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Review: The Bard's Tale

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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The Bard's Tale

Image © inXile Entertainment

Category: Games - Role-playing
Developer: inXile Entertainment
Released: 12/1/11
Rating: Ages 12 and up
Requirements: iPad with iOS 3.2 or later

Download from iTunes

The Bard's Tale Features

  • Top-down action RPG that doesn't take itself too seriously
  • 50 enemy types, 16 characters to discover and over 150 items
  • A remake of the 2004 PS2/Xbox game
  • Support OpenFeint and the Game Center

The Bard's Tale Review

It doesn't take long to figure out that The Bard's Tale doesn't take itself too seriously. In fact, your very first quest is an adventure into a cellar to kill a rat in order to (hopefully) win the favor of a buxom (if somewhat dirty) barmaid. Unfortunately (spoiler alert!), the rat turns out to be a little bigger than you expected.

The game itself is about what you would expect from your standard action RPG. You'll swing your sword, slashing through baddies, and use your lute to summon magical creatures that you will unlock during your journey. There are various quests that will bid you to do simple tasks, and the overhead map will help you both navigate the game and locate the quest's destination.

Pretty standard stuff.

The Bard's Tale Screenshot

Image © inXile Entertainment

But what sets The Bard's Tale apart is the sense of humor that will accompany you on the adventure. Right from your very first quest, you'll notice that the game is different. Quite different. In fact, at times you'll think the game itself is just a vehicle for the developers to crack jokes. And from the drunken patrons singing an entire bar song at you to the Bard and the narrator having a discussion on how odd it is to find various ferocious animals having swallowed so many objects like picnic baskets, all of which happily fall out of their bellies when they are slain.

A port of the 2004 PS2/Xbox game, The Bard's Tale is still a great time, and is easily one of the funniest RPGs on the iPad. The entire tale will last you about 30 hours, justifying the $5.99 price tag, and while the game offers a few in-game perks for in-app purchase, all of them are actually attainable through playing the game without making an additional purchase. They just make it easier for people who like shortcuts.

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