nice and add an interesting power spike to things, but there's exactly one for each squad member, and they're no-brainers you'll want to grab asap.


***** SPOILERS AHEAD *****
***** SPOILERS AHEAD *****
***** SPOILERS AHEAD *****


Despite the constant warnings and foreshadowing, and especially the warning that i'd have to hold off a massive assault from hundreds of enemies, the final mission was a colossal letdown. It threw a grand total of 80-ish enemies at me (there's a counter) in a single, boring mazelike interior environment, much like any other mission. There was no colossal assault, it was literally a hunt-and-destroy mission like hundreds of others. I had to go and find THEM hiding in tiny pockets of resistance, and just nuke them with aoe weapons.

I spent a long time building up a perfectly engineered sniper and engineer-scientist combo, and created a huge fort of sentry guns expecting to have to fight off thousands of bots, and maybe some colossal monster. What i got was a pathetic skirmish with only slightly more enemies than an average mission. it was a dismal and hollow end to the game. There's no real reward or sense of closure either, after the battle you jsut get a "congratulations you won, now go and relax" textbox, and the game just stops on the main map screen with nothing being clickable. No ending cutscene, no conclusion to the story, just nothing.

I spent £1.74 on this game, and my initial thoughts after buying it were that i'd gotten an amazing deal. But as the novelty wore off, that seemed like a pretty reasonable price. It's great fun for an hour or two, and mildly entertaining for a few more after that, but there's no real reason to replay it.

You should probably quit before you finish the game, and just imagine that it had a good ending.
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18 of 22 people (82%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2013
Initially underwhelming as all the stuff looks the same, but give it some time and you might find a lot of awesome in this game. There's tough gameplay, humor, tactical dungeon crawling, derpy robots, RPG-like leveling, random loot, upgrades, and the intro is straight out of your favorite anime. The one you won't admit you like.
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19 of 24 people (79%) found this review helpful
22.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2013
A rather complex, but at the same time accessible roguelike involving tough meta choices on an FTL-esque campaign map, in depth exo customization and appealing combat mechanics.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2013
Bionic Dues is a turn-based game about your robot (though technically you have a squad of four units at your disposal, you are effectively controling a single one at a time) kicking the crap ouf of tons other robots.
In a sense, it is reminiscent of classical Game Workshops boardgames like Space Crusade, but Arcen Games being Arcen Games, they put a lot of extra layers beyond the simple gunning : hacking, trappings, a simple yet interesting strategic layer...

The game atmosphere might be hit or miss depending on the person : the soundtrack is weirdly addictive and pumping, like some Karaoke Korean game might be. I personally found the robotic chatter of the enemies, somewhat excusing their stupid or reckless behaviours, quite funny.

Simply put : I love this game. I found the combination of fitting your dear robots (though it gets number intensive pretty quickly) and seeing them in action laying mayhem - with the mission sometimes going not at all as planned of course - to be incredibly entertaining.
A demo is linked into the forums. I personally instantly bought the game after playing it, so if you are curious about it, I strongly suggest you give it a spin.

The game seems very fit for iterating on the subject matter and extending its mechanics. Here is only hoping it sees the same fate as AI War and gets improved and improved upon, to the point it reaches genius.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
34.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 15
Yes!

The turn-based genre (with rogouelike/rpg elements) at it's best.

Apparently the genre is on the rise again- first the Steam Marines, now this- so much tactical depth with an easy interface and loads of fun.

In Bionic Dues you get to controll bionic Mechs, you can switch between several different classes during a mission to utilize their strenghts.

-The fights are as fast as you want them (they are turn based)
-Heaps of customization options for your Mechs which greatly change the gameplay. Find or buy new items.
-Nice music!
-Randomness (MOAR replayability)
-Low price
-Several types of missions
-Funny!

a BIG + /recommendation from me
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
18.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
Great little game - had my first final assault today and my tactics worked ( I nearly had no opponents as I could destroy them in some earlier mission ). It might be that the endgame is too easy but I'll have to play again until the end to see that.
I really like random equipment and the epic advancement made me grin a lot!
I sometimes had more fun equipping my exos than fighting with them.

I don't know how good the replayability will be, and if the map changes with each game, but i'll give it a try.
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