By Patrick Shaw | 09-20-2012 | 11:00AM
It’s been almost eight years since Brian Fargo and developer InXile released The Bard’s Tale, an imaginatively-written adventure game lampooning the role-playing genre. The game was loosely based on Electronic Arts’ traditional RPG by the same name from 1985, but it stood on its own with its razor-sharp wit and inspired cast of characters.
Now, InXile is bringing Bard’s to a whole new mobile audience as the game has finally come to Android (get it on Google Play here). Brian Fargo discusses why he believes the game still holds up after so many years.
“It has been extremely satisfying to have such a positive reaction to our comedy RPG,” Fargo says. “I jokingly refer to it as our Wizard of Oz in that it continues to be appreciated more as time goes on.”
But Fargo notes that the game wasn’t immediately embraced by all gamers. Combining elements of comedy, adventure and dungeon-crawling, The Bard’s Tale doesn’t neatly fit into any one particular genre, so people didn’t quite know what to make of it when it initially came out on PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2004.
“[I]t was not a hardcore RPG by any stretch...,” Fargo explains. “[But] the praise and great comments continued to rise as more people played it and understood what it was.”
And Fargo isn’t kidding when he says that the unique experience The Bard’s Tale delivers hasn’t aged much. Recently released on iOS, the game currently maintains a perfect 5-star user rating on the App Store. The developer expects a similarly positive reception from the Android audience.
Image: The Tegra 3 optimized version of The Bard's Tale offers high quality visuals on par with those of the original console release.
Fargo reveals that the overwhelmingly positive response from gamers has made him even consider re-releasing the original trilogy from the 80s. “[That would] really push it over the top,” he says,
“I think the sheer charm of it all is what makes it still resonate today,” he adds. “The writing is very funny and the voice acting by Cary Elwes and the late Tony Jay really bring it home. We tried to push the range of emotions that are found in games beyond just revenge.”
And with The Bard’s Tale being optimized for Android devices powered by Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 processor, it offers a high-definition experience with visuals on par with the console version.
Fargo agrees that the extra level of visual flair afforded by the Tegra 3 chipset is really the way to experience The Bard’s Tale on Android.
“The dev team really went crazy in optimizing it for Tegra 3,” he says. “So much that the final install of the HD version sits at 3.5GB and it looks awesome!”
He believes that the game’s re-release on Tegra is a good example of how mobile game graphics are gradually catching up to what we’ve seen on consoles and PC, too.
“Tablets will eventually be on par with consoles, and the HD versions of games coming are a good sign of the upcoming times.”
Image: The Bard's Tale promotional artwork from the console release, which illustrates the game's lewd sense of humor.