The Bard’s Tale

The Bard’s Tale

Dec 12, 2012

The Bard’s Tale needs little introduction, but I’m sure you’ll indulge me anyway.

This game, brought to Android by inXile Entertainment, is the tale so many feens will know and remember: the adventures of the irreverent Bard, the damsel-ly princess and ridiculous cohorts.

And, for the most important question: Cary Elwes is the voice of the Bard. Okay? Let’s go…

It’s a sizable download, which I kind of expected, but anyone who knows how involved the PC port is would not be too surprised. Even after the initial additional download, there were other optional ones. Gameplay made use of the screen space and virtual controls, and was beautifully enhanced by the mocking narration.

The game started out with allowing me to assign attribute points, or to allow the game engine to auto-allocate them (which I did). I could also pick out a talent, which I did as well. The 3D graphics were phenomenal. The opening cutscene did give me pause, and the dialogue leaned towards the bawdy, but it flowed very well (hint: the opening serenade to Charlie Mops is quite worth it). I was able to interact with others with the use of dialogue strips; tapping them made the Bard do what they said. I did tasks to move on; I found out early to expect the (large) unexpected.

The Bard’s Tale did a great job of incorporating tutorials into the gameplay. I learned how to use musical spells and to joust by playing along. The controls worked well, and I did not find a hint of lag. The transitions from voice to music were well done, and even carnage was represented well to the ear. The “bosses” made their presence felt, and I liked that the game did not spoon feed me; I had to think on my feet, so to speak. Another thing I liked were the optioned outcomes. At points, I could choose to be a jerk or be nice, and my choice could affect gameplay.

The missions did get craftier, but that is also a positive; this variation and diversity is what made the game quite compelling. I found save points in different places, which gave me an incentive to keep on playing; nothing hurts more than getting to a place and having to start back at the beginning.

The Bard’s Tale was an excellent rendition of a classic, and this re-telling, at the very least, will make more fans.