Bardbarian is a tower defence game with a unique twist, the towers are attached to the main character and you steer them around the battlefield to take out the creeps.
There are elements from many games here, the lane approach of Plants vs. Zombies, the grind and slowly improve of many IAP games and even playing guitar riffs like in Brutal Legend to buff your group. The cartoon graphics are beautiful and the various towers look great.
You troops come in many familiar variants, from glass cannon ninjas to de-buffing Shaman to front line tanks and healers. There are even some familiar faces from the Indie world that make an appearance! There is a decent amount of strategy in the choice but you can only bring 3 types of towers at a time, I can't help but think if this limit was relaxed it would have provided a more interesting game. It is increased to 4 after you complete the game once but still...
You can be constantly on the move, attack from angles with high damage low health units to attacking front on with the tank taking the damage while shooing down lanes or even some variation thereof. I used a front line of ninjas with shamans and an engineer to provide support. Looking around there does seem to be a nice variation of viable builds, a definite plus!
The grind is the biggest issue here and shows the games IAP roots. Taking out IAP and just making the game paid for the PC market does not a great game make, it seems as though the grind is the primary game mechanism at times, not fun. There is only one map in the main game and even though every 5 levels out of the the total of 20 the time of day changes and you get a unique boss, there is no discernible difference apart from slightly different creeps. There are a couple of other modes, survival where creeps come from all angles and and escape mode where you navigate a maze of creeps and obstacles to see how far you go.
There are a few cosmetic bugs, but nothing major and I'm sure they will get patched at some point.
If steam reviews had a “meh” category this game would fall into it. It's too grindy for a paid game and doesn't really offer enough value for it's price. Pick it up in a bundle or on sale and wile away a few hours or don't!