You play as Brad the barbarian, who is awoken to the sounds of his town under siege. Today is different though; Brad has grown tired of fighting all the time. The usual grind for XP has grown dull, and he has decided to pursue his dreams of making music instead of shedding blood.
User reviews: Very Positive (657 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 1, 2014

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"There're some hiccups with the touchscreen controls but it works mostly great. You might need a decent device to play it."

About This Game


Thanks to Young Horses, Slick Ent Inc, and Team Meat for allowing us to do these amazing crossover exclusives for our Steam launch.

What is Bardbarian?
Bardbarian is a game! A game we've been lovingly working on for far too long and are ready to unleash on Steam with (hopefully) some love from the Greenlight Community.

What genre is the game?
It is a mixture of Tower Defense, RPG & RTS with some 'Shmup and Snake elements.

What's the Story?
You play as Brad the barbarian, who is awoken to the sounds of his town under siege. Today is different though; Brad has grown tired of fighting all the time. The usual grind for XP has grown dull, and he has decided to pursue his dreams of making music instead of shedding blood. Fashioning a lute out of an old axe, he steps out to save his town in the most bizarre of ways.

What's Gameplay like?
Move Brad around the battlefield and dodge incoming enemy attacks and projectiles. Brad is constantly playing his axe-lute and generating notes, standing still will cause him to "jam" and generate notes even faster. These notes act as your in-game resource; you can spend them to perform solos to summon units to follow and fight for you, as well as solos to boost their performance.

Navigate your party through the hordes of enemies, dodging and attacking, preventing them from destroying your town's prized decorative crystal. Survive waves to progress, collect loot, and unlock new units. Upon death you are able to visit the town shop in order to upgrade Brad, the town and your followers, in hopes to make it further next time.

Features!
  • Beautiful, hand-drawn artwork from start to finish
  • An awesome Rock/Metal original soundtrack by Maximum Satan
  • Bizarre genre-bending hybrid gameplay
  • 12 unique units to unlock
  • Customize your party loadout; Over 200 possible combinations
  • Collect loot from your fallen enemies and upgrade Brad, the town, and your units
  • A difficulty curve that will punish you for making mistakes, and you will
  • Over 8 enemy types to make you regret everything
  • 4 Epic boss battles to crush your spirits
  • Endless and Survival modes with leaderboards for when you're feeling competitive
  • Easter eggs and references galore, can you spot them all?
  • There's a dinosaur boss
  • There's also a Ratcoon, look at those sad little eyes

Steam/Greenlight Exclusive Features
  • Full controller support + KB+M
  • Revamped UI
  • Camera Control
  • Steam Cloud Saves
  • Rebalanced for Desktop
  • 3 Exclusive Indie Crossover Units
  • Steam Achievements/Leaderboards

Future Feature WishList
  • Steam Workshop Integration / Build & Customize your own campaigns & Units
  • More Levels
  • More Enemies
  • More Units
  • Sandbox mode
  • Looking into Local Co-Op

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise (including 64 bit editions) with Service Pack 2, Windows 7, or Windows 8 Classic
    • Processor: 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, or Intel Atom™ 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbook class devices
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X v10.6, v10.7, v10.8, or v10.9
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
Helpful customer reviews
57 of 69 people (83%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
Yeah this game is pretty rad. I picked it up in a bundle and really recommend it, even at full price RRP it's pretty worth it. As far as tower defence games go, its way up there on the list and deservedly so. Great music, funny gameplay and decent upgrade system with loads of unlocks. Well worth a blast if it's in your library. Controller recommended.
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63 of 80 people (79%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
Bardbarian "is a mixture of Tower Defense, RPG & RTS with some 'Shmup and Snake elements". I have no clue where the RTS element is.

It's essentially a game about defending your town crystal from incoming waves of enemies. How do you defend it? You summon party members with different abilities, and you run around dodging bullets and buffing your party (you do not control your attacks, that's all done automatically).

When I saw this game, I thought it looked interesting enough to give it a go. The reviews were surprisingly positive, so... why not?

I'll just say that I was extremely disappointed with this game, and the reviews are unbelievable. I honestly don't know why people think this is a good game of PC! Here's a more lengthy analysis.


First off, presentation.
The graphics look a bit average to me, but they're fine. What you see is what you get (from the screenshots). One problem with it, is that it's highly repetitive, even visually, since you have only one map for the campaign. And it doesn't really change its look. Other modes have different maps, but nothing beautiful or interesting.
They're fine. That's all I can say about it.

The music was actually not bad. It's almost neo-classical metal, instrumental only. Unfortunately, there's only one song on the campaign. The song loops the entire time, which can (and does) get repetitive after listening to it hours on end. The song loops pretty seemlessly, so that's good (from what I could tell). It was just background music, didn't really add to the experience.
There were no volume sliders either. Only music/sound-effects on/off.
Very limited overall. A bit more effort and it could have been much more enjoyable, but playing the same track over and over and over... not good.

The interface was fine. The mouse support works fine on the menus. I played the game with a Gamepad and it worked well as well, so good job on that. Unfortunately, the concept of an Options Meny seems to be very foreign to the developer. There's barely anything, which is really annoying. But hey, at least it had rebindable keys!
It's.. again, fine. Nothing noteworthy here, it's missing a bunch of options, but it didn't really prove to be a problem, in my experience.



So, how's gameplay?
Well, it's a grindfest. Almost a waiting game...
As I said, you don't actually attack. So, your whole job is to summon party members, and run around the map, getting close enough for your party to attack. You can also boost the party with +Attack, +Speed, +Defense, or a special Stun ability. If your party member dies, you'll have to summon them again, at a cost. If you Bard dies, or your Crystal is destroyed, you lose. Simple enough.

To summon units and use buffs, you'll need to gather "Notes". You gain a few over time, and you get some more from enemy drops, sometimes.
And that's pretty much it, as gameplay.
Enemy variety was pretty good. They'll shoot at you, with some of them being faster, some firing multiple shots, in multiple directions, etc. It felt inspired by The Binding of Isaac (in a good way). That's not to say that the enemy variety is even remotely closer. Not at all. There are about 10 different enemies, and some of them are fairly similar.

So, all you have to do is literally run around, for the most part. And it gets very old, very fast. It's clearly designed as an iOS game... And a lazy one.
It does have some bullet hell elements. And those could have saved the game! But, there's a huge problem with that. As I mentioned, you have units. These run around you. Which means that your hitbox is huge, and very inconsistent. You simply can't do those awesome dodges you would in a bullet hell. There's no way.
There's an upgrade on the shop for the party to stick closer together, but it barely helps... Everytime you move, they'll stay a bit behind, which would be fine, but it provides nothing of worth! It simply inutilizes most of the dodging. Which means that you'll always play safe, run around, not feeling like a badass.
That's all the gameplay is. Running around.
The Boss fights were significantly better, but still not very good. A few simple patterns, but they at least felt more refreshing.

The second part of this game, is the upgrading system. The game is structured with 4 times of the day, each with 5 levels (a Boss Fight in the 5th). Once you beat a Boss, you can't start from that point after you die, or you can go back to the beginning. This could have been fine, but it isn't.
The upgrades are absolutely necessary. It's literally impossible to make any progress without upgrading everything. And that's usually how games go, but this is different. Your progress is 95% affected by your upgrades. There's no skill involved. It's a question of either having enough damage, or not having it. Even if you're a good player, you'll simply be overun by enemies that will rush you crystal. Once you die, there you go upgrade some more, and then beat it easily. And that's the whole game. The upgrades aren't at all interesting.
They're just that, upgrades. More damage, more health, more speed, more money, more notes, etc.
This makes for a very, very stale game. You're always doing the same thing! Running around, collecting gold so that you can buy more upgrades, until you reach the end. There are no deep mechanics to learn or master, no strategy, no anything.

The only glimpse of strategy, is choosing your units. You'll unlock different units throughout the game, with different abilities. There's a huge problem with it, though. First off, some of them are pretty much useless. They're not helpful at all, so there's no point in even existing. The other problem, is unit upgrades.
You can upgrade them too (see it as levels, basically. higher level=better version of the unit, simply that). BUT, if you want to test a unit, and see if they're any good, you'll have to upgrade them to the same level that your other units are. Otherwise, you can't compare them very well, can you? But, to upgrade them, you'll waste gold, that you only want to use in a unit that you know will be useful. And this is where the system falls apart.

To try the unit, you'll have to waste gold already, otherwise, there's no point, as they'll be incredibly underpowered. This makes it a waste of gold (which equals to a waste of time, as your play time is simply to collect enough gold to make progress!). It's broken and pointless. This leads to a very limited cast of characters. I stuck around with most of the initial ones because of it. And I've done fine. Different characters could interact differently, but when the gameplay is literally just running around, it makes almost no difference! You don't play with the characters, they play themselves.



To its credit, there are 2 other game modes. One is just survival, in which you get a random unit spawn that you must collect, and sometimes food (healing). There are bosses, from time to time, and the enemies will try to kill you (no crystal this time).
The other one is an infinite runner mode, you a few stationary enemies (pretty much towers), and randomly spawned obstacles. Both of these modes unlock 2 cross-over characters, so you are encouraged to try them out.
The achievements were... meh. Barely anything to encourage you different (and interesting) character combinations, which is a really big miss. They're mostly for beating each Boss, unlocking characters, upgrades, etc. Nothing interesting. And that's unfortunate.


Conclusion
This game is literally a waste of time. You'll collect gold to buy upgrades and progress in the game. You'll not learn how to master the mechanics the more you play. You won't feel any kind of rewarding sensation whenever you beat a Boss.

The game has potential, but ends up feeling like a lazy iOS game. You'll be entertained for 1-2 hours. Not more.
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
Bardbarian is one of these games I went into "just to try", and find myself returning to now quite regularly. It has quite an original concept, being a tower defense with more than a twist. There is a central point to defend, and there are enemies coming in to attack, ever more, ever more strong. So far, so good.
But. The towers to defend your stronghold are not static, but are attached as party-members to the Bard you can steer around the battlefield, destroying enemies "on the fly" as it were. You do not attack yourself, but one can enhance the attacks of your party-members by playing short guitar-riffs, played free by collecting notes. Extra attack, speed, defence and a short freeze of the enemies come in handy as the waves of enemies get stronger. As usual, units and your Bard himself can be upgraded, for this one needs the coins the enemies drop in abundance.
In order to succeed, fast reactions and speedy thinking are necesarry. I found it difficult at first to keep an overview of the battlefield, as several issues need attention: where are the enemies coming in at thier strongest, which buffs are needed, did any of my units die so I have to summon a new one, is my stronghold still going strong, .... But after a while I got used to it and enjoyed running all over the place, with my little but brave party. Playing it with an Xbox 360-controller certainly helps and feels most natural.

Enemies get quite strong before halfway in the game, and so sustaining the 20 waves is no easy task. Every 5 levels there is a boss, but for the most part enemies do not change that much during the game. Still, with an extra "free run" mode (try to get as far as you can dodging the enemies) and with a "survival mode", one can come back to this game again and again. As can be expected nowadays, there are Steam trading cards and some inviting achievements, which really help to appreciate the game to the full. No classic, but still very enjoyable. Don't hesitate to buy this, especially when it's on sale or in a bundle.

Gameplay: 20/30
Graphics: 12/20
Sound: 9/10 (the combination of the sound-track and the guitar riffs works admirably well)
Longelivety: 14/20 (thanks to the extra modes, and to an extra difficulty level)
Technical & stability: 9/10
Personal rating: 7/10

Overall: 71/100
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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
16.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
everything about this game is perfect for it
great music
lovely artwork
nice multiple gameplay modes
easy controls
a refreshing take on tower defense genre

some might complain about the grind but I think that is only there to keep it challenging and interesting to replay it
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 21
Bardbarian is a action tower defense game where movement, upgrades, and abilities are key. Song notes represent the unit currency of the game that allows you to hire or buff your recruits.. Units are active, which makes movement important, staying still will result in them being hit, or worse you being killed. The focus relies on player movement rather than building towers to re-route enemies.

Endless and Survival are two side mini-games which provides cash based on performance, that helps upgrade units for the main campaign. You can unlock characters by accomplishing certain feats on both modes. Endless mode is when you are running and trying to survive all the bullets on the screen, accumulating as many miles as possible which I found a welcome mix-up from the normal gameplay.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 18
Decently fun horde-based bard-oriented carnage. Don't go looking for ultra depth but it's good fun while it lasts and offers enough variety. Fairly good challenge but relatively easy to 100% so for those who lack time (like me) that's always a plus. Recommended if you don't have much to play (which won't happen, I know) or if you want to pass time at work or something. Oh, it has loads of cameos of other indie game characters!
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
The game is nice for people who love music . In game you're a hero who fighting agaist monster with you're unit. So of unit you unlocked by waves or taking other gameplays mod. There's no checkpoints between games. Checkpoints is only when you done of area then you can start from there. When you come in wave 4 you will unlocked mage. She can heal you but when she heals you she gonna lose her life and if you want to she heal you will need to stay. First boss will be in stage 5 last stage of morning. Then is second boss in wave 10 then in 15,20 and last boss in 25 wave. You can upgrade you're hero,unit and castle.
In game you have skills which take 10 notes attack,speed and defense. Notes is in battle money you need for using skills and buying units. You have a special skill which stun enemy for few second it's useful.

My rating for this game is 10/10 I love it and i don't need checkpoints between waves
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
15.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
One of my favourite indie games of all time. Very easy to pick up and play, very addictive and never unfair. Get it at full price.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
Hope this will help other gamers and rogue-like/light enthusiasts, have fun! ^.^

Bardbarian is like binding of isaac mostly but without randomly generated rooms, items beeing gained by collecting money from mobs;

Cons (most are small inconveniencies):
- not the best looking game for those who care for such things;
- not a very challenging game;
- can be a bit grindy;
- once last class aquired other classes are more or less useless (but if you want it to be challenging you can pick other classes);

Pros:
- not a very challenging game;
- has a good variety of classes and upgrades;
- has 4 modes, survival, escape, normal and Day 2(infinite waves);
- music is not bad despite repeating;
- an ok number of monsters (with diferent atacks);
- controls seemed responsive for me;
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 23
I played this game for hours , I think the curve (values for balancing) isn't right.. this feels like mobile game. Yeah I notice that bardbarian have mobile version (probably mobile version come first), i expect the dev already aware about this before launching it on steam, this game is good, but very very repetitive

pro
- good music
- nice graphic

con
- the game economic, it feels like MOBILE game :( please don't put us as free user when we actually pay in steam

I can't review becaues my time is limited, but that's my impression after 4-6 hours of playing
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
This game is tons of fun! You can easily get lost in it for a good amount of time.

Although It sort of has a grindy feel to it, kill enemies - get coins - die - upgrade - fight more, etc.. It is very fun and can be quite challenging as you get towards the harder enemies before you've upgraded your hero and his units. It is quite rewarding though, as you try to survive and unlock more characters and better stats for your group and battle area.

Good Fun, Do Recommend.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
What a fun game!

I am not a tower defense games player, but this one is really good and addictive. You collect gold to upgrade your minions, your city and your hero. It's not really hard and you can experiment with all the different minions what's the best team for you, so high replay value. The more into the campain you go, the more difficult the levels and the bosses are... but it's always a fair battle. There are also 2 (3) survive mode.
It is possible to get also 100% achievements, if you are into them ;-)

Support the devs that made this little gem and buy it, you will not regret it!

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
Ok Bardbarian is a cute and fun Tower Defence Game!! You play the Bard and you hire little minons to help you kill off waves of attackers.You yourself dont fight, you just run around and let them kill for you :) Its very RPGish there are upgrade you can buy for your minons and for yourself and the town to aid in your defence and attack. Its has very good and clean 2D animations that are pretty well done and cute.The game is very casual also.I say give this one a shot if you like a Action RPGish Tower Defence game!! :)
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
First I thought this was going to be one of those bundle filler games that are good for nothing (except filling bundles ofc). I was surprised to find a pretty damn good game. Try it out, you probably won´t be disappointed!

Pros:
Good gameplay
Simple but enjoyable mechanics
Plenty of replayability (if that is your thing)
Not too long, not too short
Awesome price
Good music

Cons:
Simple (you really don´t need a brain here)
Not too long, not too short
Needs more music :(
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
I was playing then magically transported to the realm "it's 3 am and my head smacked my keyboard". Un healthly addicting, and you can play it for 10 minutes or 10 hours. Perfect for when "she" says, I'll be out in 10 minutes...we'll see, we'll see......

Recommend a controller, not needed though. Best 5 bucks I spent in the last month
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
I took a chance on this game cuz it was on sale on Humble Bundle, I looked at it and fell in love with the art style, and then i Played it and liked it even more, i havent played a tower defense like this game, and im a fan of the genre, if you enjoy grinding for upgrades and those type of games this is a game for you, if youre a casual gamer its also a nice game, I reccommend this game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 5
A neat PvZ style tower defense game featuring many guitar solos and co-starring Super Meat Boy. Also serves as a prime example of a mobile port that makes the effort to transition over to PC instead of just dumping a game with mouse based touch conrols on here.

Want to see some gameplay? Check out my Bundle Buys video on the title! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUfhE6ubRVQ
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 25
Tower defense ? - Check !

ROCK ? - CHECK !

I ♥♥♥♥IN LOVE THIS GAME !
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
you love rock/metal? or just good jam while playing? you like td games? well just play it. it really gets you and you will want to play more more and more.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
I thought I'd hate this game.

If you're like me, you've been burned by plenty of bad indi-games in the past.

But I'll be damned if this isn't a great spin on the tower defense genre.

I bought it for $1.25. I would easily pay full price for it.
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