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: Mostly Positive (567 reviews) - 78% of the 567 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 8, 2013

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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.
    • Storage: 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.
    • Storage: 300 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
19 of 26 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 8, 2015
If you like the titles of roguelike, Bionic Dues is the game for you. Fans will enjoy a tactical game in general, and those who appreciate the title of "reusable". Due to its complexity, well-implemented randomness and the ability to set your own team, Bionic Dues is a game that will not soon begin to bore its repeatability.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2015
On first impressions when I started playing this game, I wasn't too impressed. The difficulty seemed all over the place, there were a lot of numbers and stats everywhere, and things were confusing. But, if you stay on and keep playing, you eventually start to get a hang of it. There is a bit of a learning curve here, but the game has a very nice tactical depth to it and can be loads of fun.

Upon starting a new game, you get to select your preferred pilot and 4 mechs/exosuits. Each pilot has a bonus perk of some sort, and each mech has its own strengths and weaknesses, some being more offensively based, others more to do with support stuff, like hacking and stealth. So it's up to you to pick your preferred team.

The campaign itself has a simple concept - a robot army is going to attack your HQ in 50 days. Do whatever you can to prepare yourself for this attack. Each mission you do in the city counts as a day. You can go for missions where you find shiny new gear for your mechs to make them stronger, or you can go for missions which weaken the enemy and slow their expansion. The best thing is, you can see on a side of a screen the details of what units currently comprise the enemy army, so you can see how it is affected after every mission you do.

The missions themselves take a form of a randomly-generated dungeon with tile-based movement. You can swap between your mechs at will, but doing so counts as a turn, so you have to be very careful in your advance. It is very easy to make a wrong move and to have several enemies on you at once. Both, your units and enemy units, might feel like glass cannons. You could kill an enemy in 1-2 shots, but so can they! So you have to utilise tactics to outsmart them - use range or perhaps area of effect weapons, or even just pull back and surprise them around the corner. You can even deploy sentry turrets to help you in firefights if you've got any available.

And in between missions you can customize your mechs with the loot found. The customization is very rich and detailed. Each mech has several slots where gear can fit in, ranging from weapons, to shields, to propulsion systems. It can feel overwhelming at first because there are a lot of things on the screen, but you do get used to it, and everything in the game has a description if you're unsure what something is.

Speaking of descriptions, they're fantastic. Everything has an edge of humour in it. When you hover over an enemy, an object, or anything else in-game, you see a bit of funny flavour text about it.

The music is also amazing. I first got interested in the game when I've heard its main theme, which is very beautiful with great vocals, but even the tracks that play during missions are also great.

I've been enjoying the game so far and started a new campaign already. I would highly suggest to play the first game on an Easy or Casual difficulty level to get familiar with the game. After that, the higher difficulty levels don't seem as bad anymore.

Great game. Highly recommended for fans of tactics-based games.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
135.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
I really like this.

From the turn based tactics of the cerebral combat, to the loot grind of the meta game, the game just keeps me coming back for more. Perhaps my favourite Arcen title to date (toss up with AI War). Play slowly on a difficult game or just blast through on a more forgiving level; all play styles are accounted for. Go with stealth, science, sniping, traps, or just blow the ♥♥♥♥ out of everything. Great stuff.

9/10
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2015
Sci-fi roguelike, but more accessible than some of the more hardcore ones. Quite dense at the start, but becomes easier as you play more. There is a save option (which can be turned off), so it is possible to load after a really bad run. Pretty fun for a while, but end game gets repetative.

Pros:
- Very clear tutorial and tooltips making it easy to learn
- Save option
- Sci-fi setting

Cons:
- graphics are a bit dull, different units all look too similar
- soundtrack can get repetative
- Lack of veriety
- Endgame

Fun for a few hours, but don't expect to spend 100s on this one. Recommended.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
66.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 27
Bionic Dues is one of Arcen's many cross-genere forays into the gaming market, this time coming up with a rather compelling turn based roguelike hybrid. Bionic Dues is what you'd get if you crossed a traditional Roguelike with FTL and then baked in the theme of Mechwarrior. What comes out is a mixture of RPG-like progression and turnbased tactics layered ontop of a strategy meta-game that provides a high level of replayability between campaigns.

In Bionic Dues you command a 'team' of four Exos (mechs), each with their own weaponry systems and specializations that can be further customized by acquiring loot from winning missions or finding/hacking chests. The caveat to this 'team' is that you can only pilot one of your Exos at a time, but can switch between them at any time during the missions.

Before the game starts you choose up to 4 Exos from a pool of 6 types, and then pick your commander who will provide a unique tactical advantage which will drastically change how you play the game. All of this is wrapped up into an FTL style mission selector which will give you some choice as to how your path through the game progresses, and ultimately help you stave off defeat. Losing a mission or a unit does not necessarily mean the end of the game either as traditional roguelike permadeath is optional, which is what really allows the campaign metagame to shine.

Each mission you embark on has its own objectives and unique attributes, your goals range from kill all the enemies to destroy certain targets, to simply just evade and escape in time. In one mission type, all of the cover is rigged to explode when destroyed, knowing this and using it to your advantage to take down enemies you couldnt easily kill otherwise is just one useful strategy to employ against an overwhelming force. There are roughly 20+ different mission varieties as well, and choosing which ones to embark on between re-fitting your Exos is critical to your success.

If you try going head to head with the enemy in this game without realizing their weaknesses, or your own strengths, you're almost certain to be in for a rough time. Understanding the quirks of each of the 45+ different enemies, how they move, shoot, and affect other enemy units; all of that is necessary for survival. Once you understand a few of the game's less well-explained quirks, you begin to realize just how much depth there is to the combat. The sheer amount of unique enemies can be a little daunting at first and some combinations can lead to complicated and outright unfair or impossible situations.

One example of this is that early on in the game there are enemy bots which will one-shot you with their explosive missile weapons. After a few missions into the game they will probably begin to out-range you too and can kill you in a single shot. Ontop of that they have shields that would deplete a sizeable chunk of your ammo supply to destroy, if you could survive that many turns to kill them. Thankfully they have very little ammunition (unless an ammo bot is nearby) but are not always the best shot. This type of enemy can be dealt with in multiple ways: a long range Exo, a stealth unit thats immune to splash damage (but not direct hits such as the Ninja), one capable of shooting around corners with splash damage, even detonating obstacles or certain enemy bots nearby. Thats not to mention mines, sentries, or simply just stealthing past it.

Pros:
- Procedurally generated map and mission layouts.
- Huge variety of enemies (Changes with each new game)
- Wide variety tactics to use, if you're creative enough.
- 6 different Exos, 6 commanders, and 6 difficulty levels.
- Loot system allows you to customize aspects of your units.
- Large number of mission types with different rewards.

Cons:
- Too many enemies can make missions drag on a little sometimes.
- Inconsistent difficulty based on starting choice and random factors.
- Randomized enemy deployment can lead to unfair combinations.
- Can easily spend too much time on the Exo customization screen.
- Level design and aesthetic feels a bit bland and samey after awhile.

Conclusion:
Arcen has done a good job with Bionic Dues, but its not without a few pitfalls; the sheer variety of enemies, interactions, and range of difficulty levels can lead to inconsistent experiences between games. New players have a lot to learn and will need to pay attention to enemy sensor and weapon ranges as well as learn to use the environment, mission types, and ground-targeting to their advantage. Using sensors to provoke enemies and lure them to you in the right order, and employing the Science Exo's EMP pistol (which does not use up a turn) to disable enemy movement and block hallways can be the difference between success and failure.
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