[Editor’s Note: Check the bottom, under the trailer, for extra information.] Fairly short review from my end. Bard’s Gold is a short platformer game with a cutesy aesthetic, basic weapons/upgrades, and a tough difficulty. Most of the difficulty is front-loaded, as you learn of traps, and unlock perks that permanently improve your character. I think Bard’s Gold is perfectly serviceable, but I don’t know that I had much fun after figuring out some of the first gimmicks. I do respect the designer for embracing non-handholding design, so definitely evokes the old-school arcade vibe. After you get used to the surprises, there isn’t much in the way of replayability aside from some secrets. For me, the game does nothing to the point of dissuading a purchase, but I really can’t say I endorse it.
Bard’s Gold starts off fairly simply: enter a room with a special equipment that lets you view secret treasures hidden throughout the level. From there you dive into the dungeon. The game purposely plays around with brightness to keep you on your toes. Enemies like bats, flying books, or spikes can easily blend into the background and one-shot kill you. It promotes a slow, methodical gameplay, though there is a timer that will kill you if you don’t move into the next door. From there on out, the name of the game is find the key, go to a shop, open the next door. Shops are pretty sweet, and can give you player upgrades, new attack items, and a bit more durability. It gives you something to do with the ample trinkets you will collect from enemies and treasure chests. Other than that, there’s a few bosses to take care of until the end, but die once and you start all the way back from the beginning. Any remaining trinkets you held onto can be spent to unlock permanent blessings for your character. That’s really about it.
I was really reminded of Kaizo Mario runs, although the difficulty never reaches that level of frustration. It’s just gameplay that involves heavy trial and error, actively trolling the player, and testing your patience. I enjoyed the old-school pixel art, as tired as it may be in this generation. The backgrounds deserve praise: the locations are varied, and the colors are vibrant.
Ultimately, Bard’s Gold hosts very light roguelike elements, and entertains just enough without making a lasting impact. The price is relatively cheap, but I think there’s better titles to look out for. It bears repeating that there’s nothing offensive about the game, so I wouldn’t feel ashamed if you think it looks down your alley. I would sum up my feelings with amused, but nothing new grabbed me.
Bard’s Gold was designed by Pixel Lantern
A review copy was provided by the devs
Hellfirebam did not award Bard’s Gold the Indie Gamer Seal of Approval
Editor’s Note: Pizel Lantern has partnered with Huey Games to make a physical edition of this game through Kickstarter. They have put the game on a USB that’s in the shape of a cassette tape with an old style cassette case even… and for you young’ins out there, that’s an old format for audio recordings, very similar in concept of VHS tapes being an old format for video recordings. The game isn’t the only thing on the USB though, there’s also the soundtrack, artwork, and some other stuff on it.
There are three different tiers that provide you a copy of the game. The cheapest comes with just the cassette in a cassette case. The middle one comes with that and a couple of extras, namely, a extended inlay, which is basically the cover for the cassette tape case; an obi-strip, which… I have trouble explaining what that is honestly, and the cassette is a better looking version of the standard cassette. The last and most expensive one is just the medium priced one with another autographed game.
They’ve already met their goal and have only a little over a week left of their campaign, so if you want to donate to it do it soon. I, personally, think the concept is interesting as it’s a retro style game and then they made the physical release of it look like a retro medium too. I like the concept regardless of my feelings for the game. Now to get this out of the way: IndieGamerTeam nor any of it’s members take responsibility for what happens with and/or to the kickstarter campaign and/or your donations to said kickstarter campaign, partake at your own risk.