Bard’s Gold – Review
Follow Genre: Platformer, 2D
Developer: Erdem Sen
Publisher: Erdem Sen
Platforms: PC

Bard’s Gold – Review

Site Score
Good: Old school platforming experience; good amount of monsters, traps and secrets, high replayability, permanent upgrade system after death
Bad: Quite challenging at the start
User Score
(3 votes)
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Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Bard’s Gold is a challenging platformer developed by Erdem Sen. The game takes the player through a series of levels, each containing more secrets than the previous one, so that the main protagonist can retrieve his family treasure – the Bard’s Gold. Inspired by the old school platforming experiences, the retro-inspired platformer tends to grow on you as you’ll progress with the rogue-lite upgradeable mechanics.

bard's gold banner


Bard’s Gold does not have an actual narrative for the player to explore during the platforming adventures. However, the developer did write up a short lore to give the player a sense of what might be going on.

The main protagonist, whom I dubbed Gary, was minding his own business, exploring the world while on an epic adventure when his saddle was stolen by a goblin. It may not seem like a big deal but the saddle contained the legendary Bard’s Gold, a treasure that has been in the family for many generations. Gary gave chase to the burglar and entered a portal that sent him to this strange land. He must escape the mysterious lands and retrieve the Bard’s Gold.


The inspiration gained from early 90’s platforming classics such as Rainbow Island, Rick Dangerous and Alex Kidd is clearly visible in the retro-styled visuals of Bard’s Gold. Each “door” has their own world and thus their own charming visuals, ranging from brick walled castle-like rooms to Prince of Persia-like desert mazes. The levels are pre-made which means they aren’t quite as randomized as you’d first think but the overall atmosphere in each level is simply superb.

Although the graphics are retro-inspired, the character is not. You’ll grow to love him but he doesn’t seem to match the rest of the environment as good as the army of bats, blobs and flaoting librams do.

bards gold temple


The ambiance sound is not something you’ll remember Bard’s Gold by although it does suit the slow-paced gameplay. The instrumental sounds emitted are calming, and will subdue your possible anger waves here and there if you have them. Each weapon has their own sound effect when used, and so do the monsters around you but it’s all very bland and heard before in other games of the same genre.


Bard’s Gold fully supports controllers and the controls are quite intuitive, plus they are changeable. Attacking the various enemies is done with X while you jump on platforms with A. Moving around the levels is simply done with the thumbstick. However, due to the old school platform experience, the game has a steep learning curve as tutorials or any form of explanations are lacking. The player is forced to explore everything but once that’s done, the gameplay itself is fairly easy. Though, this does not make the game less challenging.

What makes Bard’s Gold such a challenging yet enjoyable platformer are the many hidden secrets the player can find through the dungeons, as well as hidden traps and countless of enemies – each with their own set of skills. It’s a much slower version of the retro platformers, and the player must make sure that he does not get killed in any way. There are no checkpoints so one single hit from a mob, or a trap, will result in instant death.

bards gold shop

Unlike the classics, the game becomes easier overtime as the player will be upgrading abilities after death. At the start, the player will have only one ability that they can upgrade. Other permanent abilities, all passive, can be found by collecting skillbooks throughout the game. Finding these skillbooks can be tricky as they require the player to uncover all the secrets in the levels, or hidden dungeons, while time is slowly ticking away. Luckily, running out of time does not mean that the game abruptly ends. It only becomes more challenging to complete the level without a scratch as fireballs will rain upon you.

Before dying you’ll hopefully come across a store where you can spend your precious gems to buy new weapons and gear such as a Chakram, Shield or Secret Goggles. The Secret Goggles should be the player’s preferred item as it will reveal the hidden secrets in each room but the other items can come in handy as well. Clearing hidden secrets can result into gaining an extra life, or have a mini-bosses appear but once dead, everything is gone, except for the permanent abilities.

bards gold cementery

Bard’s Gold offers a normal and a retro mode. The latter mode does not turn the game into a much more retro-inspired world visually but the difficulty does increases greatly.


Bard’s Gold is a welcomed addition to the retro-inspired platformers of today. With intuitive controls, the gameplay is fairly easy but the many hidden secrets, monsters and traps in the game will turn it into a challenging 2D-platformer that will remind you of many classics. The upgrade system that lets you permanently upgrade abilities after death is an interesting mechanic, one that surely fits the genre. All-in-all, albeit it’s much slower paced than platform games of the modern era, Bard’s Gold is an absolute gem.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Bard's Gold - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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