Grab the treasure, die, rinse, repeat.
Bards Gold is a game I had never heard of until it landed on my desk for review. A side scrolling, roguelike, adventure game? Not something I’m completely unfamiliar with these days. Is this indie title one worth grabbing right away, or maybe picking up later down the road? It’s possible with indie titles that they can always blow away expectations, especially if there are not any to have. Bards Gold instead just left me feeling like I’ve seen this before.
That’s definitely retro.
Bards Gold is definitely not a looker. Sure, it is going for an older style of approach in graphics, but even still it has a very basic look to it, and with somewhat drab colors. Perhaps the style just isn’t to my liking, but it really did nothing for me here. Sound effects and music also were a fairly low point from my perspective, with average sound effects and even with the soundtrack felt quite average in ways. I know this probably isn’t the best way to start off a review and readers are probably wondering “Is anything good about the game at all?” I can say yes…to an extent.
How long to beat: 5+ hours
Price I’d pay: $3.00
Bards Gold feature randomly generated environments to explore, and the bard goes from each location, making its way through the worlds, fighting enemies, avoiding traps, and taking on big creatures at times. Some levels have a shop, so this ensure players will want to keep grabbing as many treasures as they can find by fighting enemies or shooting sparkling hidden locations within the levels. It’s fun in a very basic way, but the real element comes from slowly upgrading stats when players eventually exhaust all their lives.
These elements eventually stack, but it’s a slow progression and if the pace of these were a bit increased, I think the element of trying the levels again after being defeated would feel a bit more urgent. Instead, it feels like a slow burn. Platforming is decent enough as well, but the view can sometimes be extremely skewed. This can be circumvented with the right stick to view the surrounding areas, but it can provide frustrating moment of error and death.
Decent but lacking creativity.
Bard Gold is a decent little indie title, but it’s one specifically aimed at people who are into these roguelike games. Side scrolling, with a little dose of death and progression goes a long way to keep the game entertaining enough, but it just doesn’t do enough different or interesting things to garner much attention. If readers are extremely into the genre, this is one to take a look at when on sale or if just looking for something different. Otherwise, if rogue like elements have never been something to grab attention, this won’t change that. I didn’t hate my time with Bards Gold, so that says something, but I could only play it in limited spurts.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.