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 (170 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."
Read the full review here.

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

PC
Mac
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
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
63.8 hrs on record
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.
Posted: September 27
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15.3 hrs on record
Ok, while this was a rocky road to start, don't be fooled. When I first picked this game up, it was confusing, and rather intimidating. The tutorial, while helpful, was not as informative as it probably could have been. Adjusting the difficulty of the game, you will find a wash of text information that not only doesn't make any sense, but really won't make sense till you actually get into the game, so I just recommend starting on normal so you can experience some challenge, and some life lessons that the easier difficulties will probably not provide. Unfortunately, alot of the mechanics of the game are hidden, much the same as many Rogue-likes in the genre.

Bionic Dues places humanity (in a city) on the brink of extinction. You are the last suriving folks in a quarentined city. You are also made fully aware in the first minute of the game, that the government is going to glass the city (bomb it to crap) to kill the out of control infected robot invasion menace (you included). You are placed in an overworld map, and a variety of missions will spawn around you. This layout changes with every game, so don't expect to plan your routes.

You will find when you first start the game, that there are alot of mysteries as to why the game is so damn difficult. But after you start to figure out the mechanics of the game you will make more and more progress. The issue is, that with every mission you take on, fail or succeed, the monsters of the game level up and grow in number. This can be frustrating, but stick with it, it gets ALOT better.

Every monster in the game has a unique personality, that when properly exploited, will spell the only real way to succeed in the harder difficulties. A mission can still be finished with lack luster gear, if the proper enemies are present, and properly manipulated. Granted, equipment, the proper enemy spawns, and level layout, are random, so no gaurantee that the moons will align. Be sure to save often, it is a total lifeline.

Unfortunately for my gameplay experience, when I figured out how the game worked, the normal difficulty was a simple steam rolling session of success after success after success, minus a few situations that totally screwed me. The early portion of the game is most certainly difficult. The slightest mistake can end with one if not two of your Exo's being destroyed instantly. But later on, your Exo's can take so much damage, that it they are comparable to some of the boss monsters in the game. Don't get me wrong, even when you get that powerful, things can still happen that can shaft you, at least that remains consistent.

Bottom line though, this game will easily give you hours of entertainment. The game is incredibly fun, surprisingly deep, and should give quite the lengthy playtime if you like challenging yourself with the levels of diffiuclty (misery being the real way to play the game) I do recommend this. Its got a little strategy, its got alot of random chance, and given the mechanics, it can either be easy, or challenging based on your preferences. Definitely worth the investment of time and money.
Posted: September 25
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1.9 hrs on record
So many ways to start the game funny robots blowing each other up and stuff always bring the towel pilot he is a cool guy!

I never successfully beat a whole campaign from start to finish because i walk into a roo unprepared for bots with rockets ready to suicide bomb me and themselves.

All in all you should pick thisup its like a tactical mech random dungeon crawler each dungeon or mission has it's own objective depending on what youchose to do to prepar e your self for the robot onslaught that your trying to prepare for.
Posted: September 25
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30.9 hrs on record
Very entertaining turn-base RPG and the soundtrack is awesome.
Posted: October 14
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50 of 71 people (70%) found this review helpful
24.1 hrs on record
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.
Posted: June 22
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
12.7 hrs on record
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.
Posted: July 19
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
18.8 hrs on record
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.
Posted: May 30
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17 of 30 people (57%) found this review helpful
23.3 hrs on record
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 ^-^
Posted: August 7
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12 of 22 people (55%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Didn't like it as much as I thought I would. It's a turnbased strategy game with mechs where you have 50 days to prepare against unevitable doom by completeling randomly generated missions. The concept is awesome which is to be expected from Arcen Games.

The main problem I had was that the missions felt kindof like a slog and a bit samey. The combat was also pretty cutthroat. You'll usually kill the enemy in one hit and they can do the same thing to you which sounds interesting but I didn't happen to like it afterwards. In most cases you'll blow through the levels killing everything in your path and if you make one misstep, you can die. This is probably done to make the levels seem challenging but it didn't really end up that way.

I'm not sure how I'd change it to make the game more enjoyable for me. I was thinking about making the combat less binary by buffing the health of you and your enemies. Maybe instead of having one mech on the field that you can switch out, you could have a group of mechs on the field. Maybe I would've like a more "classic" strategy RPG leveling up system where you unlock skills by leveling up. It's a bit strange really. Arcen Games removed the slow grindy bits of an S-RPG but in hindsight I actually liked those slow grindy bits.
Posted: May 1
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14 of 26 people (54%) found this review helpful
21.9 hrs on record
If you take out all of the human precision and care that goes into crafting a well-balanced tactical game and replace it all with procedurally generated hocus-pocus, you have Bionic Dues, a shining example of how NOT to do a game like this.

For the sake of this review, I'm going to pretend that there aren't people on Steam who will try to act tough and say that beating a game that generates everything completely at random is based on some sort of "skill" or "good judgment". There's the power of decision making, and then there's just plain ol' being outmatched by a robot that leveled up several times more than your randomly-generated loot chest equipment can possibly hope to combat.

No, there's good decision making, and then there's numbers. Tactical games have always been about numbers. They have always been about well-crafted maps with careful enemy placement as much as they have been about intelligent team setup supported by guaranteed available items in shops (because the game knows you will need them). Bionic Dues does none of this. Bionic Dues generates all of the maps and the enemies that are placed into them with a computer algorithm. It generates which combinations of enemies will be in a map with a computer algorithm. It generates what level those enemies will be with a computer algorithm. Need to outfit your team in order to survive? Too bad. Bionic Dues also generates the items available in the shop with a computer algorithm. Basically, EVERYTHING is generated almost entirely at random. And as much as I'd like to believe that the computer procedures used in the generation of everything in this game are as intelligent and discerning as a human being... they're not.

If you like to sit at a table and roll dice over and over again until you get a certain number, this game might be for you. Yeah, sure, delude yourself into thinking that there is some kind of decision you can make that will mystically cause your severely under-equipped robot to beat a hulking level 7 DoomBot - it seems to be what "roguelike" fans tend to do so they can convince themselves that everything they accomplished in a playthrough was totally the product of their skill. Is this game possible? Sure. I'm just so not afraid to say it straight: this game is absurdly random. It is a total crapshoot what items I will get, meaning it's a total crapshoot how powerful I will be, and it's a total crapshoot how the enemies will level up, meaning it's a total crapshoot whether or not I will beat them. The game is a total crapshoot. But like I said, some people like sitting at a table rolling dice over and over again until they get a certain number. Some people like crap(s).

P.S. Please, really don't try to say that this review is because I can't handle the game. I've beaten the game 3 times on Expert and destroyed 100 enemies in a single shot. That is so not the issue. Only somebody extremely near-sighted bases their opinions on whether or not they can beat a game. This game is not good. It is an awful representation of tactical games. The tactical game genre should be ashamed of this game, it's giving the genre a bad name.
Posted: June 18
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
90.2 hrs on record
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!
Posted: September 22
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
This looked like a fairly old school style of 2D turn based mech combat game in a simple table top arcade style, but with some decent refinements. I got this in a bundle deal, so yeah, it cost me about nothing. I wasn't especially interested in this title, but gave it a try, and hey it has cards ;)

The first time or two that I tried it out I didn't find it very engaging. The menus could be better, and the learning curve is rough at first. The graphics are not expected to be fancy in this sort of game and they aren't, but they aren't bad and in an arcade time killer like this it's the gameplay that counts, and it has excellent depth, challenge and balance once you begin to get attuned to it. The music isn't bad, and the theme is pretty catchy in a Japanese arcade kind of way.

You choose missions from a map, and prep for each mission by choosing a pilot and 4 (out of 6) of your exo-suits, which you customize before each mission. In missions you can switch between suits at any time at the cost of one turn, and the mission fails if you manage to wreck all of your suits. Customizing the exo's is fun as you find loot and upgrades along the way, and can spend loot at the upgrade store which also gets in new items of course.

You definitely can't just plow your way through this one. There are plenty of firefights, but it's more like a chess game at times. You might find health or ammo during a mission, but it's rare, so you're forced to choose which of your suits could best use it to get the particular mission done.

Not gonna be anyone's main game, but like I said; pretty fun, challenging, cheap, time killer, trading cards and shades of Jpop.

Posted: June 24
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
42.4 hrs on record
Fantastic turn based tactical with all the loot drops you could want.
Even if it's not your normal favourite genre, buy it for the intro music alone. It's awesome!!
Posted: May 31
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Got it for free, still not worth it...
Posted: June 24
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
So, first, let me say that I have only played about a half an hour of this game, but I love it. The gameplay is awesome, and it feels great to upgrade your bots, and it is really nice to pass through levels. The graphics are a really cool artsy style, and it looks very modern. One giant thing that I love about the game is how easy it is to pick up for a beginner. I have never played a game about this before, and it only took about 10 mins to get started and in the game. I am having a load of fun. Also, it runs on Linux, which is really nice. Also, I got to purchase the game directly from one of the devs at Denver Comicon, so that was cool.
Posted: June 16
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
158.6 hrs on record
BUY THIS!!!!!

Roguelite (but you can make it 100% roguelike via options on game creation, or not at all if you prefer!)

Very fun and challenging, almost no 'i died because of rng' moments

The developers and the company are amazing, support this game!

EDIT: There is an ironman mode as well as sever other available difficulty enhancing modes in addition to having a base difficulty for casual or serious roguelike fans
Posted: August 26
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1 of 5 people (20%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
junk
Posted: August 27
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0 of 6 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
It's a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥! Give me my money back!
Posted: September 24
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1.6 hrs on record
An interesting game. It combines random dungeons, rogue style combat (enemies move when you move and line of site being important), and intense difficult. You use 4 different mechs to make your way through difficult levels to achive various goals, each mech having various abilities.

Only downside is that while the enemies level up from area to area, you do not and have to rely on equipment to improve your stats, so if you dont find some good loot, your totaly boned.
Posted: June 23
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1.1 hrs on record
The combat was pretty fun, and unlocking stuff with Science points.

Thank you for the Linux games Arcen!
Posted: July 28
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