Battle Divas: Slay Mecha (BDSM) is a turn-based, grid-based tactics game. You move your entire team into position, and then each character attacks automatically in turn, hitting their designated attack range. Occasionally, you will also have access to ultimate moves, but there are no “skills” like Magic, Leap, etc., just basic attack ranges. This makes it a bit light in strategy compared to other similar entries. Nonetheless, there is some strategy in setting up the order of your squad, since you might want your melee units attacking first to make way for your ranged units, etc.
The heroes feel incredibly diverse and fun. For the most part, every hero has a “role” like ranged DPS, healer, debuffer which will be augmented by their weapon. The weapon determines their attack range, damage, and grants unique skills. How unique? I can give you one example:
Celeste uses a scythe, and she attacks all around her in an AoE. Her base weapon has a fairly straightforward “lower hp = more damage” effect. But her legendary weapon, which I started with, will begin battle by marking one enemy as a sacrifice. When the sacrifice or enemies in front of the sacrifice face Celeste, they get rooted in fear. When the sacrifice dies, Celeste explodes for a TON of AoE damage and lifesteals for the full amount.
I love this example because it’s my favorite weapon in the game, and every character has a bunch of these weapons that drastically change how they play.
Aside from weapons, there are two types of “gear”: equipment, and biochips. Equipment is mostly what you would expect. It gives stats tailored to your character and can be enhanced to give more stats, but some of the set bonuses are crazy. Examples: Summon a giant scorpion when you use your ultimate, throw hellfire every three turns, get a huge shield when you go below 35% HP, etc. They really went all-out with these.
Biochips cannot be enhanced, but instead you grind for the materials to craft them, and they give more standard SW/E7-style set bonuses like 20% extra atk or hp. A few of the sets are unique as well, like invisibility or flying. A lot of customization here.
All heroes are unlocked by progressing through the story, which is not easy, but probably won’t take more than a couple weeks of dedicated play. You can unlock a few more weapons for each character by grinding boss battles.
The time requirement feels really, really good here. It’s a lot like Arknights. When doing the stages the first time, you’ll have to manual and strategize a bit. After that, you can usually auto pretty simply, and the stamina is high cost for high reward. PVP is also entirely auto. There are no real “dailies” besides the bounties and PVP, so you can get in and out in 20 minutes.
In terms of what you’re grinding for, it’s mostly enhancements to your weapons/gear/biochips. There’s currently an event which is structured very well imo, very achievable to buy out the event shop with little time required, and the stages aren’t too hard for new players.
Gacha is for weapons (very rare), equipment (somewhat rare for the good stuff), or shards for equipment that want you to collect 20 to be able to craft the thing. How realistic is that? No idea yet, but it doesn’t feel great. With the typical new player generosity, I was able to do enough pulls to get the banner Divine Weapon + one equipment set, but I also have a bunch of 3/20 shards that will probably never materialize into anything.
There is a shop where you can craft shards for equipment sets, however at this point I do not know whether all sets are contained there. I think some are gacha-exclusive since I haven’t seen them pop up in the shop yet.
Overall, definitely not my favorite gacha, but spending money doesn’t feel required. Some of the gacha sets are weaker than the free ones in my opinion.
We have to talk about this mode, because so far, it’s everyone’s favorite part of the game. It’s sort of a “draft” mode where you get 3 entries per week, drafting your heroes and abilities and weapons as you progress through 30-ish stages. The stages get very hard, and if you lose, you have to start over, so auto doesn’t really work here. You have access to ALL heroes and weapons in this mode, regardless of your own progress.
To be honest, this is the most fun mode I’ve ever experienced in any hero collector. You get to play with heroes and weapons you’ve never even seen before, find out what kind of team comps work best vs certain enemies, and every run feels super different. It’s every roguelike/lite player’s dream. It is worth sitting at lv1 and logging in once a week just to play this mode.
Example: In my latest IW run, I had Sigurd (a tank) with absurd damage modifications and the rest of my team with various ways to apply def down to the enemies so he was practically oneshotting everything. Another party member, Julia, had ult cooldown reduction + a modifier where she would cast her ult twice if it killed an enemy.
- Overall pretty good balance of engaging but simple gameplay
- Most unique gearing system I’ve ever seen in a hero collector
- Most unique mode I’ve ever seen in a hero collector
- Zero RNG in gear enhancement and crafting
- The game respects your time, perfect side game that is also fun on manual
- All heroes unlocked through the story