A fast paced FPS with an engrossing storyline written by cult Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre. You play Heather Quinn aka “Athena” trapped in a world of video games, desperate to find a way back home. Will you make it? Or will you be trapped here forever? Here's where you find out..
User reviews: Very Positive (164 reviews) - 85% of the 164 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 13, 2015

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Recommended By Curators

"Awesome concept, solid gameplay and an ambitious premise. Keep an eye on this, but even in it's current state it's a blast. Solid feel and controls too."
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Recent updates View all (104)

November 4



  • Fixed issue that could cause dialogue to be skipped on Rescue Run
  • Fixed an issue where mirror shader on Alive1 would appear black
  • Fixed occasional issue that could result in player dying while transitioning into next level
  • Fixed checkpoints status not being saved correctly on Planetfire: Ascension

1 comments Read more

October 9



  • Improved level loading process to reduce memory usage when transitioning between large scenes
  • Fixed some unpredictable behaviour when restoring a saved game on Mac
  • Many visual improvements to Death or Glory levels
  • Many visual improvements to Age of Attrition level
  • Various tweaks and improvements to NPC behaviour

1 comments Read more

About This Game


Bedlam is a unique FPS game based on a novel of the same name by cult Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre.

Pitched as a shooter for those who survived online gaming in the 80s and 90s, Bedlam takes a look through an iconic time in online gaming and serves up some authentic gaming nostalgia with up-to-date graphics and gaming features. Bedlam is set entirely in the first-person but will explore other game genres from a first-person perspective.

In the game you play Heather Quinn (aka Athena) a colleague of Ross Baker (aka Bedlam). Heather is an overworked and underpaid scientist developing medical technology for corporate giant Neurosphere. One rainy Monday morning Heather volunteers as a test candidate for the new Neurosphere brain scanning tech - anything to get out of the office for a few hours.

But when she gets out of the scanner she discovers she's not only escaped the office, but possibly escaped real life for good! Heather finds herself trapped in Starfire - the violent sci-fi game she spent her teenage years playing - with no explanation, no backup and, most terrifyingly, no way out!

Join us in Early Access and get ready to unleash BEDLAM.

The description below was written by Christopher Brookmyre for the release of the novel in 2013

Heaven is a prison. Hell is a playground.

Would it be your ultimate fantasy to enter the world of a video game?

A realm where you don’t have to go to work or worry about your health; where you can look like a hero or a goddess; where you can fly space-ships, slay dragons, visit any period in history, any realm in fiction, yet all of it feels completely real. A realm where there are no consequences and no responsibilities, to the extent that even if you die, you can just respawn and start again.

Or would it be your worst nightmare?

Trapped in a place where every demon ever conjured by the human mind can be made flesh. Cut off from the real world, unable to see your family or friends ever again. Stuck in an endless state of war and chaos where the pain and fear feels real and from which not even death can offer an escape.

Prison or playground. Heaven or hell.

This is where you find out

Check out the first hands on preview of Bedlam by Rock, Paper, Shotgun: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/07/25/bedlam-game/

One of the first Bedlam play thru's by Jim Sterling of The Escapist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jutpej9ZcyM
And coverage about our female lead character Heather Quinn by BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-27695235

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: Dual Core 2Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any DirectX 9 level (shader model 2.0) capable card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any DirectX Compatible
    • OS: Windows 7 or later
    • Processor: Quad Core 3.5Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any DirectX10 capable card.
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any DirectX Compatible
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
    • Processor: Dual Core 2Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any DirectX 9 level (shader model 2.0) capable card
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
    • Processor: Quad Core 3.5Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Any DirectX10 capable card.
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
Helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
4/5 for Indie - Good game and quite creative! A wee bit uneven on the difficulty curve and can be a bit tedious, but worth finishing. I'd probably be a little ticked about value for money if I'd paid full price, so definitely recommend this at the $10 or less price point.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 30
A lot of Bedlam is fascinating, and no matter how much I’m about to denounce the way it has been made manifest, I have to give credit to it; the protagonist and her dialogue and voice acting are stellar and stand outs in recent memory as one of the most exemplary way to approach self-aware snarky and tongue in cheek humour pertaining to the medium. Unlike other games that force screwball jokes and pop culture gags at you non-stop in hoping one will connect, Bedlam’s writing is paced and delivered in a way that simultaneously breaks the fourth wall and, with some nerd culture fetishism moments as exceptions, rarely seems gauche or irritating for it. The quips are sharp, the delivery tends to be dry and sarcastic, and Athena’s Scottish accent is the perfect vessel for the tonal quality of the dialogue.

The narrative concept itself as well is inventive and refreshing: a woman is essentially trapped within a videogame realm and has to make her way out, traversing through chronologies that span from pac man to quake to call of duty and so on in non-linear fashion as she enters glitch portals and attempts to find a way out of the whole mess. Each environment is given its own respective flavor in the gameplay, which plays like a straight health-and-ammo FPS, and as you continue through the game the graphics, armament and level design takes cues from their respective influences. It’s all very clever conceptually and one can easily see how it was loosely sourced from a novel given that the best aspects are all writerly above all else.

Now, this is fundamentally Bedlam’s issue: the gameplay itself starts off dubious albeit charming and slowly degrades as the levels continue, which is an incredibly bad sign when the game is about four hours long if that. Starting with the Quake styled segments, the AI is predictably poor, the levels are comprised of ugly jarring blocky visuals, and you’re treated to the standard weaponry of an FPS of that era, and with it very antiquated gunplay and design choices. While you may expect that as it progresses it’d use some of that wit to muck about with all the stylistic notions of each sub-genre, that never seems to really happen dynamically. Instead, next-off you’re treated to a generic WWII level where enemies respawn ad infinitum and have impossibly precise aim following the initial segments of the game. While I think you could argue there’s a level of acknowledgement in the fact that these levels carry every irritant and flaw that those that influenced them did, none of the gameplay is on par with any of those games regardless. So while it’s clever that you’re fighting off hordes of faceless endless nazis, it’s utilized to no end, and more so, these notions of era-specific developments in gameplay are soured when you’re still finding keys and doing other aggrivating tasks that clearly bleed in from an entirely different era of FPS, making the homages often slight and underwhelming, arguably lazy.

As the game progresses the design seems to get sloppier and sloppier, with a Half Life 2 influenced sewer level rife with zombies being nothing more than an exercise in turning up the gamma and running around for a few minutes before you’re again treated to archaic wave-defense nonsense where you deal with dozens of these enemies in an environment that couldn’t be designed by anyone with even the most remote enthusiasm. Follow this up with a first person Pac Man segment that couldn’t be more ♥♥♥♥ing irritating if you designed it by committee and you start to realize that none of the potential Bedlam had is going to be lived up to, because the gameplay design simply isn’t up to par on any level. What initially seem like intentional flaws localized to the subject of the game’s mockery ends up being the actual game’s content itself, which undercuts the premise more and more throughout the game’s incredibly brief runtime, worse still, it’s also made clear that novelty has more prominence than anything else, and a majority of the game’s decisions simply do not function as enjoyable or challenging or nuanced mechanical endeavors but as nostalgia trip throwbacks intended to get you to nod your head saying “oh oh, I remember that!” more than anything else, which is frustrating as can be when every game parodied is better than Bedlam’s content by a country mile. The dialogue gets more scarce as it goes, and though it’s still witty and charming to the end, the pacing and narrative are completely jarring and no amount of even remote contextual coherency is present to the point where each segment is like a demo vignette from an alpha model that never got finished or bridged adequately and ends up being reliant not on gameplay or writing, but elbowing the player into projecting their own familiarity with the reference points onto the game itself in hopes that it’ll make up for the lack of nearly anything playable. More than explicitly terrible, though a lot of the gameplay is exactly that, Bedlam as a whole feels like it just came out in early access; a thousand errant ideas that are in need of touch up and tuning but could very well be, with very minor edits in some cases, a light and witty take on what is clearly a beloved history for the developers coupled with a meta-narrative that serviceably prods the game along.

As it stands Bedlam is a game that almost certainly was never completed nor created by a team capable of making a game that could stand on its own two legs. It has many admirable aspects, but I almost wonder if those are all in debt to the novelization, the writers who adapted it, and the brilliant voice work, because nothing else stands out in any way and if it didn’t play off nostalgia so heavily the game wouldn’t have an audience at all. It’s unfortunate, because what works really really works, and there are times I was beaming at the screen, surprised a game could be genuinely funny so consistently while accurately capturing a cultural moment in time that I can identify with thoroughly, but what doesn’t work is lazy, boring and insipid and that’s in no part due to the reference points, it’s all Bedlam. Maybe if the budget was higher and the game wasn’t rushed out despite being a demo reel at best you’d be reading a much different opinion but as a finalized product Bedlam is as frustrating as it is fascinating, unable to achieve greatness, but all too aware that it could've.

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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
The only thing that ♥♥♥♥ me off that is this game only long 10 hour playing medium main story of crazy or padory combination ... !
9/10 !
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52 of 64 people (81%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 13
Early Access Review
I never laughed so much while playing a video game. Here in this little piece of art you'll find so many references to other games and game modes, I haven't expected this at all when I first saw the screenshots. Don't let the graphics scare yourself off, they are part of the game at the beginning and might let you feel like you're back in the nineties.

The concept is very unique; a bit RPG here, some retro arcade games there, all the references and that filled with funny dialogues and from time to time good music. While you're hooping from one gameworld to another the graphic improves while everything else will stay the same: Shooting and smashing yourself through a horde of different enemies with all the weapons you're able to find in the previous worlds and try to find a way out of the missery your character is in.

The ending though really strained my nerves. The game begun to stutter caused from many enemies that spawned, often resulted in a gamecrash. It's still in the early access so I hope this will get some improvements.

I really enjoyed the game and felt often reminded to the games I played back in the days. It took me around 5.6 hours to beat the game 100% but it was absolutly worth my time.

Get it while it's in a sale or in a bundle and you won't regret anything!

Personal rating:

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40 of 60 people (67%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
The short: While the core ideas are great, the uninteresting and uninspired environments, terrible gunplay which never improves, ridiculously accurate and frustrating omniscient AI, and lousy jumping puzzles in a game that is incompetent at platforming, all add up to a tedious and frustrating game experience.

The long:

I really, really wanted to like this game. The idea of going on a journey through the history of gaming within a game is great and one of the reasons I loved the first 3/4 of Evoland, before it became victim itself to the genre characteristics it strove to make fun of (RPGs). This romp-through-gaming-history is what also drew me to Bedlam. Here however, the genres being mocked are early FPS games, which I thought for certain had to be less tedious than the latter parts of Evoland when it reduced down to a grindy RPG. However, the great premise, witty humor and writing in the early parts of the game, and even the Scottish female protagonist could not save Bedlam devolving into yet another exercise in tedium.

The graphics and gunplay in the early part of the game is very basic, but the humor of the situation and the voice exchanges between the protagonist and other game characters were enough to keep me amused and interested to see where things would go. However, after trudging through the levels of this first 'FPS universe', it quickly became apparent that I would have to struggle through the tedious combat and uninspired game environments for longer than I would have liked.

The second game world that is explored in Bedlam seems even less interesting than the first. Lots of buildings and streets full of nothing but empty cloned rooms and textures. The only thing really occupying this world is the AI opponents - which themselves are also boring and repetitive.

Speaking of AI, let me just say this. At all times, as long as you are within a certain radius of the enemies, they will know exactly where you are, even if that happens to be up 3 flights of stairs or behind cover. They are also incredible marksmen and will never miss a target if it stands still for even a split second. This grew annoying very quickly, and while I kept hope that this game logic was just a way to mock early AI systems, nothing in Bedlam's core game behavior ever changed. Things actually get progressively worse as the enemies gain access to better weapons.

Oh and about those weapons! Alright, don't let anyone tell you there is no such thing as having too many weapons. This game proves that, beyond a doubt, you should not have access to every weapon you've come across at any point in time. Not only is it terribly difficult to choose a weapon in later stages of Bedlam due to the overwhelming number you have (especially using a mouse wheel), it is also terribly confusing as to which weapons are more or less powerful than one another. The developers could have easily remedied this situation by restricting access to weapons that are available on any given game 'universe', or at least removing ones that are similar in power to one another.

And now back to the game universes.. I wish I could say that the game worlds that Bedlam visits improve in design, or that the FPS gameplay itself improves, but that would be a lie. Okay, the one 'low gravity' Unreal-Tournament-inspired level was a bit of fun to play, and actually quite hilarious as the voices of angry teens mocked or reacted to my actions. I'd also give props to the 3D PacMan-inspired level if it was actually any fun to play, but it and the Space Invaders level just feel like early unfinished prototypes that were shoehorned in and wind up feeling just like filler. Luckily those two non-canon (FPS-wise) levels are over rather quickly.

The game world that annoyed me the most would probably have to be the 'void' that lay outside of all the game universes you visit. Its this weird fractured landscape that introduces platform jumping puzzles, and really shines a light on just how bad such a thing is inside an FPS game. Sure, there are probably one or two first person games that do this relatively well, but they are the exceptions to a rule. However, Bedlam goes one step further here by introducing a delay between the button-press and the actual jump. Yes, the character actually takes one extra step before jumping, which meant a lot of falling off obstacles to my death. It wouldn't be so bad if this was done only once or twice in the game, or it didn't reset to the beginning of the level, but unfortunately this mechanic is used and reused and becomes a major problem especially on the final levels. Learn to save often if you find yourself braving these areas of the game!

Alas, there's not much saving grace for Bedlam. It has a fun concept. It has good writing and humor in early parts of the game. It has a fairly decent voice actress. And it has one fun level. That's it. Terrible gunplay, AI, level design, and yes jumping puzzles all hamper the experience and make it an overly tedious and frustrating game to play. I'd suggest saving your money or buying this at a discount.
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