You are the Bard, a selfish rogue weary of pointless sub-quests and rat-infested cellars. Now includes original classic games The Bard’s Tale 1, 2 & 3!
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (455 reviews) - 79% of the 455 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 17, 2005

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy The Bard's Tale

SUMMER SALE! Offer ends July 4

-80%
$9.99
$1.99
 

Reviews

“The Bard’s Tale is easily the funniest game I’ve ever played, and I’ve played all the funny games out there.”
– IGN

“Ready your weapon and bladder as you embark on this ridiculously addicting quest and the funniest adventure of the year, The Bard’s Tale”
– Game Chronicles

“This game is satire in its sharpest form”
– Cheat Code Central

Just Updated

  • Includes Original Classic Trilogy
  • WASD controls for movement
  • Added French, German and Spanish Localizations for text/subtitles
  • German Dialog (accessible under Sound Options when game language is set to German)
  • Full Wide Screen support + supports resolutions higher than 1600 wide.
  • Performance enhancements.
  • External URLs links on main menu for support pages and related media.
  • Bug Fixes to original release

About This Game

Now includes original classic games The Bard’s Tale 1, 2 & 3!
You are the Bard, a selfish rogue weary of pointless sub-quests and rat-infested cellars. Through magical song you summon characters to join your quest for coin and cleavage!
Prepare to immerse yourself in over 20-30 hours of adventure, featuring:
  • 50 enemy types (not counting bosses!)
  • A vast world to explore with towns, wild forests, rivers, castles, towers, secret dungeons, snowy mountains, caverns, haunted tombs and more
  • A full cast of bizarre NPC’s
  • Over a dozen special boss enemies to defeat
  • 16 magical characters to discover and then summon at will to aid you
  • Over 150 unique items of weaponry, armor, instruments, tokens, artifacts and loot!
  • More Song & Dance numbers than any other game, including a zombie dance-off!
  • Over 14 hours of outstanding voice-acting from top Hollywood talent, including Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) as the Bard, and the inimitable Tony Jay as the Narrator
  • Classics Games—includes original classic games The Bard’s Tale 1, 2 & 3.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista
    • Processor: Pentium 4 2Ghz / AMD AthlonXP 2400
    • Memory: 512Mb
    • Graphics: GeForce FX5700 or better / ATI Radeon 9600 or better
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 6GB of free space
    • Sound: DirectX 9 Compatible Sound Card
    • OS: OS X 10.6.0 or higher
    • Hard Drive: 3.6GB Hard disk space
    • OS: X11 enabled Linux distro
    • Processor: Pentium 4 2Ghz / AMD AthlonXP 2400
    • Memory: 512Mb
    • Graphics: GeForce FX5700 or better / ATI Radeon 9600 or better
    • OpenGL: 2.0 compatible video card and compatible drivers
    • Hard Drive: 3.8GB of free space
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card and necessary drivers
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (455 reviews)
Recently Posted
Moondancer
( 7.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
If you're on Linux, don't buy it. Linux port features random crashes, graphical glitches, and gradual slowdown with the passage of time. The original trilogy won't even launch.
Otherwise you might want this game if you have a thing for cheesy jokes. There are lots of them.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Qoosh ☯
( 3.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
- No summoner kicks here. Only summoning here is the will to change the title to "The BAD Tale"
- Awful RPG, only hack and slash adventure here is to your wallet and time.
- Falling in mud combat systems.
- If you find the jokes in it funny, I recommend spending some time with actual british wit and humour.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Gero
( 19.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
Originally bought the game to play the NES version, but the new one is surprisingly good. The game plays with a top down view. Combat involves alternating between sword/melee, bow/range, and bard songs/spells. Bow is slightly overpowered, as it can hit enemies that are off screen. The game narrator makes funny comments every now and then. Game took about a day to finish.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
IDA Official Mask
( 20.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 7
If anyone could ask me to point to the funniest game I've ever played, instantly I'd point to this little obscure masterpiece of a game.

The Bard's Tale: A Quest for Coin and Cleavage is a rather unique sequel to the interactive novel series Bard's Tale, which revolved around a Bard with a magic lute going about saving the day. This technical third game in the series is relatively simple on the surface: top down 3D light Role-Playing Game with stats, unique weapons, and magic. Gameplay-wise, it's very simple: use weapons to kill monsters, get gold, level up, progress through the game, yadda yadda. A unique element the game has is the Song System, in which the Bard uses magical instruments to summon different helpers to either aid in battle, heal quickly, disable traps, locate treasures, light up dark places, and be good little arrow meat shields.

HOWEVER, the story and writing is really where this game shines. The premise is simple: guy gets chosen to rescue a princess from a wizard by disabling the barriers to her prison. The catch: the alleged 'hero' is probably one of the biggest ♥♥♥-hats on the planet. When the subtitle of the game is 'A Quest for Coin and Cleavage', you know you're in for a treat. All the Bard cares about is getting rich and getting laid. The first mission of the game literally only occurs so Bard can get with a sexy barmaid! Oh, and that's not all. Throughout the entire course of the adventure, the player can make choices to either make the Bard seem like a decent human being or the biggest ♥♥♥♥♥♥ ever with the Naughty and Nice dialogue system. Be warned, depending on your choices with Naughty and Nice, certain quests may become either difficult or unavailable, but the humor is plenty. OH GODS ABOVE THE HUMOR!

The Bard's Tale's writing can be summed up in one word: Satire. The entire game's writing is satire on the fantasy and pretty much all RPG genres, making jabs at pretty much every turn. Example: the first mission in every fantasy games is the standard 'rats in the cellar' jazz. Bard's Tale has that, except the rat is the size of a house and breaths fire! You know how in fantasy games they play to the rule of the 'Chosen One' being the one who can save the day. There are a LOT of Chosen Ones in this game to the point it's a running gag. Oh, and need I mention that there are musical numbers around every turn, and they never stop being funny and catchy.

If all I've said hasn't convinced you to buy this game yet, then let me say one last thing: The Bard is voiced by Carry Elwes, Robin of Loxley and the Dread Pirate Roberts himself, and the cynical narrator is voiced by the late Tony Jay. And the two fight... a lot...

Anyway, if you're looking for a good fun game from the old days, then I highly recommend buying this gem. Or else ya must really be an ♥♥♥♥!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sarkoth
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 3
Tries to be funny by breaking the 4th wall and with fart jokes. Isn't.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Aurumlamina
( 7.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 25
A fun little romp in nostalgia, The Bard's Tale is a Diablo-esque action RPG that, instead of demons and a dark atmosphere, takes place in a relatively pleasant land where humor abounds. As you venture through the game you'll encounter all manner of singing goblins, hilarious misunderstandings, and of course, your own personal bard who doesn't so much want to adventure as get laid.

Playing as an all around shady individual in a hilarious atmosphere is good fun but the majority of the mechanics in the game are noticably dated at this point. I recommend the game for those who enjoy humorous stories that don't take themselves too seriously and for those who had a blast in old-school action RPGs (Baldur's Gate or Champions of Norrath on consoles come to mind). I do not recommend it for people looking for anything groundbreaking in today's era or those looking for a game with complex mechanics.

A good game as long as you go into it expecting it to be what it is and not something more.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Squall0028
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 21
Too laggie need
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Norrdicus
( 16.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 18
Horrible gameplay, but this game does have some amazing comedic writing. Don't play it, watch an LP instead
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Gammar51
( 19.8 hrs on record )
Posted: April 25
I admit I was going to be bored with this game due to its limited overhead combat rpg nature, boy was I wrong. The story is funny and gives Shrek a run for its money.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Gigaxe
( 21.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 15
A game that has aged well with a fun story. It is only let down by some repetitive combat sections.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
20.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 7
If anyone could ask me to point to the funniest game I've ever played, instantly I'd point to this little obscure masterpiece of a game.

The Bard's Tale: A Quest for Coin and Cleavage is a rather unique sequel to the interactive novel series Bard's Tale, which revolved around a Bard with a magic lute going about saving the day. This technical third game in the series is relatively simple on the surface: top down 3D light Role-Playing Game with stats, unique weapons, and magic. Gameplay-wise, it's very simple: use weapons to kill monsters, get gold, level up, progress through the game, yadda yadda. A unique element the game has is the Song System, in which the Bard uses magical instruments to summon different helpers to either aid in battle, heal quickly, disable traps, locate treasures, light up dark places, and be good little arrow meat shields.

HOWEVER, the story and writing is really where this game shines. The premise is simple: guy gets chosen to rescue a princess from a wizard by disabling the barriers to her prison. The catch: the alleged 'hero' is probably one of the biggest ♥♥♥-hats on the planet. When the subtitle of the game is 'A Quest for Coin and Cleavage', you know you're in for a treat. All the Bard cares about is getting rich and getting laid. The first mission of the game literally only occurs so Bard can get with a sexy barmaid! Oh, and that's not all. Throughout the entire course of the adventure, the player can make choices to either make the Bard seem like a decent human being or the biggest ♥♥♥♥♥♥ ever with the Naughty and Nice dialogue system. Be warned, depending on your choices with Naughty and Nice, certain quests may become either difficult or unavailable, but the humor is plenty. OH GODS ABOVE THE HUMOR!

The Bard's Tale's writing can be summed up in one word: Satire. The entire game's writing is satire on the fantasy and pretty much all RPG genres, making jabs at pretty much every turn. Example: the first mission in every fantasy games is the standard 'rats in the cellar' jazz. Bard's Tale has that, except the rat is the size of a house and breaths fire! You know how in fantasy games they play to the rule of the 'Chosen One' being the one who can save the day. There are a LOT of Chosen Ones in this game to the point it's a running gag. Oh, and need I mention that there are musical numbers around every turn, and they never stop being funny and catchy.

If all I've said hasn't convinced you to buy this game yet, then let me say one last thing: The Bard is voiced by Carry Elwes, Robin of Loxley and the Dread Pirate Roberts himself, and the cynical narrator is voiced by the late Tony Jay. And the two fight... a lot...

Anyway, if you're looking for a good fun game from the old days, then I highly recommend buying this gem. Or else ya must really be an ♥♥♥♥!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
19.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
Originally bought the game to play the NES version, but the new one is surprisingly good. The game plays with a top down view. Combat involves alternating between sword/melee, bow/range, and bard songs/spells. Bow is slightly overpowered, as it can hit enemies that are off screen. The game narrator makes funny comments every now and then. Game took about a day to finish.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
277 of 287 people (97%) found this review helpful
33 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 21, 2015
I bought this for The Bards Tale II: Desteny Knight

My dad purchased a commodore 64 when I was four years old, along with this game.
He spent hours upon hours moving one space and drawing it down on his graph paper.
I was a cool kid and would fetch him beers while he mapped every square inch of the towns, dungeons, and forrests.

He made a character that was "mine" and would ask what to do when that characters turn came up. He even let me name him "foopicker" <--- I was 4...

We spent so many hours having fun playing this RPG, it brought back a lot of memories when I seen it on the market.

Today, thirty years later, it's fathers day and I took my laptop over to my dad's house.
I created a party and had him name one of the characters.
He choose "foopicker" and laughed then went to the other room as fast as his broken, old body could take him.

He returned with a weird smile on his face, in his hands was a dusty old shoe box that looked like time forgot about it.

When I opened it, it had his old graph paper maps, some barely visible.

He then handed me a beer he got from the fridge, sat down, and we played this RPG together again, perhaps for the last time.


This is the power of The Bards Tale.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
67 of 73 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2013
The Bard's Tale is a great casual RPG that takes you back to gaming as it was nearly ten years ago. So be prepared for a top down third person view most of the time. What makes it most enjoyable are the bawdy humor in the dialog and the lyrics to the songs.

Our hero in the game, The Bard, is not really a hero; but a scounderal given to snarky comments and possessed of an ability to get himself into trouble. His comments are not limited to dialog with NPC's. He is equally capable of taking issue with the narrator and both seem to have a mutual hate relationship which adds to the fun. You'll also encounter Scottish, English and French accents with a healthy dose of Scottish words for things, which is fitting for story based on legends from the Orkney Islands of Scotland.

The Bard needs to recruit a team to help rescue a damsel in distress and true to his character, he's not willing to help without a reward, which the damsel offers. That offer ought to make you chuckle. Along the way you'll summon many creatures and finally figure out which ones are most useful to you. After that you'll have an opportunity to really wreak mayhem and get yourself into some interesting situations. The game is full of cliche's on purpose and they spice it up instead of detract from game-play. And of course there are always complications along the way to add dimension to the game.

The screen resolution choices are based on what was available at release time. Don't fuss over them too much. Pick the largest resolution with the same ratio as your screen and it ought to look fine anyway. Works fine on a 1900x1200 monitor.

It can be played with a controller, but you may find the onscreen prompts to be confusing and awkward. If you do use a controller, you can find a useful list of controls at http://www.gamefly.com/Rent-The-Bard%27s-Tale/109860/GameplayControls/ - seriously though, the game is best player with a mouse and keyboard. It just works better for a game this old.

The original game was released in 1985 and twenty years later this version was released with much improved graphical content and music. If you want the full retro experience, the menu system will let you load up the original game and have a go at it.

If you want to get a feel for the music and dialog in the 2005 version of the game, I would recommend these YouTube videos:

* The Tale of the Nuckelavee
* The Bard's Tale Silkbeard and the Viking Song
* Here's to the Bard
* The Chosen One #4 (There are several variations of this song and all of them have an Oompa Loopa feel to them right down to ending with a Diddly-Do.)

I just replayed a bit of the game on my Win gaming rig, but it will play equally well on a computer with low graphics capabilities. Worked just fine on a stripped down Mac Mini when I played it a few months back. (Disclaimer - used non-Steam version on my Mac.)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
57 of 60 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
65.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
I enjoyed the game from the very beginning till the very end and probably will replay it at least once sometime later to buy all the extras (funny songs and arts there) and find two last tunes. The game is short enough (about 20 to 25 hours of gameplay tops, and you level cap could be achieved easily) but very funny and costs every cent of its price.

The strongest part of the game are its witty dialogues and excellent voicing, however the plot is not so bad too and jokes are good (and yes, I’m almost forty). Combat is simple, especially with a bow and easy mode (which affects only start attributes and number of save points, so don’t bother with harder difficulty). This game is really a game, not some kind of computer sport where you need huge guides on spell usage and skills allocation. Still, the summons are fun and efficient, the weapons are sparse but don't become obsolete too fast. You are free to experiment. Save points number and location are well chosen. Songs and music are awesome! I sing them under my nose now and then.

In short I like the game, the way it is designed, its gameplay and humour. If you are not combat-obsessed power gamer try it. If you are, still try it to for a change.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
48 of 51 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
37.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 12, 2014
Top-down view RPG-lite, more of an action-adventure, I suppose - one of those titles that focuses more on the characters and story rather than loot, combat, or game mechanics in general.

That is not to say it abandons game mechanics completely - just simplifies them compared to more mainstream RPGs (especially "western", as opposed to JRPGs).

However, in the story department - it excels, with witty, humorous writing (it's essentially a parody/spoof of fantasy RPG games) and superb voice acting (at least in English version). Well worth playing just for that! And you'd be surprised how much is based on real world mythology and places.

There are essentially two main characters in the game - the eponymous Bard, whose misadventures you follow and whom you control directly, and The Narrator, who holds the Bard in great contempt, never failing to throw in some sarcastic commentary. There's fourth wall to be broken for sure, and generally the game does instill this idea that it is a tale, sort of reenactment you're witnessing, rather than directly participating in, at least that's how it worked for me - I would place myself, perhaps paradoxically, more next to The Narrator, who's spinning the tale, rather than the Bard, who's living (reliving?) it.

The story mostly revolves around Bard being a Chosen One, enduring trials and tribulations to save a princess, although his motives are clear: coin and cleavage, and definitely not saving the world. Which rapidly enters worse and worse state. Which may or may not be related to Bard's questing around. Nothing really to dwell on much, you're here pretty much to enjoy the ride.

I finished it on hard difficulty, but I wouldn't really bother if I were you, it only serves as annoyance really rather than a proper challenge, and everything can be easily cheesed anyway, with you shooting offscreen enemies with bows, minmaxing dexterity and rhythm (as a bard, you can summon variety of allies and rhythm makes them stronger), so playing it easy just lets you enjoy the ride more.

If you're unaware, it's well worth pointing out that none other than Brian Fargo is behind this game, one of industry titans (does Fallout ring a bell? something he was personally responsible for, not mentioning other great titles he was more or less involved with, and most recently, Kickstarter backed great promises of Torment and Wasteland 2). You really should cast away any doubts with regard to writing quality this game has to offer (mind though, again, it's not a "serious" title, and not big one either, giving off somewhat indie, passion project vibe rather than triple-A vibe Interplay could muster and inXile not so much, at least until Kickstarter and ever growing technological advances.. but I digress; look the guy up on Wikipedia if you don't know who he is).

Oh, it's bad luck to be you.
A chosen one of many isn't new
When you think you're full of luck
in the bullocks you'll get struck
Oh, it's bad luck to be you.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
32 of 36 people (89%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 21, 2015
I have never bothered to review this game because, meh. However, since they added the original trilogy, this just got 1000 times better.

I still have my original 5.25 floppies and graph paper maps for the first game. I still have my character disk for the party I took through the whole trilogy. I think the fact that I still have those things is a testament to how much I loved the games. (or I'm just a hoarding nerd)

I highly recommend you play the old games in the old way. Get yourself some graph paper and make your own maps. Don't use the maps provided (cheater!). Print out the documentation and the map for Skara Brae and time warp back to the mid 80's.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
34 of 40 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
30.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 13, 2014
A classic. Game centers around The Bard, a less saving-the-world, more coins-and-cleavage kinda guy. Well worth my money.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
46 of 61 people (75%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 30, 2014
After you kill the big rate (your first quest), save the game and chose happy-face two times in a row when talking to the inn-girl.

Then load your last save and choose mad-face both times.

In that moment, you'll understand everything ;)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
25 of 26 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
22.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 13, 2015
The creators of The Bard's Tale (2004) said that they wanted to create something special and that's exactly what The Bard's Tale is. The game is something of a fractured fairy-tale and focuses more on poking fun at the fantasy/adventure/rpg genre than creating just another entry in the sea of fantasy rpgs. You play as The Bard (voiced by Cary Elwes) who is more interested in women, wine, and coin than adventuring. He uses his magic for his own personal gain. Being pulled into an adventure to save a damsel in distress and stop an evil sorcerer was the last thing on his mind. So of course... that's what happens. And so our story begins... The game serves more as a vessel for crude humor, snarky remarks, and breaking the 4th wall. This may not be for everybody but certain lines are bound to make you chuckle. As for the gameplay, it's not bad at all. The game is solid, simple, and different from most fantasy games. Rather than having convoluted tech trees and a long list of abilities, The Bard's Tale focuses on simple top-down combat and using summons. My main complaint is the repetitiveness of the combat. Some segments felt like they were there to pad the game time and give you more experience but gaining new summons and the occasional weapon upgrade help to keep things a bit more fresh. Overall, I had a lot of fun playing this game and enjoying some sharp wit and silly songs while exploring a unique Scottish fantasy setting.

For those who are fans of the original games, the original Bard's Tale trilogy from the 80s now comes with this game. I haven't played them but I've heard that The Bard's Tale (2004) hardly resembles the original games. With 4 games in 1, this may be enough to hold you until the release of the newly kickstarted The Bard's Tale IV.

7/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny