The Bard's Tale PC

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 77
  2. Negative: 10 out of 77
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  1. Nov 6, 2013
    3
    While the send up of RPG tropes is appealing and, at times, very amusing, this game is simply awful. It suffers from one of the worst combat systems I've ever had the misfortune to have been subjected to, being both extremely unresponsive and uninteresting. The graphics are primitive and dull and the art direction is uninspired to the extreme. The writing is a little uneven but, for theWhile the send up of RPG tropes is appealing and, at times, very amusing, this game is simply awful. It suffers from one of the worst combat systems I've ever had the misfortune to have been subjected to, being both extremely unresponsive and uninteresting. The graphics are primitive and dull and the art direction is uninspired to the extreme. The writing is a little uneven but, for the most part, really well done with some very funny and enjoyable comedic bits. The voice acting is excellent for the most part during the game's cutscenes, only to be offset by some atrocious voice work during combat. Cary Elwes seems wasted, often choosing to play the Bard in a bored and disengaged characterization instead of a likeably charismatic rogue. The overall sound design is also horrible, with low quality effects, out of place and repetitive ambient sounds and voiceover lines stepping on each other. The RPG elements of the game have been dumbed down to near non-existence, and the loot system (for what paltry loot there is) is unrewarding since all finds are immediately converted into money, with no management of inventory or equipment. Summoned companions have settable AI modes which have almost no effect on actual gameplay. The game also has a tendency to screw up the controls coming out of cutscenes.
    Given the inherent promise of a humorous skewering of RPG clichés, it's disappointing that a serviceable game couldn't have been produced around that premise.
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  2. Mar 23, 2012
    3
    Vapid, mediocre, pointless game. Makes me concerned about the $15 I pledged for Wasteland 2 on Kickstarter...if these people consider this Bard's Tale game to be a game worth playing, who knows how they'll butcher Wasteland. Here's my guess: Dull, pointless combat. (Face your target, click him. Rinse, repeat.) The lowest common denominator of character development. Uninspired,Vapid, mediocre, pointless game. Makes me concerned about the $15 I pledged for Wasteland 2 on Kickstarter...if these people consider this Bard's Tale game to be a game worth playing, who knows how they'll butcher Wasteland. Here's my guess: Dull, pointless combat. (Face your target, click him. Rinse, repeat.) The lowest common denominator of character development. Uninspired, sometimes-obnoxious voice acting that plays right to tired gaming stereotypes. And an obsession with polygonal bosoms that only happens when you're a porn-obsessed teenager or a desparately lonely old man. What an embarassing piece of junk this game is. Glad I only spent $5 on it on Steam. Expand
  3. DonnieBrasco
    Jun 15, 2005
    4
    Awesome, hilarious absurd humor a'la Monty Python paired with subpar graphics, no RPG elements and "dumbed-down-to-ground" playflow make this a very mixed game. With a nice skills/char development and much more depth concerning gameplay this could have been a classic. Does the name "Anachronox" ring a bell? Not far....
  4. Knief
    May 19, 2005
    4
    Judging by the demo, anywho, this is a game well after its time, bringing nothing new to the genre.
  5. MitchellS.
    Aug 23, 2005
    1
    This thing sucks. Barely worthy of the name Bards Tale. Sorry I paid full price for it. It's a cheap, shoddy effort to cash in on the name by the original creator, who must have had a bad run of business luck or something, and got desperate. And it shows. The graphics are circa 1999. They're SERIOUSLY BAD, and if you told most gamers this came out in 2004/5 and they'd not This thing sucks. Barely worthy of the name Bards Tale. Sorry I paid full price for it. It's a cheap, shoddy effort to cash in on the name by the original creator, who must have had a bad run of business luck or something, and got desperate. And it shows. The graphics are circa 1999. They're SERIOUSLY BAD, and if you told most gamers this came out in 2004/5 and they'd not heard about it prior, they would have no reason to believe you. Gameplay is basically non-existent; I'm tempted to say this game isn't even finished, and that they decided to throw in the towel and release it at the "walk-through demo" state, which is pretty much what it is. That said, some of the content is damn funny. So it gets a one, not z ero. It just isn't worth $40. Or even $20. Expand
  6. Jul 17, 2017
    0
    I couldn't stand more than 37 minutes in this game. The humor — the only thing that could save this game — is not present. Maybe I would laugh at this jokes if I was 13, but I wouldn't remember them later.

    At a whole this game is a torture to play. It is clumsy and slooooow. In dialogue you can read faster than voiceover, but you can't skip line, only the whole conversation. Long
    I couldn't stand more than 37 minutes in this game. The humor — the only thing that could save this game — is not present. Maybe I would laugh at this jokes if I was 13, but I wouldn't remember them later.

    At a whole this game is a torture to play. It is clumsy and slooooow. In dialogue you can read faster than voiceover, but you can't skip line, only the whole conversation.
    Long animation in menus, longer loadscreens, longest character animation. No friendly exit-points (game can be saved only at specific locations, they are not rare, but it is still an inhumane design).
    Worst dialogue system I've seen so far: in pivotal moments you must choose not between lines or paraphrases, but between two :-( and :-) buttons. Since protagonist sometimes tells truly creepy lines (he's really bad with the ladies), it is very unnerving to guess what you are choosing from.
    This game tells some playful-kinda-sexy jokes, but it's really not impressive since I'm not in puberty.

    Slowness is the worst: I just have no time for anecdote that slow. Unsympathetic character, poor visuals and gameplay are secondary problems.
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Metascore
70

Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. PC Format
    45
    A victim of its own sneers, this is the world's first self-parodying game. [July 2005, p.90]
  2. While The Bard's Tale is told amusingly enough, the disappointing combat fails to lift it from the upper end of mediocrity.
  3. The wit present in this game is second to none and I honestly think this is what would have happened had Mel Brooks gotten into game making.