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Quick Review: The Bard’s Tale

In terms of length, maybe all three novelizations put together would count as one book, so counting each of them as a book read again feels rather like cheating. However, while I haven’t played the game to be certain, as far as I know it’s limited in the expected ways by both the hardware capabilities and the game design practices of its time, yet this first book actually delivers more than I expected from something using such a game as source material, being a good example of classic heroic fantasy. It could have lost itself in endless battles, twisty dungeons and confining corridors, yet instead it’s engaging and well written, the story and characters are fleshed out to an acceptable degree, and it doesn’t overstay its welcome.
You can easily see that it’s based on a game and maybe it could have been a little longer, including a couple more battles and areas, in particular the fact that Kylearan’s Tower is almost entirely skipped, with the exception of the boss battle, making me raise an eyebrow. But, again, if you take it for what it is, it’s more than good enough and makes you want to quickly move on to the next. So maybe the one complaint is that Isobel is awfully infuriating, and irredeemable as far as I’m concerned, even considering the end, yet even that is realistic and to be expected from a character of her class and background. But, since I mentioned classes, I was left wondering whether Dag was supposed to be a second fighter or something else.

Rating: 3/5


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