The original Bard's Tale was released in 1985, originally developed for the Apple II, but saw ports on many 8 and 16 bit home computers and consoles (including the C64, and NES), the series would see 2 sequels in the 1980s and a 4th in the series is currently in development after a successful crowdfunding campaign secured over $1.5million on Kickstarter in 2015.
The game is still great fun to play, although very difficult, as random encounters with a group of strong enemies at the start could wipe out your party in one fight. But in an era of quick saves, and grinding out easy victories for XP and levels in modern RPGs, it's actually quite a refreshing challenge to struggle through these early levels with a novice crew, picking when to attempt to flee and when to fight. Make sure you read the docs and keep a spells guide to hand. This will take you right back!
posted by @hayes_maker