Scent of a Gamer

From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.

Sometimes you can go back: a review of Bard’s Tale Trilogy

The original Bard’s Tale game was released in 1985 and challenged the player to take a party of adventurers out into the city of Skara Brae and save it from the evil wizard Mangar.

Many years and many twists and turns later a remastered version of the Bard’s Tale is available, with the second and third games to follow. Purchase a copy of the Bard’s Tale Trilogy, and you’ll receive the games as they are released.

Based on having played just the first game, I would call this a buy.

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Krome Studios managed to capture the look and feel of the game, while preserving the gameplay and keeping the game playable in today’s market. I’m no stranger to the pull of nostalgia. Sometimes you can go back, and then realise you shouldn’t have.

This remake keeps the game intact – it’s still hard to keep a low level party alive on the mean streets of Skara Brae – but makes enough improvements to keep you playing in 2018.

You can still die, though:

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Of all the improvements, my favourite is the automapper and journal. This has features which replace the graph paper and hurridly written notes of yore. This keeps the game playable as your eyes are always on the screen rather than your notes (or player’s guide).

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The map records the dungeon layout and any encounters, which all have their own symbols. If you are teleported and lose your bearings, simply opening the journal and having a mage cast Scry Sight will reveal your location on the map. Once you have access to the Apport Arcane spell, you can use the journal to teleport to a square of your choice – as long as the dungeon allows it.

With all these improvements I found I did one thing I never managed in the 1980s – I completed the game!

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Not without losses, as you see above.

I’d recommend this game to anyone who played it back in the day. I seem to remember enjoying the first, finding the second one forgettable, and loving the silly power levels of the third. You can complete the first game in about 20 hours of play, or faster if you know exactly where to go.

If you didn’t play these games before, I’d still recommend it as a charming title that provides a few hours of entertaining play. If only more remakes could be like this one!

 

 

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This entry was posted on October 13, 2018 by in Computer Games, Review and tagged , , .
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