Bastard Bonds

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It’s odd.

When it comes to games, I never bother to play the game more than once. Most of the time, I only aim for the best circumstances to appease my desire. Then, it’s over. I have no more reason to play. Even if I do, it took several months to get the urge to play the game.

But, this game is different.

It made me curious.

I already beat this game for five times with various characters and craving for more… 
I wish I had more time to play.   

Before I continue, I warn you that it’s a mature game with adult’s topics and it has pixelated nudity. It is intended for mature audiences, it may not be everybody’s cup of tea and not meant for everyone

Whoever you are. You are a convict, either you’re guilty or not, whether you like it or not, you will be shipped away and branded as a criminal anyway. It’s only you who knows the truth. 

Your answer could define your alignment, your innate ability and someone who will rescue you. And there goes your adventure to escape the island for good.

When it comes to creating my own character, I always choose Wizard or Healer. However, there’s no class system in this game. You decide yourself about how you want to play the game. You can be anything that you want!

Sky’s the limit. 

When you level up, you only get one point to allocate to get a skill that you desire. Interesting thing the point also increase other areas. If you spend your skill wisely, at some point you can get two or three skills at once.

If you’re not thrilled with your build and want to start over. Don’t worry. You can reset and back to level one with a set amount of gold and redistribute the initial 10 skill points to your liking. This also applies to other characters, but they will not be happy and it will be laborious to gain their trust.

The gameplay is simple yet can be complicated (if you haven’t read the tutorial). Most of the time you only need to use your mouse, keyboard (F1 is your best friend) and your attention to make sure that you don’t get killed.

Your party consists up to four people when it comes to battle. 

If your party shares the same alignment, there is a chance for a comradely bonus. It means you will have a chance to attack again when using ‘Risk’ without being fumbled. There a skill that also stacks with comradely.  

To proceed deeper into the game, there are puzzles to be solved, which specific item needed to complete them which can be obtained in the same area or another place. And that specific item can be lost forever if you carelessly sold them. Some puzzles also need specific utility skill to complete.

There is twenty-one unique characters with their unique stories and they only will tell you when they trust you.

Special scenarios and some equipment only available after you gain their trust. And, when you bring bonded characters to specific places that will add more information about those characters. Not all the characters will join you because some characters simply can’t be together. They are mutually exclusive.

When someone trusts you completely, at some point, you will get their campfire scene. It’s an interesting take away from other convicts perspectives. To understand them better what behind their motivation, what’s bring them to Lukatt, although not all of them are criminals like what they say. Some of them are misfits, scapegoat and people who seek a place of where they belong.

Aww. That’s why this game resonates with me so much. 

The trust also affects the character’s ending. If I am not mistaken there are two different epilogs for each character (bonded and non-bonded) for an ending that you get, except romanceable character, which has three different epilogs. As far as I know, there are two endings. So, you got the picture!

Raising trust is not an easy task as you need to raise their level and frequently talk to them. But, it’s rewarding and worth the trouble.  

There is a lot of enemies that can be recruited and have bonded with. Some required a specific skill to be able to interact with them.

Not only that, your previous created characters also have the chance to appear somewhere in the game. In order to recruit more people, you need a stronghold with large capacity.

Don’t forget about the NPCs as well. 

As long you have required manpower and the place has secured, any places that available are good to go. 

For the first time, it took me up to 63 hours to finish the game. From exploring all areas of the world map, recruit unique characters, leveling up and gain their trust plus obtain the ultimate weapons. 

The new update on difficulty setting makes this game more challenging. Enemies can be troublesome and tough to defeat, especially when you’re outnumbered with enemies who have skills that available to higher level. But, I prefer this way because I can get new skills faster, plus it is easier for me to train low-level characters.  

I also have been playing this game with different gender and race. It’s intriguing that gender also affects the game. Not a significant thing, but hey, at least it’s mentioned on occasion. 

Unfortunately, the Orc race does not come from the same nation. I thought it would be exciting for a specific event. However, I am amazed at how Captain GerBear mentioned details in romance quest line event dialogues depend on your body features.

The game music fit perfectly, especially for creepy feeling when you explore some areas. 

The interesting thing, Captain GerBear’s characters from “See No Evil” also made an appearance in this game as cameos and one of them is a key person further in the game to unlock an alternate ending. 

Not only that, Grant also made it into the game as a unique character. And, Bato. Although they are not the same, but their resemblance is uncanny.

Things about this game that I like:
- Character customizations
- Deep and lovable characters
- Game that makes me feel
- Recruitable enemies with many sprite variations. You can build the army of nudist if that’s your thing.
- There are dialogues when you bring bonded characters at specific places. It always fun to see what kind of commentary that other bonded characters has.
- Skill points allocation
- Retro feels
- Replay value

Things about this game that I dislike:
- Although there are personalities for created characters, dialogues in the in-game event didn’t do much for their personality.
- It’s not a big deal. I hope there is a variety of dialogues when we are talking to characters in the stronghold, especially with romanced character. However, I appreciated, there’s follow-up in a specific place after romance quest ended.  
- There is no ending variety for a female human character for romanced character. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciated Captain GerBear’s decision. I only want to see if there’s half-orc coming. At least mentioned. I replayed the game with female characters twice in hope seeing this.
- Bugs. But, I only mention the most annoying that happened to me. Sometimes it happened with the character with stealth skill, after I attack monster stealthily, the character moved on their own, I lost their control and enemy hit them mercilessly and my character didn’t even get their turn until their death. When I switch to the party member, they also attack themselves. Saving and restart the game seems to fix this problem (temporarily). That made me cautious and save more often.

I understand, doing almost everything by yourself is such a chore. So, it’s kudos to the creator for the effort. 

And, before I forget, this is my characters:

You can buy Bastard Bonds on or steam. You may want to try the demo first before purchasing. As the demo has quite a length around 5-6 hours. 

Okay, I think that’s it. I only need to blow off some steam. And, thanks for reading this.

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  1. *cough* *cough*
    E, ciye, yang mainannya udah 18+...
    Harry dah gede ya :P
    Dari ulasan lu, sampai niat banget mainin 5 kali, keknya game ini menarik.
    Ntar deh kapan-kapan gue coba.

    1. Ahay. Yang udah gede mah emang beda maenannya. Wih, 18+ ya.
      Ngeri ngeri sedap tuh :P

      By the way, buat Harry: nice review, brah! Although, it's not my cup of tea.

    2. Ye, biarin atuh.

      Haha, bro, bro. Kalo ga rame mah nggak bakal diulang-ulang atuh. Ada banyak replay valuenya. Susah deh dijelasin pake kata-kata, itu kudu dirasain sendiri tapi aye emang terpesona sama gameplay-nya.

    3. Thanks, mbak sis :P

      Okay, pan udah dibilang di awal kalau ini emang not meant for everyone :D

  2. Just saw the game's trailer after reading this. Looks promising. Might give it a try later ;)

    1. You should give it a try. It's awesome XD