[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:
Mixed (557 reviews) - 67% of the 557 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!


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


“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

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP SP3
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
Customer reviews
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Mixed (557 reviews)
Recently Posted
( 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
( 6.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 9
The devs rushed to release, the game was a disaster, lame combat, RNG starting placement...etc.etc. As a result of their early missteps they did not make good on their promises to a large amount of the Kickstarter Backers.


The end.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 5.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 8
Repetitive combat. Random events that look like quests. Not fun. Avoid!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 8.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 1
Beautifully designed game. I\'m a big fan of the post-apocalyptic genre, and having it be a roguelike got be all hot and bothered about this game. I\'ve been waiting ever since it was announced on Kickstarter. Additionally, when I heard it was using the Banner Saga engine, I completely lost it. Having said all that, if you\'re expecting the same level of heavy strategizing as Banner, you\'ll be disappointed. The beauty of Banner was manipulating the small and large characters around the board, and the physical health and defensive health dichotomy doesn\'t have the same importance as in Banner. I do enjoy the different class of soldiers you get to use, the Dozer\'s special abilities, and the chance to recruit unique characters. Furthermore, they recently updated the game, so it now offers a campaign and arcade, the latter which is for more casual gamers with no interest in managing resources.
All round, get this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 31
A fun game, but too many bugs to recommend it. PD: Since the last update i can't close the options menu.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 1.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 30
Haven't played terribly much of it, but, so far, I like it! Taking a note from DS, Bedlam won't hold your hand (it does tell you the controls, which is nice), which lead to my first loss (I attempted to leave a boss fight 'cause I thought I was unprepared, turns out the "give up" button really means "end entire run"), but is still fun in the "now go do whatever you want" kind of way. Only thing I would change is that a acquiring a faction dozer doesn't give you a faction crew, that part is disappointing (if you buy it, you'll get what I mean). Otherwise, I would recomend this to any who can appreciate a good strategy!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 18
As a backer of this game i expected a lot more from it. The art style, tone, and gameplay was a big draw for me and i feel a little bit let down with the final product. For a simplistic tactical strategy game on the surface, it has an oddly difficult learning curve associated with it. I did not enjoy this. The small amount of cover areas constantly leave your characters out in the open ready to take massive damage from even the easiest of enemies that you should breeze through. I played this game for a about an hour and all my characters were basically dead. For someone who doesnt have a lot of time to game, i dont know that id recommend this unless you have substantial time to sit and figure out this games odd tactical quirks.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 9.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 11
This game is incredibly in-depth tactically, even if it seems otherwise. You have to keep in mind every single unit on the field, yours and the enemy's. Your people will die, even your favourites. That's okay.
The game is incredibly fun, and is in fact beatable, even if the old reviews tell you otherwise. I've beaten this game multiple times, and it's hella fun each time.
Give it a buy!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 18.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 7
Just bought it. Been having fun since. I don't know what this game was like before the 'Redux', but as of now it is a fun RNG-based resource management/Tactical turn based combat. It doesn't have a lot of depth, but still, it's a lot of fun as long as it lasts. The graphics are pleasing to the eye.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 4.9 hrs on record )
Posted: April 25
Enjoyable game. Has a flavor that reminds me of Heavy Metal, and combat like the original Fallout. Have not tried all the modes yet, but it is challenging to say the least.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 1
Beautifully designed game. I\'m a big fan of the post-apocalyptic genre, and having it be a roguelike got be all hot and bothered about this game. I\'ve been waiting ever since it was announced on Kickstarter. Additionally, when I heard it was using the Banner Saga engine, I completely lost it. Having said all that, if you\'re expecting the same level of heavy strategizing as Banner, you\'ll be disappointed. The beauty of Banner was manipulating the small and large characters around the board, and the physical health and defensive health dichotomy doesn\'t have the same importance as in Banner. I do enjoy the different class of soldiers you get to use, the Dozer\'s special abilities, and the chance to recruit unique characters. Furthermore, they recently updated the game, so it now offers a campaign and arcade, the latter which is for more casual gamers with no interest in managing resources.
All round, get this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
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 !!!
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
541 of 624 people (87%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 16, 2015
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.

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

- 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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374 of 492 people (76%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2015
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.

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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131 of 172 people (76%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
38.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 9, 2015

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.


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.


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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270 of 390 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.

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.

Original review:


- 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.

- 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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171 of 245 people (70%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 18, 2015
I haven't found Bedlam fun. Which is a pity because it had huge potential.

The graphics are great and the animations are fluid. The random encounters are exactly what I expected from a Rogue-lite style game. Sometimes they're fair, sometimes they're not but that's just that way the dice rolls.

My complaint is with the tactical combat mechanics. They're honestly stupid. Each side gets two turns. It doesn't matter if you've brought one unit or six. You can move the one unit twice or two of the six units once.

Think about this for a moment.

Most of the units will be unable to move in any given round. There is no numbers advantage; a small team tends to be superior as their members don't stand around like numbskulls whilst getting shot-up. No team composition will give you an advantage until you start getting high health and high damage veteran and elite members. That's not tactical play.

There are four classes of combatant scaling from high health and low damage melee fighters to low health high damage snipers. A melee fighter can attack someone adjacent to them only - which makes sense. However their low damage means that attacking with a melee fighter is a waste of a precious turn. They're meat shields in the purest sense.

Ranged units can attack only at a very specific distance. A sniper unit can attack someone seven paces away. If the enemy is six or eight paces away they cannot be shot at all. How does this make any sense? Why doesn't damage or to-hit probabilty scale with distance? A lot of the gameplay reduces to hoping an enemy will run into the narrow band of a ranged unit or trying to coax them into one with a sacrifice.

Nothing in the description, video or screenshots indicates that this is the tactical style. That no real gameplay is shown is very telling and should have been a huge warning for me.

Still complaining about the tactical game. Units are not placed at the start of battle they're dropped in randomly, a melee unit could start well behind a sniper unit who is too close to shoot the enemy. Why - when I am instigating the attack - would I possibly want my units deployed like that.

Bedlam could have been a great FTL / XCom mix but as it stands it's a game of chess where your opponet randomly kicks over your pieces. It's not fun at all.
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75 of 102 people (74%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2015
You ever wanted to travel in a Mad Max like comic apocalypse, through lands filled with Mutants, Marauders, Cyborgs and Rogue Ai enemies, always with the goal to bring as many survivors to the mysterious elysium called Aztec City?
Braving hordes of enemies in tactical combat and always having an eye on your ressources?

Then "Skyshine´s Bedlam" could be interesting for you. The main part is naturally the tactical one, where you can send up to four of your soldiers against the different enemies. This fits to the four basic classes "Deadeyes aka Sharpshooters", "Frontliners aka Meeles", "Trenchers aka Shotgunners" and finally "Gunslingers using Machine Guns".
They mainly are differentiated via their shooting range/damage/health points and mobility.
They can also gain experience for kills, which makes them more useful in general. As there is perma-death for your units, you can quite quickly lose an experienced swat though.

The normal battle takes place on a hexfield with some cover, where you and the enemy can act two times per turn - for your entire squad. This takes some getting used to, but makes it also quite a unique experience in my opinion. On your travels, you can also get some special squad members through choices or battles.
There are quite a bit of choices as you visit different locations, which can for example greatly impact your ressources, which are necessary for getting alive through the wastelands. If you run out of fuel for example, the chances are good that your journey ends in peril.

The story (including profiles for each soldier for example) and soundtrack are atmospheric, while the graphic is fitting, if not quite impressive.

In the long run the motivation for playing is getting higher results as well as unlocking new kind of "Dozers", which are the rolling fortresses in which you move. As with the 2.0 update there are Dozers for each of the factions unlockable, with each having faction-like crews with different abilities. They are also improveable, regarding extra functions and weapons, as well the useage of the ressources.

Conclusio: While Bedlam can have quite unfair moments (especially some of those random events) it offers enough variation and battle possibilities to enjoy quite some playthroughs. Some may have their quarrels with the battle system (which is questionable, even after the last update), but if you get used to it, it can be quite entertaining too, as well as with the balancing.
So... Bedlam surely isn´t for everyone, although i like it.

Point Scale: 7/10
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36 of 40 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 18
Skyshine, after a long time in the making, finally deliver upon the promise of Bedlam, two very distinct games in one most excellent package (and one elephant that sits in the corner).

It's been an awfully long journey. The initial rollout of BEDLAM was to lukewarm reviews and to muted user response, largely because of a very polarising core mechanic which encouraged some very specific and exploitative play (the long and the short was that it encouraged some very specific team configurations and relied too heavily on you getting an elite that you could power through the game with).

That version of BEDLAM remains, for those that enjoy that style of game, however, there's a new mode, called "Campaign", and with that comes a completely new BEDLAM, one based very much on the XCOM:EU 2 AP per character approach. This completely flips the game on its' head, encouraging a balanced team of rotated characters where each individual link in the chain needs to be as strong as the next, lest you start leaking team members due to people getting smooshed by elites in the late game.

This all sounds well and good, but what IS Bedlam to begin with?

Skyshines' BEDLAM is a blend of a few different games - FTL and The Banner Saga probably being the most prominent titles that would make the most sense to suggest, having a flat overworld map made up of nodes that you can explore, a lot of which have choice based text adventures, along with a smattering of isometric tile based combat encounters where you move your combat pawns around and fight against your opponents. In this game losses are permanent, so there's a touch of the rougelite about it as well, along with persistent meta-progression as you complete runs and unlock more dozers and more options to start your loadout with.

The theme and lore of the world is absolutely excellent, seriously, it is. A bone dry wasteland that is filled with some memorable characters, a lot of backstory to each one, and a pulpy, comic book feel to the whole thing. The world building has been very well thought out, and is consistent enough that it could easily be built upon in other games, the lore is strong enough to serve as a platform for books and stories, if the game is able to keep going. The art style equally has this pulpy comic style that serves extremely well, and helps set the tone for the game in general, you really do get immersed in this somewhat askew look at the apocalypse. It's more Borderlands than Mad Max, and that's entirely to its' benefit.

Getting around in yer Dozer

Mechanically, the game plays out somewhat similar regardless of Arcade or Campaign mode. You'll be moving from node to node on the overworld map, and then exploring minor nodes with your outrunner car as you see fit, sometimes this will result in a fight, sometimes this will result in an adventure encounter. Either way, there's a LOT of content to digest, it's easily on a part with FTL post it's advanced edition patch, if not moreso. You'll be working your way through the badlands of Bedlam fighting the various factions, each have their own little quirk which adds flavour to the combat, as well as figuring out the best build for your playstyle (since each of the classes have their own way of fighting, and mixing them gives you a very different approach depending on what setup you run with).

With the advent of the Campaign mode, there's now two very viable choices for players. Arcade mode satisfies those who enjoyed BEDLAM at the point of release, complete with the BLITZ-o-meter and the original 2AP per side regardless of how those AP were spent over the turn. The Campaign mode satisfies the tactical thinkers who prefer the XCOM:EU style of approach with AP on a per character basis, and means that encounters are far more about teamwork and thinking ahead in a group sense, rather than an individual sense. These two very seperate modes actually work to the benefit of the game, opening it up to a much wider audience, and giving the game life where previously it would have been restricted only to very specific fans of the lore or the style of game.

You mentioned an elephant?

I did. This game suffers from Kickstarter-itis. Almost as badly as Armello did. I therefore have to slap the warning that any retail purchaser of this game will be purchasing a game that no matter what will never be entirely content complete. Some elements of the game are going to be kickstarter walled off, there's a thunderdome style encounter that is not yet implemented that is going to be KS only, along with a Unique Faction Dozer (this is believed to be the Banner Saga Crossover one, or that might be another one on top) that is intended to be KS only.

Whilst this may make up only a small-ish percentage in "absolute" terms, it nonetheless renders the product content incomplete and therefore I will openly state that the game is such. If at some point in the future the developers open the option for people to buy (note, buy, I'm not asking they GIVE us this, but the option to pay for it) then I will change my review accordingly.

Closing thoughts

It's been a long road. But Bedlam is now a game I can, with the above caveat concerning content, now fully recommend. It's good, it's actually solidly good, and therefore worth getting, though with the content issue I would still advise holding out for a sale of some sort because on principle you shouldn't pay full price if you're not getting access or the ability to get access to the full game. That's my personal stance, and you may choose to go for it regardless.

Final Verdict : Highly Recommended, caveat - CONTENT INCOMPLETE DUE TO KICKSTARTER LUNACY
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68 of 94 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
20.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 26, 2015
I tried to enjoy the game, I really did. But after making it to aztec city and then being told you have to head back and do it all over again, the game very quickly became boring and uninteresting due to how hard it becomes to win, Like the difficulty becomes a vertical cliff face when you face King viscera.

The combat system is good in theory but executed terribly, a feel that you get from the whole game really, it could have been so much more, but it wasn't. I waited with baited breath to play this after the E3 trailers and reviews, and to be honest I feel let down. Yeah its not to bad considering its a budget $20 game but still...

There just isnt enough unlockable characters and machines and storyline to keep you wanting to trudge through the difficulty and keep playing. I thought this game was fantastic initially, but once you get to the whole king viscera part of the story you just want to ragequit, because it facerapes you hard. Expect to reroll your game hundreds of times. And no, I'm no stranger to roguelikes. Most roguelikes let you build up to something good and let you make the mistake that kills your character through hubris. This game starts off easy, then quickly transitions to impossible and you lose interest. There is FAR too much focus on power cells and dozer weaponry to win.

Its like the developers thought "Oh, its a roguelike so lets make it stupid hard, call it a day and wait for the money to roll in." So, to summarize, I dont recommend this game, only because I hate seeing games with potential go to waste. Also for making the game stupid hard to cover up the fact there's no real content. I'd be happy to put the hours in and unlock everything if it was just made more interesting and less fustrating.
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