March 14, 2020

Review: Barbarous - Tavern Of Emyr

game format: time management

puzzles: none

playtime: 3-5 hours | difficulty: easy

developer: SQRT3 Games | publisher: iWin Inc

links: official site | gamehouse

Barbarous - Tavern of Emyr
game brief: Barbarous - Tavern of Emyr follows the chaotic career of the realm's most famous hero. Some call him Champion, others call him Hero of the Realm. Now trade in your sword for a pint and as a fantasy world innkeeper, manage your own tavern, take care of your guests and face the problems of a prematurely retired hero in this humorous story-driven Time Management adventure.

rating: 5/5

review: Barbarous - Tavern of Emyr serves up a brilliantly entertaining melange of epic medieval adventure and casual time management gameplay. Aging barbarian Emyr, hobbled by his many wars and seeking to retire with his best buddy, the cantankerous but fiercely loyal dwarf O'rho, and his pet dog Pix. They take up a lowbrow tavern and creatively name it 'Tavern of Emyr'. But even as they’re setting up shop, they are extorted by the local Guardsmen, gate-crashed by mysterious redheaded teenager Gwen, and threatened by henchpersons of their archenemy, Orc overlord Rush-O-Doom.

Emyr's quests include trying to find a fix for his busted knee, figuring out Gwen's story, inadvertently stepping on various toes, and saving the good guys from certain Doom. All this involves meetings and beatings with his numerous frenemies, such as scheming magician Varizz, Orc mage Sariv, nervous wreck Edward, and quasi-sis-in-law, Lyselle the pirate.

The game has 60 levels spread across five main locations: Emyr's Tavern, Lyselle's Fishy Bar, the Orcish Camp, the Murky Swamps and the Magic Guild. Emyr and his friends take turns to serve customers local delicacies and wares such as eyeball soups, orcish shish kebabs, swamp sushi, adventure gear, runes and potions, and lots and lots of beer while plotting their over-complicated plans. On each level, one must also complete a mini-quest and find a rat to earn diamonds, which are then used to upgrade Gwen's cleverly designed room.

The story is a mix of action and emotion, and besides the overarching save-the-world narrative, ties in several tales of Emyr's colourful past. The script is loaded with cheeky one-liners referencing pop culture gems such as the Lord of the Rings, Pink Floyd and Black Friday Sales, intertwined with snipes at RPG elements like character stats and fight strategies. The game world is vibrant and cheerful, filled with quirky items in sync with the Middle Ages.

Camouflaged by the corny is a tale of heart and redemption, the victory of good over evil, and the coming of age, both for semi-retired Emyr and young Gwen.

summary: Barbarous - Tavern of Emyr is a well-crafted gem, with an intricate story and a smart, stylish game world; will be extra-fun for players who also love classic RPG adventures.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | Frenemies | Gwen's Room
Map | Emyr's Tavern | Fishy Bar | Orcish Camp | Murky Swamps | Magic Guild

This is an original review written by me. Please do not distribute / adapt the text without written my consent.