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  • Writer's pictureAllan Jenks

Game Review #211: Bard's Gold (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Jordan M.

Developer: Pixel Lantern

Publisher: Pixel Lantern

Category: Platformer/Arcade/Action/Rogue-type

Release Date: Mar 05, 2019

Price (at time of review): $8.99

Buy Bard's Gold from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

I Want the Gold. Give ME the Gold…

Bard's Gold is a game originally released on Steam in August of 2015, and is now making its way over to the Nintendo Switch. The game was created solely by husband-and-wife team Erdem and Jennifer Sen. A goblin has stolen all your gold and jumped down a well. Clearly, there is only one thing to do: jump right in and chase after him! You will have to kill enemies, collect gems, and dodge dangerous spikes and other obstacles as you make your way across each stage. I like a good retro-style game, and I also enjoy platformers, so I was interested in trying this game. I feel that it didn't disappoint.

I Came to Get Down, Now Jump Around

Use your left directional stick or the D pad to move our hero around. The right directional stick can be used to look around. Use B to make your character jump and tap it twice for a double jump. Whatever weapon you have equipped at the time is used by pressing Y. You can use up on the D pad to enter through different doorways or to buy items when encountering a random shop. Bard's Gold is a platformer basically consisting of small levels. In each area, a key will need to be found to unlock a door that takes you to the next area. On each level, there will be various random enemies, and there are usually various chests and other objects throughout the map to loot as well. Also, many different areas will have items hidden throughout them, so be careful to watch for small, glimmering spots on the walls. By getting all of these in a certain area, different things can happen, such as being awarded an extra life, the emergence of an enemy, etc.

Your character in this game is paper-thin in the sense that there is no health bar. One shot and you are dead. One good thing is, although you restart at the beginning of an area, any progress you have made so far still counts, and doesn't have to be done over. On some levels, a shop will appear at random, and your character can purchase certain items, such as a shield or a protection bubble, upgrades to weapons, extra lives, etc. My advice about some of these things, however, is don't really buy too many upgrades unless you really need them for some reason, because once you die, they are gone, and you restart with just what you had originally. Plus, there are better things, in my opinion, to spend your money on. The gold you acquire throughout your playthrough can't be taken over to the next game, so they allow you to spend it to purchase upgrades, such as increasing your maximum lives, for example. There are skill books which can be found throughout the game that unlock other bonuses and abilities as well. So, in a sense, dying can actually make you better at the game. Noodle THAT one, eh?

Sounds Like Money

The soundtrack isn’t anything I'm exactly listening to on a busy subway or writing home about, but I think for the game it's fine, and sets a nice adventurous, slightly gloomy feel. I also enjoy a lot of the sound effects, such as cracking jars and grabbing gems. The art style is one of the things I really enjoy about this game. Our main character’s sprite looks great, and the variety of enemies and level types is nice. I like how I can go from a gloomy dungeon full of slimes one moment, to a land of pumpkin people and swinging blades the next.

Will I dive in head first?

I like this game. At first, I thought the animation and sprites were a little crudely designed, but then I realized I was totally wrong. I also died... a LOT… and that is okay. This is the type of game I like, where you learn to get a little better and a little faster the more you do an area over and over. I like the fact that the game allows for several different types of gameplay, such as rogue type or normal, depending on what type of experience you prefer. There is a lot of randomness to the game, such as some of the areas changing, and mini boss fights, that it kept me interested. Overall, I think this is a great little game which will offer a nice challenge on the go for any fan of a retro game style.

Rating: 8.5/10

Buy Bard's Gold from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by Pixel Lantern

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