Publisher: Versus Evil
ESRB: Not Rated
Release Date: September 16, 2015
When I first heard of the new turn-based strategy game called Skyshine’s BEDLAM, I’ll admit I wasn’t too interested in it. I am the type of person who likes constant action in gaming and usually tend to stray far away from turn based games. Ultimately, I decided to give this one a chance and boy am I glad I did. This game takes all of what I thought about turn based games, covers it in crude and lights it on fire in an intense chaotic package.
Skyshrine’s BEDLAM features a story but not much of one.You are a mechanic from the overcrowded technological metropolis known as Bysantine. Bysantine has become prisoner to the outside dangers of Bedlam where destruction of humanity lies with marauders, cyborgs, and toxic mutants.You find out there is hope in the mythical Utopian City known as Aztec City.The only way to get there is to make your way through the hazardous wasteland of Bedlam.
Violence: This game is based around survival in a wasteland, it’s kill or be killed. Also while the scenarios aren’t played out in front of you, they do suggest violent actions taking place.The game is actually really tame compared to other titles in its genre.
Upon beginning a new game, you are taken to a Dozer selection screen. The Dozer is essentially a mobile fortress and your main mode of transportation through Bedlam. Each Dozer has its own specific set of stats and crew. You start out with the human crew, but mutants, cyborgs, rogue A.I and marauders can be unlocked by discovering them through gameplay.
Once your dozer is selected, you are ready to tackle the plains of Bedlam. You begin by selecting a destination on the game map. Keep in mind, that each destination uses various amounts of resources, adding even more strategy to your journey. These resources include meat to feed your crew, crude oil for your dozer and time. Once you confirmed your destination, a scenario will load.
Scenarios can vary from being attacked, gaining resources, to just a quick event. You decide how you want the scenarios to play out. You can choose to investigate an area, you can choose to attack someone or you can choose to just walk away; it is completely up to you.
If you do go into combat, get ready to put your crew together. Choose wisely, as each type of crew member has its own type of combat:
Frontliners—Melee, minimal range. They can take the brunt of damage but not deal much.
Deadeyes—Snipers, highest range. They can deal high amounts of damage, but take very little,
Gunslingers—Pistols, medium range. Can do good damage as well as take a bit.
Trenchers—Shotguns, low range. Can do high damage and take a bit.
You can add additional crew members at the expense of some of your resources. Once your crew is selected, you are ready to go into battle. You get two moves per turn. You can move twice, attack twice, or one of each. Movement is not limited to one character; you may move who you want and attack with someone else if you choose.There are also weapon and equalizer buttons, you can use these to buff your crew to sway the tide of battle in your way.
Your movement and attack range is conveniently laid out for you by highlighted squares. Upon selecting where you want to move, your enemy will highlight with a crosshair indicating that you will be able to attack him once you move into that position.
Be wary of the enemies’ Blizometer. If it fills, the enemy can either double their action points or use their resources to inflict more damage. So you have to battle both smart and fast.
As you use your crew, they can level up and are able to deal and take more damage. This is particularly useful because as you progress through Bedlam, it gets a lot more hostile. If you run out of crew, you are unable to continue, and it’s game over.
BEDLAM’s visuals are pretty colorful for a post-apocalyptic game. The art style is similar to Borderlands, except the world is not 3D. The gamealso reminds me a lot of Oregon Trail in the way the game is laid out. You travel from point to point and experience scenarios and barter resources. You can also lose your passengers, except this time it’s from battle and not dysentery.
The battlegrounds are isometric and have some obstacles in it to provide cover or resources. Resources on the map add another strategy to the game. Do you want to risk losing some of your crew for more resources, or play more conservatively? Again, the choice is yours.
The animations for each character attack and movement are different and work well for the game. One problem I occasionally ran into was that sometimes your character shoots someone without facing them. It’s not a big deal really, but it takes away from the atmosphere of the battle.
There’s not much else to the game aside from the Dozer loading screen and the game map, but for what the game is,that’s all it needs.
There’s not much to Skyshrine’s BEDLAM in terms of presentation, but the gameplay is pretty solid. While the game may be short, the replay value is pretty high. It is quite enjoyable to go back and forth and try different scenarios to see how the game would play out, and you can also explore areas you haven’t before. If I could make such a bold statement, I’d say this game is pretty much Borderlands but in mobile form.
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