Bardadum: The Kingdom Roads Review -- A Familiar Path to Victory

Monty Python-cheekiness and slide puzzles collide in French studio Emedion Games' latest mobile title
We Come in Search of the Holy Grail!

Bardadum: The Kingdom Roads was something of an ironic surprise. The core gameplay of sliding around various characters to get them all to their goals has been done many times before in mobile gaming, but the title's sheer enjoyment of its medieval fantasy setting and gameplay is clear. Every aspect of this game seems just happy to be doing what it's doing and offer more to mobile gamers.

Each of the game's four worlds is divided into two tiers of difficulty. Each tier has different images you progressively unlock, helping add a little more color to the game's subdued story. While it's clear the developers wanted to go for a focus on gameplay, it's disappointing that most of our engagement with the world is purely through what we can interpret with the game's art and animations. There's not even a tutorial with text, which was confusing and a questionable decision at best. There's making something be universal, and then there's just trying to fix something that wasn't broken.

Thankfully the art is great and full of humor. The Knight's idle animation shows him going cross-eyed and then a third eye lurking in his helmet. The Witch turns into a pop singer when she reaches her cauldron. The happy little bunny rabbit looks like a coo-coo clock as he searches for his carrot. Characters glare at you if you repeatedly tap them. Even their walking animations (hard to see sadly when you've got your finger over top of them) have a great amount of distinction. The very minimal story we get is told through singular images, but the cast is expressive enough to carry the basics of any scene for players to understand.

[The] art is great and full of humor. The Knight's idle animation shows him going cross-eyed and then a third eye lurking in his helmet. The Witch turns into a pop singer when she reaches her cauldron. The happy little bunny rabbit looks like a coo-coo clock as he searches for his carrot.
 




Wonderful Plumage, but It's Still a Dead Parrot

Unfortunately it can sometimes be a struggle to get the characters to move. I played the game on a smart phone that's normally highly accurate with my touch controls and I would struggle to get the screen to respond. I resorted to just repeatedly smacking a character until I finally saw the game respond, then I would hold down. No other means of regaining control seemed to work, making me wish I could map the levels more zoomed in. Characters also have a habit of being close together, so accidentally grabbing the wrong person happened off and on. I imagine on a tablet these issues are barely present, but for phone users, they  may want to wait for patch to the controls.

In spite of some very familiar gameplay and a few beginner mistakes, Bardadum is a fun title. That said, the game needs just a little bit more of an X-factor. It needs that final jolt of excitement that keeps you going. The variety of level elements like teleporters and enchanted squares helps, as does a Time Attack mode, but getting to those new elements can take very long if you focus on a completionist run of each section.

There's a wealth of content here with over five hundred different puzzles across the two difficulties. Emedion Games has a brilliant concept here; they just need a little more ambition in the right areas to make it truly stand out. As it is, I can happily recommend this title, but am still left wanting something more.

Bardadum: The Kingdom Roads is available on iOS for $1.99. An Android release is reportedly coming later this year.

(Disclaimer: This review was written based on impressions of a review copy sent to me by the game's developer. Gameskinny and its writers generate genuine, unbiased, and honest reviews regardless of how the review unit or product was acquired.)

Our Rating
8
Monty Python-cheekiness and slide puzzles collide in French studio Emedion Games' latest mobile title
Published Jun. 16th 2014

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