Let bions be bygones preview | Buggy visual novels

Let bions be bygones banner image

This game title is capitalized weird, right? You’d expect initial caps. But this is a game from Eastern European indies. You can allow Let bions be bygones have some weirdness. But, weird provenance or not, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an excuse for bugs.

Let bions be bygones is a cyberpunk noir quest game. As a retrofreak, detective Cooper looks like the stereotypical washed-up noir detective. But he’s surrounded by cyborgs and the femme fatale entering his office is a remotely controlled bion – an android that could house a human consciousness.

Let bions be bygones screenshot: Cooper talks to a femme fatale
Decimal years were implemented as a clever ploy to make libertarians interested in persons above the age of consent.

His job is to find a Upper town girl that went slumming – and disappeared, maybe purposefully so. On his trip, Cooper will be (optionally) accompanied by his talking gun (annoying) and visions of his dead paramour (empathetic).

My legs will never be augmented

As for gameplay, Cooper will slowly side-scroll through the scenes, letting you interact with some details of the environment. Sometimes, you’ll even get to collect items for later use. But most of time, you’ll be talking.

Thinking about it, Let bions be bygones is very economical with its locations, with few being more than two screens long. Neither are they overburdened with interactive elements. You’re mostly there to gawk at game art and be suitably impressed with all the voice acting crammed into an indie title.

Let bions be bygones: dialogue screenshot where Cooper, his girlfriend, and his gun all agree that a guy is a cuckold who deserves his life
Talking, yes, but also being very judgmental internally.

There’s also a behind-the-scenes skill system, reminiscent of Disco Elysium’s sorry/superhero/etc. cop system. The more you act a certain way, the more you’ll be likely to succeed at appropriate skill checks. You’ll never know your skill level or that a check is coming, but it’s fine. Actually, the game could used to have even more skill checks than there are now.

There are also some issues with the writing in Let bions be bygones. You’ll see that it’s an Eastern European game by the lack of certain sensibilities. No, it’s not an -ist game – at least as far as I had seen – but we could have done without the hired cyborg muscle with the intellect of a child.

Forget it, jack, it’s Bionstown

And, on a more pet-peeve sense, Let bions be bygones hits you with an unsubtle Disco Elysium reference as soon as you get to interact with the environment for the first time. And by the time Act 2 starts, you’ll have encountered a meta-joke about how things in quest games ARE SILLY and that THINGS DON’T WORK THAT WAY IN REAL LIFE.

Let bions be bygones screenshot: metro graffiti says LET BIONS BE with some messier graffiti adding "bygones"
Title drop?!

But that’s the least of Act 2 sins. Act 1 had some polish issues, like some place-holder text or not dealing well with sequence-breaking. Act 2 is just broken. I was getting quests and reactions not based my actions in game. The connections between locations were janky.

Buttons would remain present in dialogue windows without doing nothing. One character’s dialogue would just kick you out and then start it all over again next time you talk to him. At that point, I wasn’t confused by the mysterious happenings – it was closer to undergoing a reality breakdown a la the end of that one lesbian space android game.

Game not good

At the time of playing, the main menu was promising an Act 3 coming soon. Considering that the first act of Let bions be bygones doesn’t last too long and Act 2 is immediately broken, I was in no position to finish the game before writing this (May 9th). So consider this as a preview. Maybe, to the delight of all the people who told me they had high hopes for the game, the devs will release a final, full version eventully.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *