The Bard’s Tale

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The Bard’s Tale is a kind of reboot of the original Bard’s Tale series of my youth.  It’s not actually tied directly to any of the 3 original Bard’s Tale games.  InXile, which has been at the heart of some other cool projects like Wasteland 2, is also working on a true sequel called Bard’s Tale IV.  This Bard’s Tale was created in 2004 as an Xbox/PS2/PC game.  Some versions include the original 3 Bard’s Tale games.  If you play the Amazon version on a tablet, you get the originals.  If you play on the Fire TV, you don’t seem to.

The game is a 3rd person perspective RPG, with a ridiculous amount of 4th wall breaking dialog with the protagonist (voiced by Cary Elwes, of The Princess Bride fame) and the narrator.  I’m still working on my play-through, and will update this section once I’ve put in a little more time.  So far it’s reasonably fun, and worth the $3 price.

Notes:

  • The game definitely isn’t for little kids, with plenty of adult humor.
  • Even the low resolution assets are about 1.8 GB, which is a lot for these older devices, while the High Resolution assets are more like 3.5 GB.  The assets can be installed on an SD Card.

Fire Hardware Compatibility:

The game is listed as compatible with pretty much every Fire OS platform, all the way back to the original Kindle Fire, as it only required Android 2.3.  For fun, I decided to give that a try, using the low resolution assets (the game downloads either low or high resolution graphics files on first launch) and turning the graphic quality and frame rates all the way down.  I did the same thing on the lowest spec Fire TV (the 2014 Fire TV Stick).  The game is pretty playable on the original 2011 Kindle Fire, which shouldn’t be a huge surprise, I guess, since it was released in 2012.  On the 2014 Fire TV Stick I would describe the game as “marginally playable.”  It’s even a chore to turn down the graphics quality on your first run because the game is so choppy with the default settings.

Once you step up to marginally more powerful hardware, things change significantly.

Controls:

One the tablet side, it would be nice if they would do a control update.  They should go take a look at Knights of the Old Republic and check out the touch interface there.  I really prefer the camera controls that Aspyr created in that game to the ones in this one.  It’s better with a game controller, which is no surprise since it was originally developed for a console.

GameCircle Integration:

Amazon GameCircle integration includes Leaderboards and Achievements.  Syncing save games between devices would be nice.  GameCircle supports this, but it doesn’t seem that The Bard’s Tale does.  It would be nice if Square One added this.

Developer: Square One Games (port, original game developed by InXile Entertainment)
Game Web Site: http://inxile-entertainment.com/projects/the-bards-tale-android

Suggestions?  Corrections?  Updates?

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Amazon Links:

Amazon Download ($3)
My Amazon Review


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