Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
Buy On
  1. With the deep character growth system in place here I could have been content with twice that amount of game time.
  2. 85
    Though the overall adventure is a bit short and the amount of items and weapons isn’t as great as those found within the console version, the Gameboy Advance version is still a highly polished game and is one that action gamers and RPG fans alike will simply eat up.
  3. It's every bit as good as the full-size version, only smaller. More focused on action than role-playing, Baldur's Gate is one fun little fantasy (not in the dirty way) title. [Feb 2004, p.114]
  4. Other than EA’s "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," there isn’t a finer action RPG on the handheld. There are slight gameplay and graphical issues, sure, but it doesn’t take much persistence to overcome these, and the positives far outweigh the negatives.
  5. 80
    Even though it's missing a few key elements from the original design it's based upon, namely multiplayer and story cutscenes, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance works out very well in portable form with its fast-paced action, extensive quests, and large variety (and quantity) of enemies to defeat.
  6. It has all of the characters and story events--and a majority of the essential gameplay elements--that made the Baldur's Gate series so addictive in the first place, but now they're all on a highly portable GBA cartridge.
  7. Nintendo Power
    Although characters have the attributes and expendable skill points that you would expect to see in an RPG, the game emphasizes action over strategy. [Mar 2004, p.119]
  8. While the story isn’t as captivating and some changes have been made (including stripping away multiplayer), Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance is still more than worthy of the handheld hacker crown.
  9. 80
    Though its complexity comes nowhere near that of its PC and console relatives, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance steps up and represents for the Forgotten Realms.
  10. Cheat Code Central
    It can be completed in one day or stretched out over a weekend, as long as you don't play through it again as the different characters.
  11. The issues with the camera, no map, long backtracking at times to get to an item shop or safe zone, and bad AI indoors hindered what could have been a really great experience.
  12. No longer does incorporating the rules of Dungeons and Dragons mean a compromise between fun and complexity. Dark Alliance is a testament that both can be brought to the table -- even to a smaller one that fits in your hands.
  13. What really drags this game down is the fact that it uses, reuses, and re-reuses the maps – sending you back through the same dungeons over and over again to collect this key or open that new passage.
  14. Pocket Games
    It would be nice to see the developers expand on this and either make an original action/RPG for the GBA or bring over "BG: DA II." [Summer 2004, p.35]
  15. 70
    The up-close character portraits and overwrought voice acting is gone, but everything else is there -- the mazelike caverns, the glorious level-raising, the seemingly endless array of equipment.
  16. I did not play all of it, but I did play enough to find AI flaws, get bored, and generally not like it at all.
  17. netjak
    It would appear that the transition from consoles to the GBA has sucked quite a bit of the fun out of the game; ironically, the GBA game seems dumbed-down when compared to its console counterparts.

Awards & Rankings

#22 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2004
#16 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2004
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. JoeyG.
    Sep 16, 2006
    This game is fun. I'm a little disappointed in the fact that you don't fight the dragon though one of the best GBA games
  2. KyleT.
    Aug 14, 2004
    This game was pitiful! it was way too short and the gameplay sucked! the creators should have stuck with the playstation version.
  3. GerardG.
    Apr 25, 2004
    It's a shame that the characters you can play with all look and sound the same. Also, when you've played the game one's or It's a shame that the characters you can play with all look and sound the same. Also, when you've played the game one's or twice there is not much fun about it anymore, since the levels and creatures don't chance (like in Diablo 2 PC). But the graphics look nice and gaining levels is also cool. Full Review »