Bardbarian was a mobile game, now it is a PC title with some tweeks. This happens a lot since the path to PC is a relatively simple one. In many cases, like Bardbarian, Steam related things are added. In this version you get access to characters like Octodad and Super Meatboy. At first glance, you are sort of confused about what this game actually is, or what genre it is rather. I would say it is a tower defense action strategy game. An odd pairing yes, but it works surprisingly well for how simple the game is. I think that is how this game plays so well. It keeps things simple and fun without trying to over-complicate things.
You are a Bard that is charged with defending his town from various monsters. He is not alone, he has warriors to aid him in his dangerous task. You see, as a bard, you are a support character and rarely do any fighting. This is such the case with Bardbarian, he may have an axe lute, but he cannot defeat people alone.
This is a trial and error game. Meaning you will try to get as far as you can with what you have, then spend all of your gold. After upgrading everything you can, you start from the beginning tying to get further than you did before. Every unit can be upgraded, your bard can be upgraded, even the town can be upgraded. This takes a long time though, and as you progress into the game, you unlock more units that are generally better than your three starting ones.
The gameplay is simple, do not let the monsters destroy the crystal. Using your bard-like powers, you will summon warriors to your side. You will then lead them around the battlefield, defeating monsters in any of the three lanes. Every few levels there are bosses and in-between, minibosses that are extra hard to defeat. Every monster is different and soon the minibosses practically become regular enemies.
In addition to summoning additional party members, you can play buffs that give buffs to damage, defense, and speed. I found the most useful one is the damage because killing things fast is ideal in the game. These can also be upgraded, suddenly, everything just got a lot more expensive around here. You will die a lot, and the game gets really hard after the second boss. It feels a lot like a bullet-hell shooter if you let the monsters progress out of their lane more.
The game is a lot of fun, sometimes it can feel like it drags on too long because your party members are not upgraded enough and on more than one occasion I just gave up and died so I could upgrade my party. The Steam exclusive creatures pop up at certain points in the story and they are powerful, but generally have a strong drawback. For a game so simple, it is challenging enough to keep you playing. The replay value is rather high because you certainly will not complete the game within your first five tries.
I give Bardbarian an 9/10. You can get it on Steam now.