First at all, hold tight. To play this game you are needing a 2.3 Android or better, $6 and a little bit of patience. Firstmost, because the 14Mb apk becomes a gruesome and gargantuesque 1.70Gb. If you haven’t ever tried to download such a pain onto your beloved Android SD card, be warned, because this will be the first of many feats it will need to fulfill. Oh, and if you wanna brag of your Tegra device, double that weight for a total 3.5Gb. This game will milk your Android till you think you are playing on a PSP.
In the likely case you haven’t ever played the original 1985 game, don’t worry: it’s included in the pack, but don’t blame anyone for getting a sudden blast on how games were then. In addition, it seems that Bard’s Tale II and III will be also downloadable for free in next updates, so have care and don’t get more hooked on them instead of the current, new one. Anyway, even when there’s a burning -and burnt- debate about which was the RPG that consolidated the genre, keep in mind that Bard’s Tale is nearly unanimously considered one of the best RPG’s ever for a reason.
Then, straight to the point: The Bard’s tale is an adventure game, more than a bird’s eye shot dungeon crawler. However, don’t expect to get lost in a maze, game’s quite straightforward which doesn’t mean it’s easy. In your way you will meet a bunch of non player characters with very long dialogues and cutscenes, and here’s the best part of it: game is beyond hilariousness, as if the spirit of Monkey Island (or the original Bard’s Tale, of course) had taken possession of inXile’s staff. It’s incredible to lean back on wherever you are sat and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy the dialogues, music and songs. Yes, songs. It’s a tale about a bard, isn’t it?
Between scene and scene you have to fight more than fifty different monsters, avoid traps, chop different bosses’ heads, save damsels and flirt with them and, well, save the world, though this last isn’t strictly necessary. Controls may feel quite clumsy at the beginning, and indeed they are, but you will have to overcome it. Graphics are awesome and surprisingly smooth, no surprises here, and you can change perspective sliding on the screen.
Along controls, the worst part are in-app purchases. They are only to put you green in envy for seeing what you can get later in the game, because there isn’t any need to purchase anything in the shop: all items can be obtained through hours of gaming. Online leaderboards may also be an unneeded addition to the game, but it doesn’t matter either. What it’s deeply appreciated are the save checkpoints, especially when we are talking about a game with nearly 30 hours of gameplay.
Battle’s quite thrilling and intense. The hack and slash routines are complemented by management of allies, so you won’t get bored. Main character’s voice is acted by Cary Elwes aka Westley “as you wish”, which takes me to wonder that if someone ever dares to make a game about “Princess Bride”, he should play Bard’s Tale first. Twice.
Therefore, perhaps the best Android game so far. There’s humor, and cleavage, and dances, and fire breathing giant rats, and a dog, and metanarrative jokes, and all stuff we’re sure you’ll love.