The Bard's Tale Review
- Absorbing atmosphere; rich, period perfect sets populated by strong characters.
- Amusing storyline; not as funny as the first time around, but still pointed and relevant to today's RPGs.
- Unique magic system; summon creatures to do your bidding and stab the enemies from behind.
- Camera perspective constantly problematic; changes randomly between zones and requires babysitting in dungeons.
- Loose combat; no real snap or impact to blows or strikes, hard to keep track of fights.
- Unable to step through dialogue - watch it all or none of it; sometimes no option available (stores).
The Bard's Tale is a near perfect adaption of the 2004 original and while this means players can expect a quality title, it also means people who disliked it the first time around are unlikely to be persuaded to enjoy it this time around.
- Full Review
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There's a song and a dance to be made about the release of inXile Entertainment's classic title The Bard's Tale, but then we'd have to talk about puns and that's Dave's forte, not mine. So, over seven years since its release on home consoles and eventually the PC, we iOS gamers get a chance to check out this 3D Action-RPG title.
Weighing in at around 1.7 GB installed on your iDevice, you'd hope that the game was uncut, and thankfully (or is that regrettably) it is. What this means for gamers is a seriously adult presentation, complete with dry humor suited to a particular kind of patron (such as fans of British comedy), that pokes, prods, and lampoons the genre in a way that has since become a rather regular gag. As such it loses its sharpness, but touches such as picking up family photos of the person you've just slain or slagging off an angry citizen only to have them attack you close to the end of the game in revenge are not lost.
However, I'm getting ahead of myself.
You play the role of 'The Bard', a true anti-hero whose only goal in life is to be as self-serving as possible. If people happen to be helped in the process of questing, then the upshot is possibly not being run out of town quite so quickly.
Like any good Action-RPG the game revolves around its combat, which in this case involves summoning a variety of companions (the game's equivalent of 'magic') and welding a weapon or two as long as you have the skills for it. Sadly it falls in to the same trap of many other titles of the day, with combat being repetitive and at times a chore as you dance around doing nothing while waiting for your summons (who are extremely fragile) to be replaced.
Thankfully you won't have to manage your inventory as 'trash' items are immediately converted to a monetary value, while weapons and armor are exchanged with the best available as they're found. This may eliminate some fans of the genre from the field as the addiction of harvesting various treasures can be powerful, but for those interested in the story (which is quite amusing over its 20 hour span of gameplay) it's a welcome change of pace that keeps things moving forward.
Despite its amazingly adept conversion to the iOS platform, the game isn't without its flaws, notably the camera becomes a nuisance as it changes perspective seemingly at a whim (enter a building with the map oriented north, only to appear with it oriented east), while dungeons become tiresome as you constantly adjust to see where you're going. Other issues include the dialogue being entirely skipped if you touch the screen, which is a shame when vocal talents like Cary Elwes and the indomitable Tony Jay are on show.
The Bard's Tale hasn't quite survived the ravages of time intact and much of what was witty and charming about the game in 2004 is now droll and a bit of a running gag. It's a shame the game didn't receive more in the way of polishing to make it fit in with today's crowd, but if you're after a solid and occasionally chuckle-worthy game to eat up your spare time, give this game a go.
Description#1 RPG in 75 countries, including USA, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Japan, and China!
Sync your saved games between iOS and Mac!
Includes classic games trilogy!
They said it couldn’t be done… a full-scale massive 3D epic role-playing game on iOS! See why it’s the BIGGEST iOS game ever made!
“The Bard’s Tale is easily the funniest game I’ve ever played, and I’ve played all the funny games out there.” – IGN
You are the Bard, a selfish rogue weary of pointless sub-quests and rat-infested cellars. Through magical song you summon characters to join your quest for coin and cleavage!
“Ready your weapon and bladder as you embark on this ridiculously addicting quest and the funniest adventure of the year, The Bard’s Tale” – Game Chronicles
Prepare to immerse yourself in over 20-30 hours of adventure, featuring:
• 50 enemy types (not counting bosses!)
• A vast world to explore with towns, wild forests, rivers, castles, towers, secret dungeons, snowy mountains, caverns, haunted tombs and more
• A full cast of bizarre NPC’s
• Over a dozen special boss enemies to defeat
• 16 magical characters to discover and then summon at will to aid you
• Over 150 unique items of weaponry, armor, instruments, tokens, artifacts and loot!
• More Song & Dance numbers than any other game, including a zombie dance-off!
• Over 14 hours of outstanding voice-acting from top Hollywood talent, including Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) as the Bard, and the inimitable Tony Jay as the Narrator
But wait! That’s not all! Enjoy these great new additions in the iOS version:
• Leaderboards—for accumulated Silver and Experience!
• Achievements—over 50 spread throughout the game!
• Autosave—option to save automatically when you near a save-book in game.
• iCloud Saves—option to save to iCloud, enables sharing saves across your iOS devices.
• Time-Savers—optional in-app purchases are available to pump up your Bard and save you time! (Note: All such items are attainable through normal game-play, with time and persistence, just as in the original console release.)
• Classics Games—includes original classic games The Bard’s Tale 1, 2 & 3.
• Supports 60beat® GamePad.
Universal App with Adaptive Rendering:
For a single low price, play on all your compatible* devices! The Bard’s Tale takes full advantage of your hardware to maximize your experience--including HD resolution and 60Hz video refresh on capable devices.** iOS adaptation by Square One Games.
“This game is satire in its sharpest form” – Cheat Code Central
Play The Bard’s Tale today!
* Compatible with iOS 4.0 and higher on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch 3rd generation, iPod Touch 4th generation, iPad, and iPad2&3.
** HD on iPhone 4S/5, iPad2,Mini,3&4, iPod Touch 5G. Enhanced rendering includes: environment mapping, dynamic water surfaces, full shadow cast, and 60Hz display-refresh (with in-game “Battery Savings” option turned off).
We are committed to improvement. Please send support requests through The Bard’s Tale Support link below.
IT IS HUGE!
Please note: Installation over Wi-Fi can temporarily require as much as 3.4GB of free space on your device.
What's New in Version 1.8.6Fix the Kunal Trow maps achievements.
Further layout tweaks for iPhone X.