The Bard’s Tale IV Kickstarter
Way back in 1985, a little game called The Bard’s Tale was released. It was another fantasy role-playing dungeon crawler game. This one, however, greatly garnered much of my attention. I’m not sure how many hours were spent hunting monsters, solving puzzles, and drawing maps. Yes, drawing maps. Back in those days, you had to make your own maps. (While carrying treasure, fighting monsters, in the sewers, going uphill both ways!)
If you’ve never heard of the game, think Dungeons and Dragons. It is very much in the spirit of that. You gather your party and venture forth to slay monsters, delve dungeons, and loot all the things. Most standard adventuring parties consist of a fighter, cleric, mage, and rogue type. Generally, you cover all the bases. This game provided a similar party building system, but highlighted the use of a Bard, whose abilities were ever so handy.
The turn based game allowed for a more relaxing adventuring experience. You had time to decide what to do. You were also encouraged to save often. Taking your time doesn’t always mean you’ll make the right choice… As you fought, reloaded, and fought again (or ran away), your party learned about their surroundings and became the story.
While I didn’t actually play D&D until I reached college (sad, I know), I believe that games like this are why I enjoy creating characters. I always gave each one a personality and background. It was immensely fun to immerse myself in the pixels and imagine the songs sung about my adventures in the local tavern.
The sequels, The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight and The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate, continued the story, as more brave adventurers sought out fame and fortune.
And now, the song adds another verse with The Bard’s Tale IV.
I cannot tell you how much squee occurred when I found out about this Kickstart. (Lots. There was lots.)
I am highly anticipating this game. Not only because of the joyous amounts of nostalgia that it summoned up, but also because they seem to be revisiting the original play style.
Sometimes game companies try to reinvent a franchise. They update graphics and streamline gameplay. Unfortunately, most of the time this means that they strip away core concepts that players loved. That’s what happened with the 2004 release. It is loosely tied to the franchise, but while it was entertaining, it did strip away a lot of fun things. In a sense, it was a different game entirely. That version let you play the role of the Bard. That was it. No party members. While the humor was great in that game, I definitely missed having a party.
I am looking forward to seeing more of this new one. It will continue the story after Thief of Fate apparently. Also, when I first came across the kickstarter page, I missed this Engine Video. I don’t think it was there before, but take a look.
Now, if you’ll excuse me for a moment. I need to pause for more squee… (SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!)
So, if this is a representation of how this game could look… Holy fuckin’ bard balls. This could be epicly beautiful. The originals had the tiled step by step type movement. You can see a bit of that in this video. Again, this makes me happy. I enjoy the pacing, and if this is how the game will look, each step will be full of wonder.
So, go check out the Kickstarter if you like fantasy and role-playing games.
If you are looking to play the originals, well, you’re in luck. There are several ways to get your hands on digital versions.
You can purchase The Bard’s Tale (2004 version), and it includes the originals. You can find the bundle on Steam and GOG for $9.99. However, the Summer sale is going on right now, which makes it only $2.49 on Steam. (Seriously, just go get them!)
If you want to wait a bit, and plan on pledging to the Kickstarter, you can also get the originals included with any pledge of $20 or more.