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The Bard's Tale IV is out now

Sing it!

Looking at screenshots of The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep, it seems a crying shame that it's not a game about a metal band putting on a rockin' good show to get the mosh pit fired up. Sadly, the game inXile Entertainment released today is just an olde schoole turn-based RPG - and one that our John tells me is a bit bum. He'll have more to say about it tomorrow but for now, here's word that it's out. Given that thousands of folks chipped in a combined $1.5 million during its 2015 Kickstarter campaign, I assume at least some of you do want turn-based fantasy fisticuffs more than big doomy beats.

Get this: there are monsters. Oh no. And the person having to fight them is: you. Oh no! But not you-you the real person you: wizards and swordmen. Oh phew! Build a party, fight, loot, level up, solve puzzles, and sometimes sing songs - but only with the bard class. Oh okay!

I cannot stress enough that, no matter how much it looks like we control the theatrical metal bands on the top half of the game's screen performing for a crowd down in the pit at the bottom, we're actually put in charge of that bottom lot to duff up the topfolk. It really is not a third-person version of Stage Presence.

This is continuing from ye olde Bard's Tale games out the 1980s, which inXile founder Brian Fargo worked on back in his Interplay days. inXile had a sort-of crack at the series before with 2004's spoofy game named simply The Bard's Tale, but this one is going closer to the roots of the series. The studio are big into crowdfunded retro revivals these days, with this coming after Wasteland 2 and the Planescape-inspired Torment: Tides of Numenera.

The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep is out now for £28/€35/$35 on Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store. As I mentioned, John has been playing The Bard's Tale IV and not enjoying it, and he intends to do some of these here squiggly 'word' thingies tomorrow to tell us all about his discontent. I bet he will! Alright, you simmer down.

But what if...

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The Bard's Tale IV

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Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.