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Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition

For: iPad   Also on: Android

Not baldurs over

Product: Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition | Developer: Overhaul Games | Publisher: Wizards of the Coast | Publisher: Atari | Format: iPad | Genre: RPG | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (adhoc) | Version: Europe
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition iPad, thumbnail 1
There are going to be two schools of thought when it comes to Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition on the iPad.

Some will let their rose-tinted glasses blur over the glaring cracks, focusing instead on the simple fact that this is a portable version of a role-playing classic.

Others will complain that for all of its nostalgic appeal the game just isn't up to scratch. As great a game as the original Baldur's Gate was, that's no excuse for a port that simply doesn't work on the device it's been designed for.

Dungeons and dragons

If you've never played the game before, it tells the tale of a young adventurer, destined for greatness, who sets out on a quest in a fantasy world to find out who killed their protector and why.

In many ways it's the game that opened up the possibilities of the RPG to a wider audience, its blend of Dungeons & Dragons, isometric graphics, and a deep and involving story ensnaring the minds of many.

Everything that made the original great is still here, but it feels a little outdated now. And worse, the transition from a mouse cursor to a touchscreen has been handled with all the subtlety of a war hammer to the chest.

In a game where you're going to be clicking on plenty of enemies, chests, and other items of interest, you need to be sure that each tap is going to register correctly, and that's just not the case here.


Everything you do in the game is governed by the end of your digits. The screen is surrounded at all times by a complex and flexible mix of buttons and menus.

These let you fire out spells, attack monsters, talk to citizens of the huge game world, and generally interact with the fantasy setting you've been dropped into.

Even now that setting is impressive, and while the limitations of the game engine are a little more obvious on Retina displays, there's a charm to the visuals that masses of polygons can't recreate.

Battles are fast and frantic, and without the handy 'pause' button they'd be anticlimactically brief. Tap 'pause' and you have the time to marshal your troops, sending them to get better shots, or using their special powers to club the beasts and brigands you face off against.

The Dungeons & Dragons rules that power everything offer most of the flexibility of a tabletop role-playing experience, but aren't too daunting for anyone who is physically revolted by the concept of dice-rolling, character sheets, and talking to people in a funny voice.

You'll find Wizards of the Coast's touch too in the character types you can choose from at the start, and in the adventurers you recruit to aid you in your quest. From thieves to paladins, bards to barbarians, each fantasy archetype is as familiar and exciting as it was the first time around.

Not my fantasy

But this isn't the first time around, and while the core of the gameplay is still solid, your interactions feel cumbersome and unwieldy. This is very much a 14-year-old game crammed onto a piece of hardware that it simply hasn't been designed for.

Your taps don't always register, leaving you hammering the screen just to try and get your party to move to the right place. It's bad enough when you're stuck outside a building, but it's unforgivable when you're trying to fight off a Kobold attack and your heroes are milling around because you can't select a target in the scrum.

As a piece of nostalgia, Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is all well and good, but as a piece of entertainment it's too frustrating, too sloppily put together, and too heavily shackled to old hardware to really recommend.
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 18 December 2012
If you're not a fan of the original, you'd be best to give this muddled revamp a miss
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Aug 2012
Post count:
Ivan Filipe | 06:19 - 28 December 2012
Check other scores of this kid... He made me waste money with terrible games, whilst giving 6 and 5 to good games. It's a shame that PG keeps leaving classic games and big releases to this amateur to review...
Dec 2012
Post count:
helios | 12:44 - 20 December 2012
I do find all the negativity extraordinary; this is a great game, the best RPG for iPad by a good distance and a good port of one of the greatest RPG's of all time. Surely this sort of a game should be applauded in comparison to the usual short termist dross that we have to endure in the App store. I can now play a huge, rewarding game on a tablet. Sure, the controls are not perfect, but we have to bear in mind this is a small indie team that have made this; there is an update to follow shortly that is meant to fix the problems listed above. Surely when you write a review where your main complaint is the touch controls, a little research should have been undertaken to establish if anything is being done to resolve the issue? Personally, I think touchscreen for playing BG is the perfect partner.
Dec 2012
Post count:
windypops | 17:54 - 18 December 2012
Bit surprised at the score. Whilst it's a little fiddly at times, I haven't encountered any problems with the interface, and in terms of scale and ambition, it's head and shoulders above any other rpg in the App Store. Actually, head, shoulders, torso and a fair bit of arse too.