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The Bard’s Tale tops Android Games of the Week

by Andrew Koziara

We had some great surprise hits this week, not the least of which is a port of The Bard’s Tale. It’s a great, humor-based action RPG that pits you in the role of a vulgar anti-hero, and it’s just awesome all around. We’ve also got several great iOS ports, from the challenging and unique platformer To-Fu 2, to the creative arcade style retro shooter Velocispider. We also have Ubisoft’s very own retro revival of the original Prince of Persia, plus more. Here are this week’s top Android games.

The Bard’s Tale ($5.95)

This is an RPG that is the exact opposite of epic, heroic or charming. In it, you play as a vulgar and lewd Bard, voiced by Cary Elwes no less, who gets wrapped up in something bigger than himself, but never really becomes a hero. This is a port of the action RPG of 2004 which is based on the original Bard’s Tale trilogy of the eighties. The best part? The original games actually come with this one as a bonus. They aren’t all done yet, but they’ll arrive in time. The gameplay is solid enough, but the humor, randomness and music really drive this game, and are worth the price of admission alone. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it definitely should be.

To-Fu 2 (Free)

This is the excellent sequel to To-Fu: The Trials of Chi, and both games were ported to Android by the same developers of Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack, DevolverDigital. It’s a brilliant little challenge-based platformer with completely unorthodox controls. You play as a block of tofu, and move around by stretching and launching yourself around the level, collecting gems and getting to the end. Eventually you have to deal with spikes, moving platforms, slippery glass surfaces, bouncy metal surfaces, portals and much more. It’s a solid game with solid design, worth checking out.

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Velocispider ($0.99)

Originally developed for iOS by studio Retro Dreamer, this modern take on Space Invaders is excellent in just about every way. It’s taken a while, but I’m grateful to Noodlecake Studios for porting this title over to Android. In it, you play as a Velocispider mother who is desperately defending her delectable eggs from a rich and evil villain who wants Velocispider eggs for breakfast. You have two goals: to avoid being hit three times, and to keep all three eggs from being snatched away. The retro visuals are gorgeous, using a nice cool color palate, and it’s all backed up by a very catchy soundtrack. If you’re looking for an arcade-style game, this is your title. There is a free version as well.

Prince of Persia Classic ($0.99)

Ubisoft has finally brought this retro/modern mishmash title to Android. Essentially, it’s a remake of the very original Prince of Persia game, which was more of a challenge-based platformer/puzzler that came long before the acclaimed Sands of Time trilogy of action/adventure games on PlayStation 2. The cool thing is that the remake uses modern visuals, adapting the same visual style as the newer Prince of Persia games. It’s a solid game that requires careful and cautious progress, though the controls may be a deal breaker for many people, as they are rather clunky. Feel free to test the waters (or sands, rather) with the free version instead!

Music Samurai ($1.04)

This is an interesting title from studio Pixel Punch, who have a fantastic logo, by the way. It’s a music and rhythm game that takes the Guitar Hero lane-based mechanics and adapts them to work perfectly on a touch screen. The answer was pretty obvious actually… Just have two lanes and turn them sideways. As you hit notes, your samurai character will cut down foe after foe, trying to get to the dastardly man who stole his rice bowls. This game is very original, and a breath of fresh air, but it’s not really a music and rhythm game most of the time. It looks like one, and plays like one, but the notes don’t seem to ever sync up with the actual music. Still, it’s pretty fun, and there is a free version to try out as well.