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Xperia Play  header logo

The Bard's Tale

For: Xperia Play   Also on: Android, iPhone, iPad, Steam


Product: The Bard's Tale | Developer: inXile Entertainment | Publisher: inXile Entertainment | Format: Xperia Play | Genre: Action, Adventure | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
The Bard's Tale Xperia Play, thumbnail 1
While we like a good RPG epic as much as the next level-six Elf Warrior, the lack of humour in these games is sometimes a little stifling. That's why 2004's The Bard's Tale came as such a breath of fresh air - it mercilessly poked fun at the genre and showcased a side-splitting script to boot.

Of course, the fact that behind all of these belly-laughs - presented in a roguish tone by Cary Elwes, the voice of the Bard - lay a perfectly respectable adventure didn't hurt.

Defender of the clown

After a successful quest on iOS, The Bard's Tale is now available on the Xperia Play, where it makes full use of the phone's physical controls to offer more comprehensive interaction.

Simply put, the revised control arrangement is a closer match to that seen in the original console versions, which hit the PS2 and Xbox almost a decade ago.

This means the game avoids all the usual issues relating to touchscreen interfaces being tacked-on to pre-existing games. When we covered the iOS edition of the game we found much to criticise in the touch controls. We're happy to report that the Xperia Play version is not similarly afflicted.

Control aside, The Bard's Tale on Xperia Play offers hours and hours of RPG entertainment. All of the usual staples are firmly in place, despite the game's devilish sense of humour and desire to satirise the genre. If you're a seasoned veteran of the role-playing scene then you'll find little here that's truly innovative.

Community chest

Having said that, the quality of the game is almost impossibly high compared to other mobile adventures, just as you'd expect from a studio with a solid pedigree within the RPG field. Granted, the visuals are looking a little tired now - hardly a shock when you consider they didn't exactly set the world alight back in '04 - but this is a pretty minor concern.

When you consider the sheer amount of content on offer for the very modest asking price, The Bard's Tale on Xperia Play really is a no-brainer. You'll need to make sure you have plenty of space on your SD card, as the game's data files occupy a whopping 1.7GB, but it's worth deleting a few older apps to make room for this vintage beauty.
The Bard's Tale
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 5 October 2012
The Bard's Tale is arguably the best RPG on the Xperia Play, and improves over its iOS counterpart by featuring physical controls. This is a must-have experience for anyone who loves questing for coin and cleavage
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