[Updated on 4.28.16] BEDLAM is a strategic turn-based strategy game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Now with more battle strategy!!
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (564 reviews) - 66% of the 564 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 16, 2015

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Recent updates View all (24)

May 3

Update 3.10 and Mac EXE Fix

Hello All!

Happy to share that REDUX! update 3.10 is going well with some great feedback so far. We'd love to have you all please let us know what you think in the Steam forums. As you may have guessed by now, your feedback and comments are critical in helping us tweak the game. Keep those suggestions and ideas coming!

We're also proud to share that the missing EXE issue that some OSX users were having looks to have been fixed. Huge thanks to the folks at Valve for helping get that problem fixed for our users.

A very special thank you to all of you folks who have been playing the game and giving us feedback since launch. Enjoy REDUX! 3.10!

--Skyshine

0 comments Read more

April 28

Update 3.10 is now live!

We spent the last month and made battles even more strategic!

Battle changes

  • The Enemy can now use equalizer and weapons on player after minimum of 4 battles
  • You control how the Veteran and Elite units level up!
  • Some Equalizers now cost meat or crude, no more power cell grinding!
  • Corrected mutant and cyborg starting health
  • Blitz happens every five turns, in Arcade mode
  • Exploding barrels on some battlefields! (8 damage with 3 tile radius)
  • Frontliners now have passive shield allies ability!
  • Adjusted Frontliner health to account for them being cover providers
  • Adjusted size and layout of some battlefields.
  • Enemy Rogue A.I. either use deflect ability or invisibility every 4th turn
  • Marauders now have 'rage' every 3rd turn. 80% chance of higher damage attack
  • Recruit a new unit when you have depleted a class type!
  • Most Elites unites now have an A.O.E attached to their attack
  • Improved A.I. (they walk less into your range of attack at higher threat levels)
  • Increased crude and meat payout upon victory in campaign mode
  • Equalizers now only affect the selected player instead of whole team. A hidden feature: if one of your units is 1 unit away, it affects them as well!

UI updates
  • Now show Meat and Crude in battle hud
  • Added 'Cancel' text to weapon hud icons during deploy
  • Clarified campaign progress text in appropate events
  • Added more info to weapons descriptions

18 comments Read more

Reviews

“You'll find that Bedlam faithfully recreates the feeling of Mad Max... It feels like a world gone mad, where anything can happen, and chaos reigns. Only your ability to adapt to the chaos will allow you to survive this wasteland.”
4/5 – The Escapist

“Skyshine’s Bedlam is without a doubt a game tactical RPG fans should pick up.”
86/100 – Mouse N Joypad

“Skyshine’s Bedlam improves upon the concept pioneered by The Oregon Trail, where players lead a caravan across a barbaric landscape, managing resources and facing random calamities and confrontations. While you may not die from dysentery in this vivid apocalypse, mutants, cyborgs, and flesh-rotting fruit fulfill that role in and out of combat.”
4.5/5 – We Got This Covered

About This Game

"I haven’t seen a better looking game this year." - Rock, Paper, Shotgun

You are the Mechanic, the last known member of a once-thriving guild of brilliant operators of the rolling fortresses called Dozers. You are in charge of commanding your crew in battles, managing your resources, improving your Dozer, interacting with various characters, and protecting your passengers while navigating through the post-apocalyptic wasteland.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP3
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (564 reviews)
Recently Posted
Berserkis
( 15.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
Banner Saga combat system (with its own tweaks) + FTL like campaign. The updates have definitely helped improve the game in every aspect. It's not quite as good as either Banner Saga or FTL but it is worth checking out.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bardcore
( 10.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 21
When it launched it was flawed, when it was remade the first time it was over appeasing to its critics, but the THID time around? Great game! I wish the steam reviews would reflect its current state instead of its turbulent history. Not many games can say they've put in this much work following launch, and few can say that the work they have done has been entirely feedback driven.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Veragoot
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 17
Don't get me wrong, Bedlam has a lot of great features that usually make for a really great TBS game. In fact, I like a lot of the game's mechanics and think that they are a refreshing new twist on the genre. The art isn't gorgeous, but it's unique and stylized and I appreciate that. The theming and worldbuilding of the writers is also very strong and it's nice to see that in a modern game.

But.

This game is far from being recommendable to anyone for one glaring, fundamental problem. This game's balance is insanely off kilter. A TBS RPG generally rewards you for making characters stronger as you go along by making battles less fatal for your units, but still maintaining challenge by ramping enemy strength alongside your own strength. This game ramps encounters based on in game days gone by, however, not based on the strength of your team. Alone, this wouldn't be an issue because it just means you can't ♥♥♥♥ around trying to train everyone to be a murder machine and instead have to continually move forward or eventually get to a point where you can't even put up a fight because the odds are so stacked against you. But it's not alone. Alongside this is the 3 kills to level system. Even with just these two, it wouldn't be an issue because you could adapt the enemies to be plentiful and easy to kill at first. But that's the issue here. The game doesn't scale battles by scaling enemy abilities much, but by scaling the amount of enemies you face in a given battle. What this means then, is that there are really no "cannon fodder" enemies to feed to your rookies to strengthen them up. "Easy" battles are just battles where you don't fight a lot of enemies or any unique enemies. This is where I think Bedlam suffers the most. Because there's simply no way to start a game with all rookies and level up any of them to a decent level for the ramping challenges of the game. The difficulty gauge increases far faster than your squad does in strength, and while you start off fighting laughably easy battles, you will very quickly become outmanned and outgunned and face an early grave in the wastes of Bedlam. I do not recommend this game for any price as in its current state, the game's flow is incredibly off. So while mechanically speaking, this game is very well put together, from a battle design standpoint it is sloppy and requires the devs to start collecting some playtest data from test groups rather than the majority of unfocused and unhelpful Steam reviews. I sincerely hope I can come back to this game one day and have fun with it. But right now, the difficulty of this game simply does not match the abilities of the player or even the characters themselves.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
EternaTea
( 5.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 14
Check the hours of most of the people who've reviewed Bedlam. Even a majority of the players who recommend have never beat the game, or even played for more than a few hours. Even the people crying "omgeezles, they fixed all the things I hated about this game" have mostly never finished a single playthrough. There's a reason for that. Well, there are several reasons for that:

Most of the time, the combat feels like an exercise in futility. It's just a touch more frustrating than a lot of other difficult games, tactical games, whatever. The RNG doesn't just dominate combat, though, it also dominates your resource gathering, and your resources are essential for fights, especially as you progress and the game becomes more difficult. The problem there, is that those resources are also used to drive your vehicle across Bedlam, and to heal party members outside of combat. And in combat. There are only three resource types (food, crude and power cells), and they are utilized by far too many different mechanics.

Run out of any one of the three, and you might as well call it a day. No food, and your party members will soon die. No oil, and your vehicle will immediately stall out. Either of these is a game ender. The power cells, not as much, it just means you can't use your bigger crowd control abilities, which pretty much guarantees a loss in late-game combat when every fight puts you up against big odds. Well, except that you also have to use the cells to upgrade functionality on your vehicle, effectively requiring you to spend more combat-necessary resources just to try and save resources to keep driving. To gather resources, you have to hit up hubs and side-quests. Which costs resources. And, the more time you spend driving from place to place, the more the difficulty increases. And the difficulty scales very quickly, while your resource gain mostly stays the same.

I could put up with those frustrations, if the combat weren't also boring. The tactical aspect of this game is very limited, the battlefields are cramped, and there is extremely limited cover. Sure, you can plan some to get around it, but it mostly requires you to group up your characters to share cover, provide cover for one another, or share a heal or shields between them. Which is suicide, late game. Acid attacks will splash, shotguns will splash, your enemies will use grenades and bombs and more to drive you apart. The maps that aren't basically narrow tunnels are even worse, because you will run in to the borders of the map with no warning. You don't see them until you've already moved too close, and cornered a character.

The lore is interesting, but not deep. The writing is pretty good, but not worth putting up with the lackluster gameplay. There just isn't enough of it. You'll find yourself running in to the same story choices again and again, and they are typically just a few screens with a paragraph or three of dialogue. For reference: You can finish a single campaign in about 7 hours. There are 5 playable factions. But, everything is so asimilar and simple that it doesn't really expand the game any. Again, look at the other reviews. I've only seen a handful with enough hours to finish more than a couple runs, let alone five.

The ♥♥♥♥ part is, the game looks fantastic (for what it is). It's a weird position to be in, because $19.99 is worth it for the time put in to the game assets, but complete robbery for the dull mechanics and limited story/lore. Which is too bad. I was excited about this game when I bought it, and now I wish I hadn't actually played it. I enjoyed the anticipation of Bedlam more than I enjoyed actually playing the damned thing.

**Edit - Almost forgot: There are next to no menu options/game settings. You can't even view the controls after they are quickly relayed to you in the opening of each campaign. Poor scaling can ruin the best part of Bedlam (how great it looks) by making everything a bit blurry around the edges. There are tooltips that come up while traveling from place to place, but travel only takes a quick second or two, so you'd better be a quick reader if you want to catch them. Since there is no tutorial, that can make life even more frustrating. I often found myself saying things like "hey, that's a great piece of basic gameplay info! Why the ♥♥♥♥ didn't you show it to me four runs ago?"

The more I sit and think on my time in Bedlam, the more slapdash it feels. It sucks, but you're better off trading in the dusty wasteland of Bedlam for the cyberpunk wet dream of Satellite Reign, which has its full release coming up any day now.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 1.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 14
If Fallout 2 and Borderlands got drunk and locked in a room over night, this would be the result.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Whoredor
( 2.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 8
Skyshine's BEDLAM
is a Oregon trail rogue-lite game that mixes the exploration and choice encounters similar to FTL with combat similar to The banner saga(it uses the banner saga engine), unfortunately the game does both these things worse than the games it takes it inspiration from. With the choices you can pretty much flip a coin as there's really no way for the player to reasonably determine the out come and the combat severely lack any meaningful tactics as it just devolves into a complete slugfest where whoever have the most hitpoints win(this especially becomes clear once threat lvl goes up and the enemies get more hitpoints). the different clases doesn't really have skills pr. say - they have different movement/health/damage/range the shotty dude can push enemies but it's mostly uselss and the gunslinger will return fire on enemies, other than that you will use off map special abilities...that is if you can afford it which for the most part you won't since resources on normal difficulty are so scarce. I've tried the campaign mode 3 times now and everytime I've just randomly ran out of crude(gas) and the game ends(and no way for me to really correct this as the encounters and crude rewards are random).

summary:

pros:
neat aesthetics/2D art.
so far bug free.
low system reuirements.

cons:
broken gameplay mechanics.
boring combat, lacking tactical options.
Punishing in random not fun way.

better options:
The banner Saga
FTL (faster than light)
X-com: enemy unknown
Helpful? Yes No Funny
kc.vstreek
( 2.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 2
This game should be great. It looks incredible. It uses the same engine as Stoic Games "The Banner Saga" and BS2 (highly recommend both, btw) which is awesome. It should be great. It isn't. The gameplay becomes incredibly challenging after a short period of time. The first three battles were against one enemy (you always have four). That enemy had 7-8 health, which is the same amount as each of your heroes. It takes three kills to level up one of your heroes, after which you get to select only 1 attribute to upgrade (health, range, attack, etc.). But with so few weak enemies, there weren't enough kills to upgrade my heroes in any meaningful way. By battle #9 I was fighting against 4 enemies that all had 8-10 health, and this was about 1/4 a way through to Aztec City (the goal is to get there). My heroes started falling in battle. Does that mean that they're down and out for a while and need to recover? No, it means they're completely dead and gone. So a hero that you spent a lot of time trying to upgrade goes down...and is then gone forever. That's to say nothing of how this game is incredibly repetitive. The goal is always to kill folks. Hey, cool, fun for about 30 minutes, then it gets really hard, frustrating and its the same thing over and over and over again. (To be honest, The Banner Saga was like this too, and they took steps in 2 to make it more varied. Still loved both.) I had high hopes for this game and believe that there is great potential here. Some simple tweaks and upgrades are needed, but here's the thing: it's already been "Reduxed" and the price tag is normally $20--I bought it for $6 and wouldn't recommend it. Not sure they can redux the redux to make this more enjoyable. Again, beautiful game, great concept, but not worth the time, money or frustration.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mike_Trekker
( 15.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
First time i ever played this game i though it was so god damn unfair and unbeatable to the point i rage quit and never touched it again. then randomly got a notion for it again and saw the redux update or edition whatever you want to call it came out. and OMG it was like a new game the balances made the game so much better still really ♥♥♥♥ing hard but managable to the point i managed to actually beat it once on Arcade and Campaign mode. fun as heck game but dont be fooled you will ♥♥♥♥ing die a ♥♥♥♥ ton before you even finish the game or even get close just hang in there you'll learn your stuff
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Seigneur Voland
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
Bedlam was at first sight looking like an attractive offer : i was given the role of the Mechanic, bound to transport at all cost with a mighty Dozer a large crew of passengers and fierce fighters across a gloomy, toxic post-apo desert. The job sounded good on the paper, promising on the way beautiful and unique panoramas of crumbled ruins and charred bones, memorable gory tales, ravaged locations to visit and meetings with the twisted natives, not forgetting brutal assaults with nearly no rules while carefully stealing and managing some precious ressources. Alas, what was supposed to be a charming excursion has unfortunately turned into a holiday nightmare, revealing step by step what Skyshine's first outing really was beyond the sand mirage, an insane, terrible, bloody bedlam.

After an easy start i indeed rapidly crashed into a gigantic pile of garbages, with as prominent can of worms the most horrific difficulty pace i ever faced in more than 25 years of gaming. Unlike in most other trips where each move forward was slightly more challenging than the previous one up to the last and obviously hardest, the aggressivity in this weird land reached the max after just one hour and a half, the horde having cruised around only 1/4 of the map and picked one map fragment out of the four needed. From there i clearly saw the end of the road; i was forced to continue to travel without a single new thing to spot, driving short distances like a slug for hours, through the same tiresome serie of not so random, not so many encounters already seen and the same foreseeable, boring to death combats.

Though the quirky locals divided into 4 families of 4 members each were eating nails for breakfast, all combinations thrown under my wheels were atomized by one winning "tactic", consisting in packing all these folks on a small square and nuking 'em with the most basic vehicle weapon, before finishing the wounded. A few cloned mini-bosses showed later and tried, in vain, to wake up the company, but the away team was having a too deep nap while exterminating foes by hundreds without levelling up after 12 kills. Those who had survived until there had then the delightful surprise to remark that the convoy's progress was not even properly recorded, allowing the losing crew to restart a battle from scratch by quitting, when the victories were not instantly black boxed, and i knew it was about time to put a final halt to this unforgettable journey.

Greasy fellows, do not be too eager to reserve your seat, even with a discount, unless the operators go finally in the right direction at full throttle and propose a re-reduxed tour of the wastes.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SobeR666
( 7.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 16
wasn't that good at first, but developers are listening to the community and the game is getting better with every patch !!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
15.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
First time i ever played this game i though it was so god damn unfair and unbeatable to the point i rage quit and never touched it again. then randomly got a notion for it again and saw the redux update or edition whatever you want to call it came out. and OMG it was like a new game the balances made the game so much better still really ♥♥♥♥ing hard but managable to the point i managed to actually beat it once on Arcade and Campaign mode. fun as heck game but dont be fooled you will ♥♥♥♥ing die a ♥♥♥♥ ton before you even finish the game or even get close just hang in there you'll learn your stuff
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
Check the hours of most of the people who've reviewed Bedlam. Even a majority of the players who recommend have never beat the game, or even played for more than a few hours. Even the people crying "omgeezles, they fixed all the things I hated about this game" have mostly never finished a single playthrough. There's a reason for that. Well, there are several reasons for that:

Most of the time, the combat feels like an exercise in futility. It's just a touch more frustrating than a lot of other difficult games, tactical games, whatever. The RNG doesn't just dominate combat, though, it also dominates your resource gathering, and your resources are essential for fights, especially as you progress and the game becomes more difficult. The problem there, is that those resources are also used to drive your vehicle across Bedlam, and to heal party members outside of combat. And in combat. There are only three resource types (food, crude and power cells), and they are utilized by far too many different mechanics.

Run out of any one of the three, and you might as well call it a day. No food, and your party members will soon die. No oil, and your vehicle will immediately stall out. Either of these is a game ender. The power cells, not as much, it just means you can't use your bigger crowd control abilities, which pretty much guarantees a loss in late-game combat when every fight puts you up against big odds. Well, except that you also have to use the cells to upgrade functionality on your vehicle, effectively requiring you to spend more combat-necessary resources just to try and save resources to keep driving. To gather resources, you have to hit up hubs and side-quests. Which costs resources. And, the more time you spend driving from place to place, the more the difficulty increases. And the difficulty scales very quickly, while your resource gain mostly stays the same.

I could put up with those frustrations, if the combat weren't also boring. The tactical aspect of this game is very limited, the battlefields are cramped, and there is extremely limited cover. Sure, you can plan some to get around it, but it mostly requires you to group up your characters to share cover, provide cover for one another, or share a heal or shields between them. Which is suicide, late game. Acid attacks will splash, shotguns will splash, your enemies will use grenades and bombs and more to drive you apart. The maps that aren't basically narrow tunnels are even worse, because you will run in to the borders of the map with no warning. You don't see them until you've already moved too close, and cornered a character.

The lore is interesting, but not deep. The writing is pretty good, but not worth putting up with the lackluster gameplay. There just isn't enough of it. You'll find yourself running in to the same story choices again and again, and they are typically just a few screens with a paragraph or three of dialogue. For reference: You can finish a single campaign in about 7 hours. There are 5 playable factions. But, everything is so asimilar and simple that it doesn't really expand the game any. Again, look at the other reviews. I've only seen a handful with enough hours to finish more than a couple runs, let alone five.

The ♥♥♥♥ part is, the game looks fantastic (for what it is). It's a weird position to be in, because $19.99 is worth it for the time put in to the game assets, but complete robbery for the dull mechanics and limited story/lore. Which is too bad. I was excited about this game when I bought it, and now I wish I hadn't actually played it. I enjoyed the anticipation of Bedlam more than I enjoyed actually playing the damned thing.

**Edit - Almost forgot: There are next to no menu options/game settings. You can't even view the controls after they are quickly relayed to you in the opening of each campaign. Poor scaling can ruin the best part of Bedlam (how great it looks) by making everything a bit blurry around the edges. There are tooltips that come up while traveling from place to place, but travel only takes a quick second or two, so you'd better be a quick reader if you want to catch them. Since there is no tutorial, that can make life even more frustrating. I often found myself saying things like "hey, that's a great piece of basic gameplay info! Why the ♥♥♥♥ didn't you show it to me four runs ago?"

The more I sit and think on my time in Bedlam, the more slapdash it feels. It sucks, but you're better off trading in the dusty wasteland of Bedlam for the cyberpunk wet dream of Satellite Reign, which has its full release coming up any day now.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 17
Don't get me wrong, Bedlam has a lot of great features that usually make for a really great TBS game. In fact, I like a lot of the game's mechanics and think that they are a refreshing new twist on the genre. The art isn't gorgeous, but it's unique and stylized and I appreciate that. The theming and worldbuilding of the writers is also very strong and it's nice to see that in a modern game.

But.

This game is far from being recommendable to anyone for one glaring, fundamental problem. This game's balance is insanely off kilter. A TBS RPG generally rewards you for making characters stronger as you go along by making battles less fatal for your units, but still maintaining challenge by ramping enemy strength alongside your own strength. This game ramps encounters based on in game days gone by, however, not based on the strength of your team. Alone, this wouldn't be an issue because it just means you can't ♥♥♥♥ around trying to train everyone to be a murder machine and instead have to continually move forward or eventually get to a point where you can't even put up a fight because the odds are so stacked against you. But it's not alone. Alongside this is the 3 kills to level system. Even with just these two, it wouldn't be an issue because you could adapt the enemies to be plentiful and easy to kill at first. But that's the issue here. The game doesn't scale battles by scaling enemy abilities much, but by scaling the amount of enemies you face in a given battle. What this means then, is that there are really no "cannon fodder" enemies to feed to your rookies to strengthen them up. "Easy" battles are just battles where you don't fight a lot of enemies or any unique enemies. This is where I think Bedlam suffers the most. Because there's simply no way to start a game with all rookies and level up any of them to a decent level for the ramping challenges of the game. The difficulty gauge increases far faster than your squad does in strength, and while you start off fighting laughably easy battles, you will very quickly become outmanned and outgunned and face an early grave in the wastes of Bedlam. I do not recommend this game for any price as in its current state, the game's flow is incredibly off. So while mechanically speaking, this game is very well put together, from a battle design standpoint it is sloppy and requires the devs to start collecting some playtest data from test groups rather than the majority of unfocused and unhelpful Steam reviews. I sincerely hope I can come back to this game one day and have fun with it. But right now, the difficulty of this game simply does not match the abilities of the player or even the characters themselves.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 14 people (57%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
This game should be great. It looks incredible. It uses the same engine as Stoic Games "The Banner Saga" and BS2 (highly recommend both, btw) which is awesome. It should be great. It isn't. The gameplay becomes incredibly challenging after a short period of time. The first three battles were against one enemy (you always have four). That enemy had 7-8 health, which is the same amount as each of your heroes. It takes three kills to level up one of your heroes, after which you get to select only 1 attribute to upgrade (health, range, attack, etc.). But with so few weak enemies, there weren't enough kills to upgrade my heroes in any meaningful way. By battle #9 I was fighting against 4 enemies that all had 8-10 health, and this was about 1/4 a way through to Aztec City (the goal is to get there). My heroes started falling in battle. Does that mean that they're down and out for a while and need to recover? No, it means they're completely dead and gone. So a hero that you spent a lot of time trying to upgrade goes down...and is then gone forever. That's to say nothing of how this game is incredibly repetitive. The goal is always to kill folks. Hey, cool, fun for about 30 minutes, then it gets really hard, frustrating and its the same thing over and over and over again. (To be honest, The Banner Saga was like this too, and they took steps in 2 to make it more varied. Still loved both.) I had high hopes for this game and believe that there is great potential here. Some simple tweaks and upgrades are needed, but here's the thing: it's already been "Reduxed" and the price tag is normally $20--I bought it for $6 and wouldn't recommend it. Not sure they can redux the redux to make this more enjoyable. Again, beautiful game, great concept, but not worth the time, money or frustration.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
15.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 25
Banner Saga combat system (with its own tweaks) + FTL like campaign. The updates have definitely helped improve the game in every aspect. It's not quite as good as either Banner Saga or FTL but it is worth checking out.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 21
When it launched it was flawed, when it was remade the first time it was over appeasing to its critics, but the THID time around? Great game! I wish the steam reviews would reflect its current state instead of its turbulent history. Not many games can say they've put in this much work following launch, and few can say that the work they have done has been entirely feedback driven.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
542 of 627 people (86%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 16, 2015
https://youtu.be/thhUOb4WgXM
Skyshine's BEDLAM is a post-apocalyptic, turn-based combat strategy game with lots of RPG and roguelike elements that turn it into a really fantastic experience.

You command a giant, armored vehicle and try to survive on a nuclear wasteland, fighting mutants, cyborgs, marauders and powerful bosses. You are not controlling it directly though - you simply set a destination point on the map and hope to get there in one piece (yes, there are random encounters). When you reach it, there are several randomized 'quests' available. Quests usually feature a short gamebook-like fragments, where you decide how to act in certain situations and award you with something - be it meat and gasoline (which are consumed every time you go to another location or send a scout truck on quests), power cells (required to improve your mobile fortress and use special abilities during combat) or new kind of abilities.

In many cases quests also feature combat. Fighting system in BEDLAM is turn-based, but there is no order of movement among units - you can perform only two actions during your turn, but it's entirely up to you which characters you move or engage in combat. There are four classes of units and each of them has unique features and range of attack. Shotgunners (called trenchers here) have quite a lot of health points and can only attack nearby enemies, but their blast sends the victim one square behind its previous position. Snipers, on the other hand, are very powerful, but their health is low and they can only attack units that are far away. You need to experiment a lot and find the best tactics for each class. Winning an impossible battle with just one unit is not only possible, but extremely satisfying.

From time to time you get to fight bosses - very powerful creatures often accompanied by several of their servants. If you succeed in such battle, the boss will join you and you will be able to use him in combat like a normal unit - only it's far stronger and resistant! Perfect for end game challenges.

You can also use special abilities on the battlefield. If you are lucky and explore a lot, your vehicle will even be able to drop nuclear missiles on whole groups of enemies, or teleport your units wherever you want them. You can also use healing, become invisible for a while or confuse your enemies and make them attack each other. Using those skills requires a lot of power cells so you should collect them whenever it is possible.

Every time your unit kills enough bad guys, it gets promoted and becomes a veteran - it gets stronger and deals more damage, so it is a good idea to have them fight as often as possible. It's very risky though. Healing wounded units takes a lot of time and if they are killed - they are lost forever. You don't have many opportunities to get new party members, so you have to be extremely careful.

You are not able to load game if your fight doesn't go well - you have to accept the consequences of your choices. And if you lose all units that you have on board or run out of food/fuel - it's permadeath. Game has great replayability values. It takes around 1-1,5h to complete a scenario on normal. That doesn’t sound like much, but be aware that you WILL die a lot and will have to start from scratch, just like in roguelike titles, so you will spend many more hours before you see the good ending for the first time. BEDLAM gets REALLY hard in later stages and can kick your *** even at the beginning if you're unlucky.

If you like challenging, turn-based games with RPG elements - grabbing BEDLAM is one of the best decisions you can make.

PROS:
+ Combat - simple mechanics, lots of possibilities
+ Challenging like a rouge-like
+ Great replayability
+ Huge map
+ Unlockable races that alter the gameplay

CONS:
- No proper tutorial, only a couple of short videos
- Depleting reserves of gasoline/meat prevent you from exploring too much

TL;DR: If you like challenging, turn-based games with RPG elements - grabbing BEDLAM is one of the best decisions you can make.
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379 of 497 people (76%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2015
Update:
I read the update about the new game mode that seems to adress my main issue with the game. Will play the game again as soon as I have some quality time and update my review. So please be advised that the text below is probably not a fair review of the current state of the game. It's a review for BEDLAM 1.0.

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If you like tactical squad games where you get to play with your whole squad, be wary of this game. It has a weird mechanic where you get 2 action points per combat turn that can be used for any member of your squad for moving or shooting. This generally means that you will use one of your units for every shot (the strongest) and the rest of your squad will be relegated to being meat shields and dying or wasting actions for movement to stay out of harms way.

Sadly this makes the combat which is the most important aspect of the game very un-fun to me and since combat is the most important aspect of the game where you spend the most of your time, the whole game is just not worth it to play.
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133 of 174 people (76%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
38.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 9, 2015
Prologue:

In SSB, you command a huge juggernaut machine, driving through deserts and rocky lands and sandstorms, in an attempt to leave your heavily damaged, constantly under attack colony and find a fabled Aztec City where you can live in peace. Will you manage? It's all up to you. IT might sound easy, but it is nowhere near as easy as you might think.

SSB is a mixture of the Banner Saga, FTL, Fallout and XCOM with a number of questionable design decisions. I want to make that clear right off the bat. It does a great job of making a post-apocalyptic FTL and and it does a poor job immitating XCOM.

So, now that we have this out of the way, let's see what the game does well and what poorly. Since my review is a tad outdated, I can tell you this: Version 2.0 made a good amount of changes and fixed a ton of bugs. This tilts my review slightly further towards recomending the game.

The GOOD:

1. Great AI. IMO, this is the point that outweighs all others. The AI will do its best to make your life a living hell, and that is something that needs to happen more and more in current games. I really enjoy when the AI actually exploits my mistakes and doesnt simply do a dumb move just to tickle my ego and make me feel like I'm so freaking smart, MLG PRO gamer. NO. The AI will punish you for your mistakes. This is really important to me, and I hope it is for you.
2. The artwork is very thematic and beautiful.
3. The music fits the post-apocalyptic theme perfectly.
4. Making hard decisions is both rewarding and satisfying.
5. Exploration is very rewarding and makes you feel good for picking all those exclamation marks.
6. Lots of locations to explore and lots of enemies to fight and allies to gain.
7. A really good battle system that resembles XCOM. I am pretty sure the devs will fix the stupid flanking (that presently doesnt even work) and will allow the player more flexibility, as it looks the only choice at this juncture.
8. A beautiful mixture of four of my favorite games, the Banner Saga, FTL, Fallout New Vegas and XCOM.
9. Winning a battle has never been more satisfying - especially against THIS TYPE OF AI.
10. Progression is rewarding - it makes you feel good and it makes you realize what you're fighting for.
11. Lots of unlockable weapons, variations and vehicles. Some are play-though based and some are not.
12. Great replayability. I know for a fact that I will be giving this game a lot of play-time, because I want to beat it and I am not discouraged by failures.
13. Great value for the money - the pre-release build was a few euros cheaper, but since I judge my games like 1 euro for 2 hours of play time, I am sure that in order to learn the game, get used to its quirks, learn how the AI works, and beat it will take me absolutely over 40 hours, so it falls into the good category of games in my book.
14. Lots of unit races, most of which you even get to play (as in units or heroes).
15. Punishing gameplay is not exactly a bad thing. Ironman games are not as bad as they seem. Life, in itself, is an Ironman game. There is no looking back, there is no save LIFE point, that you can go back to. You can't save LIFE at school and replay school if it turned badly. Or Save LIfe at college and replay it if you didn't do well...
16. The more you play the game, the better you get at it. Take the time to reel it in and learn from your mistakes. This type of gameplay always grabs me.
17. You need to think long an hard before making a move. Just like in chess, you need to consider every piece of the board and what kind of damage may it do to you.

And now, let's take a look at the bad. Don't be surprised if I repeat some of my "good" points in this section. One man's boon is another man's curse...

1. Wicked learning curve. You will be spending hours and hours on end as you are getting used to how the units work - both yours and the enemy ones. It took me 2 hours to get past that barrier in order to let the game teach me what bosses do and how units react. And don't get me started on unit range, appearance, race, etc. If you don't have the patience, the game is not for you.
2. Great AI. Yep, that's also a bad thing. The AI will 90% of the time go for your weakest unit, or the most damaged one. People like breaking their screens because the AI actually outsmarted them big time. If you have a short fuse, or you are not just moderately patient, the game is not for you. Why? Because unless you think your brains out before making a move, you will get outsmarted a lot. And don't get me started how easy it is to overlook a hidden sniper/trencher move that might kill a low-health unit...
3. The AI punishes you left and right - yep, that's terrible and there is no going past that point. THere is nothing more infuriating to see a single measly unit dodging its way through your mighty 4-tile big heroes in a suicide run just to get a clear shot at your weakest unit on the battlefield...
4. Two actions per round - you get only 2 freaking actions across ALL your units. So, if the game permits, you can kill 2 units, which is the best case scenario. Or you can be in a situation where the enemy has a clear pass at 2+ of your units, in which ase you are mightily screwed unless you get creative and use your power cells to your advantage.
5. As a consequence from 4, AND TO ME THIS IS PROBABLY THE BIGGEST GRIPE - you can lose a mission, and the game, through NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN. You can get a terrible spawn, bad flanking shots (even though flanking is a non issue in this game IMO), and lose, and get a GG. Now that, I admit, is infuriating.
6. Flanking is a non-issue in this game. I hoped that the devs would fix it. And they did. How? By adding damage reduction. So you could be looking at a fully flanked enemy and they get 50% damage reduction. I sort of helps you but... dont get me started...
7. You never know the enemy composition unless you read very carefully - this is another big gripe. You can be faced with a group that would chew your party for fun. Or you can be in a fight that is so easy to win, it is laughable. You never know until you see the battlefield. While that is justified, I find it way too punishing.
8. You have only a limited number of soldiers. YEAH. THATS BAD. While you can replenish your lost units with way better or worse soldiers while questing, it may either make or break your gameplay, and once again, though no fault of your own. This is a poor design decision IMO.
9. Luck plays a HUGE part of the game. No, I don't mean while shooting, like in xcom. Shooting an ucovered target has 100% chance to hit and most likely kill. To me luck represents the random encounters, the battlefiend positioning and enemy composition and the way the enemy works to whoop your backside.
10. So easy to lose, so difficult to win. I believe this is self-explanatory.

Conclusion:

This game *still* gets a cautious recommendation from me. Patch 2.0 did a lot, and made me I like it even more, but I can easily see how tons of gamers will be frustrated by it, especially if they're not used to playing IRONMAN games or they have a short fuse and get easily aggravated when things dont go their way.

Still, I had great fun with it. I guess I am that masochistic and patient...
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273 of 393 people (69%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 16, 2015
Updated as of 31 march 2016 upon the Redux variant:

I'll adress the concerns i had below in my old review before anything else. To note, most of these talk about the Campaign Mode, i'll discuss the Arcade after all this.

- Pacing : While the dozer efficiency upgrades are important, they become less so, so you can afford to use some dozer abilities more often and also cores are easier to find. This makes combat slightly more varied but not like you'll be able to fall back on these at least once a combat event. Due to having most of the points of interest shown on the map it helps to plan some things out now, and having to gather 4 relics does make it more interesting than just 'cross the area as fast as you can'. Same ofr the King Viscera end event which became slightly more varied. Either way, while it 'works' now, it feels like it was brute-force fix instead of a careful redesign.

- Events/lore/flavor text: Events/side missions are still things you mostly skip through. There is no gradient apart from do you want to risk it or not and the result is always random, and the actual content of the event matters little. I'll plug FTL again since it's relevant, but aside from having/getting some very rare random quest items, you can meet events you have nothing to do at with no options. .

- Combat: This is the big one. It's been mostly redone and rebalanced but it still very much feels like you're trading in people for enemies. It's better, since you're always tossing four people in instead of juggling resources/combat with fighting outnumbered, and each unit can move once/twice or once and shoot. The factional bonuses per number of rounds which now also affects you, and mostly works well within the context. The new UI interface which allows you to see enemy movement and attack is much appreciated, though it doesn't show if someone COULD attack you after moving if you're already in the square. Either way, the fact that each unit can now take a hit or two and the enemies are more 'boss-like' instead of fighting an atrition army of ants works for it.
Sadly... as i mentioned at start, after the first round it still very much feels like a cluster♥♥♥♥ and you're just trading damage for damage. Not as ridiculous as the previous installment but it's clear having all the people move, on the way the map was designed, you would end up with the mentioned cluster♥♥♥♥. You also end up in a classic Xcom scenario with the 4 people that if one dies, you can mostly end the run there. If two of your very high veterans die, you're done. Raising up other people is risky as well, as due to the new 'bosslike' quality of the enemies you really need the extra damage each veteran level up adds.
PS: Defence now decreases damage as far as i saw, so that's something, versus the miss system.

- The difficulty: Is more tuned now, and you can play with a bit of free form enjoyment here and there instead of having it in your face every time.

- Arcade Mode: In the end, this is what you get when you boil the game down, and how the game i think should be played. A 5 minute by 5 minute jog, just punching through objectives and having some combat here and there. While working a lot better than the campaign and offering a more streamlined experience, it's far from the cool roguelike concept it started as.


In the end, i wish i could recommend it, but i still can't. The game is 'fixed' as much as you could without remaking core systems, but by not having the large problems it became even worse than broken, it became forgettable. Without the issues to distract, you get to see clearer how shallow it is.

Backed and wanted for it to succeed but minus some coffee-break 5 minute fun once in a while, it's not a sit-down game in the least, a game you could invest in for a good hour or two and get something out.

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Updated a week or so after the initial fixes.

Played a few more hours, and all the below still stand. The 'double-back' fighting through King Viscera is ridiculously hard and showcases brilliantly all the horrible aspects of combat. No unit should be able to move and attack in the same turn or double-move, especially a boss character, and it's ridiculous to have two characters duking it out with equalizers for six consecutive rounds as the rest of the battlefield sits still.

Again i'd recommend against buying or overstaying your welcome in Bedlam thinking it'll get better with a few more hours under your belt.

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Original review:

Cons:

- Poor pacing . There is no real brick-upon-brick feel with most encounters feeling haphazard at best and the random events feel either like giving you charity or blowing your head off. I'm sure a lot of people will say otherwise but i found also the fuel/meat dozer upgrades are a must have before anything else or you just run out of resources in the wasteland, that's even IF you win all your battles.

- Almost no actual choice. Combat aside, the game plays itself mostly, with almost no variance in event outcomes since aside from 'leave' you only have 'investigate the thing'. Stuff you pick up in your dozer or your crew composition rarely affecting the outcome, that's if you're lucky to pick them up in the right order of events. You can find the locked bunker now, and next turn you find the key, but you can't return to use the key on the bunker, even though you CAN go back.

- Combat feels unavoidably unforgiving and unbalanced. Following X-com style, your base recruits are horrible but unlike X-com, the number of people you have is very limited (16) for the entire campaign. Considering you often end up losing at least one, two people per battle at start, it takes its toll really fast. It also takes three kills for units to Veteran up, the first and only major unit upgrade, which sees their usefulness increased about 100% AND fully heal them in the middle of combat instead of waiting 20something days which at start can be a lot of downtime considering campaigns don't last too much into the 100 days to get to Aztec City, the goal. Thing is, it only takes a ♥♥♥♥ placement RNG at the start of the battle and you know you are just going to outright lose people no matter what you do. It wouldn't be bad if i also didn't have a huge issue with how the weapon ranges are used, and how the computer has a large advantage calculating all the odds, toeing the line of fire, making you waste a turn, versus a player that will have a hard time finding perfect positioning since there isn't even an option for a very visible, permanent-on grid to properly plan your moves. Banner Saga and Gorky 17 did this a lot better, Gorky 17 in particular. A final note, a large aspect is placed on Dozer weapons and Equalizers, but i found these too be way too expensive to use on a semi-regular basis, especially the Dozer weapon, which if you're lucky you'll shoot once, maybe twice a game.

- Event clicking and flavor text. Might seem like a small gripe, but what's the use in clicking through three or four screens of text, where you don't even have any interactivity apart from multiple chances of clicking 'leave'. Making me click more for an event five times to investigate doesn't make me read more, just skim faster and i even LIKE reading flavor text. Also at no point if i decided to go for it initially anyway will i just 'leave', and leave is such a cop-up design.

Pros:
- Great animation and world art
- Good concept and universe
- Decent music

Would i recommend it? No, go play FTL. Still the best roguelike survival system.

For the record: Played 1 easy which i won and four normals out of which i almost won one and one hard/bedlam which i noped out of so hard. The games are very short, which given the tablet-friendly interface i think was intended, but it does feel like by the time you reach the finish line you've barely finished putting on your racing shoes.

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