Bard’s gold is a 2D platformer which started out through Steam Greenlight, and was then brought onto console by the developers.
The story starts off with the Bard’s family treasure being stolen, it’s is your typical Mario and the Princess type situation, except this is with a demonic coin that can destroy the world.
The game has no tutorial and doesn’t hold you by the hand, you’re pretty much thrown straight in the deep end. The game does take time to master, and if you want to be successful at getting through each stage then you have to take the time to master the controls and the game in general.
You play through a series of rooms which have some very hard enemies within them. In each room there is a key which will open up the door to the next area. First of all though you have to beat the enemies that are in each room. There is no gentle warm up to the game, and as mentioned earlier you are thrown right in the thick of it.
Luckily in normal mode it isn’t a die and complete reset type thing, which did make me happy, however it was still annoying to die as often as I did. The loot that you collect can be used to upgrade different attributes that will be carried over on your next run. There is an RPG element to the game as you are able to upgrade your stats, and also gives you a reason to collect as much loot as possible. There are a lot of different things for you to collect within the game from Gems, to pieces of a map
Controls are fairly standard, stick or d-pad can be used to move the character about and then you can jump and double jump which helps to get you onto the higher ledges. The level design within the game is simple yet well thought, and it does have you thinking about the strategy that you are going to use for each room that you go in, especially the seventh boss room! You may be asking as to why does the strategy matter? Well, one hit kill be the reason… Some of the enemies are quite easy to get past and beat such as the slow moving blobs, however when you start to come across flying books etc, that’s when it gets even more tricky.
The pixel art is nice and compliments the level design well, however there are times where I did get the feel that some of the rooms you entered were a bit dull in terms of colours however that didn’t take away from the over design and layout that the environment provided.
I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the music within the game, it never really got me into the suspense that I am looking for a demonic coin and the dangers that this entailed. A lot of the time I felt like the music wanted to put me to sleep in the corner somewhere, just thinking that someone else will find the coin, or I’ll do it in the morning type thing.
The game was enjoyable, but again it was another platformer that mainly put me to sleep and didn’t give me any thrill of anything within the game. The lack of urgency to the situation within the game, mainly played out by dull looking levels and uneventful music meant that I just really didn’t care whether or not the demonic coin was found. At the end of the day, when you have played one platformer, you have played them all. I have probably said this countless times, but the genre doesn’t excite me. Regardless of the graphics and how it looks, I don’t have fun playing these type of games as they are all the same to me.
Good effort, poor execution. 5/10