Arcen’s Bionic Dues Is On Steam, But What Is It?

By Jim Rossignol on October 9th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.


Bionic Dues is “a tactical, turn-based roguelite with mech customization”, the story of which is that there’s been a robotic uprising in the city, which you must now put down, before your overlords pull the nuke lever. Arcen are really cranking out the games right now, and it certainly sounds like this one might be worth paying attention to, what with the opportunity to “Out-think wide-ranging tactical situations featuring robots with bad GPS, terrible aim, insecurity, a lack of focus, a tendency to backstab, and dozens of other maladies to exploit.” I’ve met those robots. Poor guys.

Anyway, the game is out on Steam – but why not go for the direct purchase? – and there’s a trailer, which your detection systems should be picking up any time now.

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27 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

    It is great to see this article above an article for a game about bionic dudes.

  2. lordfrikk says:

    I bought into Valley without Wind on feature description alone because everyone was praising AI War (and we know how that one ended up). However, given the pace they’re cranking out the games at and a lack of goodwill on my part I’ll definitely hold out for some player impressions first. I hope the game is good but I can’t really bet my money on it.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      It’s really, really good (if you like that sort of thing). It’s also not really like Rogue (aside from the procedural stuff).

      • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        I consider it to be like Rogue in one utterly vital respect: You die roughly as often as you deserve to. The number of times I’ve ended up with just one badly damaged Exo facing a room full of Bots due to not paying quite enough attention, only to skate through the room using every option and advantage to the fullest and scrape a win…

    • benexclaimed says:

      I like it quite a bit. The missions play out very much like most roguelikes — you navigate a procedurally generated level and kill stuff. Missions have other objectives, too — e.g. destroy the reactors, clear the blockades, etc. In between missions you can outfit your mechs (which you can freely switch between during missions) with various upgrades (and you can get lots of stuff fairly quickly). It’s good.

      • Reefpirate says:

        My main concern is whether or not it is as bat-shit crazy as most other Arcen games… Do the weapons, abilities and powers behave more or less as you would expect a robot-battle game to behave? Or is there some 15 page tutorial on how to move and shoot effectively?

        • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

          It’s totally pick-up-and-play. Not really pick-up-and-win, though.

          • Lex says:

            For me its more like pick-up-an-get-blown-to-pieces … maybe I should try normal difficulty -.- But I love it :D

    • Donners says:

      I really like A Valley Without Wind. It’s not what I expected from previews, but it’s addictive and has plenty of depth.

      • nimbulan says:

        Most definitely. It takes quite a while to really get into it, but it’s a ton of fun once you do. I’m always amazed at how bad the reviews for it are. It’s really too bad that instead of updating and improving the game they decided to make that abomination of a sequel by removing every single decent idea the first one had.

        But that aside, everything else they’ve done has been great. I’m definitely looking forward to trying this game out.

  3. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    It’s turn-based AI War without the learning curve. It’s bloody marvellous.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Damn, now you’ve got me really interested.

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        I reviewed this last week, it’s bad form to link to it directly, but click my name if you want more thoughts on it.

        • frightlever says:

          From your review: “I found Arcen’s A.I. War Fleet Command to be something special. It’s a very complicated game, and if you squint at it from a distance you could mistake it for Pong.”

          Genius.

          Do like the look of this.

    • JoeX111 says:

      That’s, wow, that’s literally all I needed to read to give this a shot.

  4. Premium User Badge cpt_freakout says:

    Arcen games always look very interesting, but they always have their share of, well, problems. Will there be a WIT of this?

  5. squareking says:

    I’ll have to keep an eye on this. Arcen’s art direction/overall aesthetic turns me off (everything looks busy, clunky and unpolished), but turn-based tactics with customizable mechs will get my money 92.7% of the time. I like Arcen’s mechanical bent, but a refresh on the art style could do wonders. I’m still trying to mesh with AI War, but I haven’t given it enough time so I can learn what all the muddy symbols and icons are. Too many buts in this comment!

    Just tell me that trailer song never, ever appears in the game.

    • benexclaimed says:

      I think it’s the theme that plays over the main menu, too. Never after that as far as I’ve seen.

    • Reefpirate says:

      Song kind of reminds me of the Ghost in the Shell theme… So I like it.

  6. Tei says:

    The graphics turn me off. Too busy, the characters and the background kind of blend. The icons are not iconified, more like painted. I imagine this being Arcen theres a beatiful complex game behind, but oh how much my eyes protest on the “programmer art”.

    • Reapy says:

      Yeah I can’t figure them out. The art is like, yeah ok I couldn’t draw it myself, but for some reason it is still ugly. Its like, always trying interesting concepts and ideas but then just uglified up to the max. I think some people prefer certain aesthetics that are off the cuff, and I think that the “artist” and the lead developer just have an eye for things I dislike… but I know plenty of people that would consume what I and probably the majority of the world would call crap, quite happily. They may just be on that wave length to the point they can’t think that they need to change anything.

  7. SkittleDiddler says:

    Ugly as sin, but I’ve heard nothing but praise about it so I’m going to give it a look.

  8. yarn says:

    I don’t understand. Its fucking ugly and that’s the worst song I’ve heard since Evanescence was on the radio. Dudes really need to get an artist. Cant wait to play it.

  9. Hobbes says:

    What is it? It’s a game from Arcen. The way things are going “Arcen” is fast becoming a genre all to itself. Their experiments don’t always work out ideally, but they are -always- worth looking at, most of the time worth playing, and sometimes worth playing repeatedly and often. One thing I will say for Arcen, they are not afraid to -try-, and that should always be applauded, even if they go fantastically wrong, they’re not afraid to ask the question “What if we do this?”

  10. strangeloup says:

    I tend to buy Arcen’s games for the sake that they’ll be at least -interesting- and are usually cheap. Not tremendously sure about this one, though, and I think I’m the only person so far who unironically likes the trailer song, so maybe I’m living in Opposite World today.

    Edit: Also, completely incapable of reading the title properly. It will always be Bionic Dudes to me.