Developed back in 2014 by TreeFortress Games and published by Bulkypix, Bardbarian is another deceptively simple indie game. The plot and the gameplay seem very simple at first glance, but this game has scored high ratings all over the web. Available for multiple platforms, Bardbarian can and will surprise you with its highly addictive and fun gameplay.
As stated, the story is very simple but kind of has that cool indie spirit. You play a barbarian bard called Brad. Brad the bard is a barbarian who is awoken one night by the alarm sound of his village being under siege. Even though he is a bard, Brad is a fighter and has fought his fair share of battles. This time he is tired of fighting and decides to make music instead of shedding blood, but naturally, save his village in the process.
Bardbarian is a mixture of genres because it has some Tower Defense elements, but also RPG and RTS traits, but most of all the game seems as an evolution of the Snake genre.
This is because the gameplay itself is very similar to Snake, but with some advanced and more complex elements thrown in.
You control Brad as he moves all around a given battlefield, dodging enemy attacks and projectiles, and playing his axe-lute all the time while doing this. As he plays his weapon-instrument, he generates notes, which are actually your in-game resource that you are to spend on performing solos which summon other units to follow Brad. They do all the fighting, while Brad just keeps playing and boosting their performance depending on his tunes. For instance, if he is standing still he will go into ‘jam’ mode and generate notes faster.
As Brad moves, his party moves with him, dodge and attack enemies with the goal of saving your village. The enemies are constantly attempting to destroy your town’s decorative crystal, and it is your job to prevent them from doing so, which is where the Tower Defense kicks in.
In your battle, you are not only playing music for your party of fighters, but also collecting loot and unlocking different types of units you can recruit as your followers. As you gain experience, you can upgrade Brad and become stronger.
This game boasts having hand-drawn artwork, and it is what gives it a sort of an indie feel. The models and the scenery are actually quite good when you get used to the drawing style, which is much different than most polished games today.
Also, this game features a killer Rock/Metal OST, composed by Maximum Satan.
What at first glance appeared to be a simple and not very engaging game will soon become your sole focus, as you experience the bizarre genre-bending hybrid gameplay Bardbarian has. The combinations for your party loadout are listed by the developer to exceed 200 possibilities, as the gameplay is quite punishing, but also rewarding.
Enemies also come in different shapes and types, and there are also boss battles. Bardbarian also features endless and survival modes, for those hardcore players, as the developers really seemed to think of everything when they obviously wanted to create a game which is simple to play but has a high skill cap.