Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mobile.

Release Date: March 5th, 2019

Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch

Developer: Pixel Lantern

Publisher: Pixel Lantern

Price: $8.99 USD

I was given the opportunity to play Bards Gold on the Nintendo Switch. What I found was a grinding Dark Souls like game that was enjoyable to play on the go. Here is my review for Bards Gold.

Story

The story in Bards Gold is simple and doesn’t even affect the score of this review. A goblin has stolen your gold and you travel through four different areas to track him down. The game doesn’t give you any side quests or tell you really anything about your character. Some games work very well with no real story. Bards Gold addictive gameplay allows for the lacking story to just be ignored in a good way. Your’re not going to play this game because of a compelling narrative.

Audio

 In all of the games I review, the audio is usually the one aspect that gives me the most trouble. At my age I don’t want to hear some annoying droning song or awful voice acting. Bards Gold features none of that. The music isn’t terrible and helps add to the environments in the game. Pixel Lantern does a great job bringing the audio over to the Nintendo Switch.

Graphics

Bards Gold is nothing special to look at in terms of graphics. It is a very simplistic retro themed game that brings back those warm feelings of our youth. The game’s visual style allows for you to get comfortable to the point you will mess up. For example, the coloring of the book shelf can hide the flying book that kills you; these things will happen. The simple look and feel of the visuals lull the player into a sense that this isn’t something like Dark Souls. In actuality,this is another portable Dark Souls-like game that will kick your butt.

Gameplay

Bards Gold starts off as a hard knock punch in the face. Once you unlock some skill books the game gets a bit easier. It does take plenty of playthroughs to get to a point that most players would enjoy. During the time I spent playing through the game, I found the levels became noticeably easier as you played them. So at some point I got cocky and figured this game would be no big deal. That’s when my world collapsed around me and a new set of levels replaced the ones that I had spent so much time on. Saving gems gives you the chance to buy upgrades or you can pay for special items. Those items are so nice to have but I just feel like it’s not enough though. Why don’t I have some special Pikmin too? Legend of Zelda weapon? I want just a little more help in this game.

Each level has a timer set to destruction. If you spend too much time looking around for secrets or fighting enemies, the sky starts dropping fire balls. This isn’t some huge AAA title that millions have been spent developing over the last few years. This is a small indie studio that brought some fantastic gameplay elements together. Some elements are missing from the game that could have been added with some more time. Online play is something that I would have loved to see in this game. Different players fighting to get the most treasure before the fireballs come.

Verdict

In a Summer full of games, it can be easy to miss Bards Gold. Don’t skip out on this game. It is a great game to enjoy on commutes and long trips. Bards Gold may not have online play or even in-game instructions but the game has heart. Some games that are being released over and over don’t deserve to be brought to so many players. Bards Gold is a game that should be. Saying that, I still feel like this version should have more than any other version of the game.

Review copy was given from the developer.