Why I Stopped Playing: The Bard’s Tale

Play Store: The Bard’s Tale

Dev: inXile Entertainment

Pub: ? (not clear who the publisher is for mobile versions; doesn’t appear to be Vivendi or related)

Graphics: Aside from the blurry, awful-looking opener, the HD update is surprisingly pretty and functional. The high-angle camera helps a fair bit in this respect.

Sound: The voice acting of the narrator is apparently the selling point here, but I didn’t get far enough to appreciate it. Otherwise, the voice acting is pretty painful and the rest of the sound is as well left off. Happily, there are subtitles.

Writing: This is the WISP.

Gameplay: Walking, talking, fighting, and puzzling action-RPG, but not terribly suited to mobile. The controls aren’t unusable, but I’ve a feeling I should have tried my controller, as the on-screen controls are easy to flub. I was constantly hitting shield instead of sword.  Also, the first fight you take on arbitrarily disables any combat using your own weapons and respects only your summoned helper, which is a special kind of shitty.

Time spent: maybe 15 minutes

Why I Stopped Playing:A cutscene closeup of jiggly tits? FUCK YOU.

The first scene is one long Male Gaze joke. It’d be funny a thousand years ago, but given this was written a little over 10 years ago, it’s an object lesson in why games continue to have problems keeping female players engaged and interested.

I tried to move on with the game, but the next scenes are nowhere near the level they’d need to be for me to want to continue to play after that opener. Apparently the main character being an awful person is kind of the point, but if I want my soul murdered I’ll go play any modern AAA game instead.