Kicking Bards - Bards Tale IV Exposed
Already, less than two days after beginning their Kickstarter, inXile have managed to raise nearly $1million dollars of their $1.25 million goal. Of course the success of Wasteland 2 hasn't hurt their chances, and has shown people that backing a good project on Kickstarter from a good team can have great results.
But what is Bards Tale IV? The original Bards Tale series were all Dungeon Crawler style games. these typically involve a good deal of party and item management, as well as exploration and puzzle solving.
The whole game takes place from a first person perspective with movement taking place over fixed "tiles" and each movement taking one turn. Combat is also turn based, but it proceeds rapidly with each party member taking one action before the turn ends automatically, this "Phase style" of turn based game, allows the action to unfold just as quickly as the player responds.
The Bard's Tale series has a deep history and is rife with pirates & monsters as well as dungeons and puzzles. Various types of hero will be available for your party, but the Bard is a unique take on the support class, able to boost your whole team in, by judicious use of songs.
The Bard's Tale series was originally released in 1985, by Brian Fargo and his team at Interplay Entertainment. As well as Bard's Tale there were a few other Dungeon Crawl games that gained a lot of renown at the time, namely Dungeon Master, and Eye of the Beholder, both built with a similar formula and both were very successful too, Dungeon Master receiving the most acclaim for this style of game. Since the mid nineties however Dungeon Crawlers have become very rare.
Legend of Grimrock is a recent game from developers Almost Human that has begun to revive the Dungeon Crawler style, with enough success that the developers are opting for a sequel. So Bard's Tale IV has some competition, but with their recent wave of success inXile look like a strong contender for putting the Dungeon Crawler back on the map. Here are some further details from the Kickstarter plan:
A single-player, party-based dungeon crawl, rich in exploration and combat
Dungeons filled not just with dangerous fights but with challenging puzzles and devious riddles
Dynamic phase-based combat, where the pace of battle is animated and fluid, but still gives you time to think and respond to your enemies
A game set to beautiful Gaelic music, where the Bard's songs and melodies affect gameplay
Co-funded by fans and inXile: if this game hits its $1.25 million goal, inXile will put in at least $1.25 million of its own money to double the initial budget!
Built using Unreal Engine 4, for PC, Mac and Linux. Available from Steam or DRM-Free from GOG.com
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