Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story

Posted:  Feb 21, 2024
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Bandle Tale was provided by Riot Forge for review. Thank you!

Ever since Riot Forge started creating their spinoff League of Legends games, I have been following very closely. I love how they focused on telling tales about the heroes and the lore behind the world of Runeterra, especially the ones that focus on something other than fighting. We saw a bit of this with Songs of Nunu, and I really enjoyed the overall story of family and brotherhood. I really wanted to see more stories like this. Not only did I get that with Bandle Tale, but I also got an enjoyable, immersive life sim that focuses more on rebuilding your home, connecting worlds, and saving your friends.

The story itself is simple but a nice change of pace overall. You are a Yordle who, after sneaking off to a party with your friend Clover, accidentally triggers a magical catastrophe that sends Clover into a portal and causes mayhem across Bandle City. Now, you will need to use your knitting specialty and go to each disconnected island and reconnect them while also solving the problems they each have. While the story itself is straightforward, the writing is what really elevates it higher.

Throughout the game, Bandle Tale never takes itself seriously, and that only makes it better. You can tell from the first conversation you have with Gramps, where he talks about having, or not having, a cat, but it becomes very apparent in one of the first quests you get, where you need to resolve a conflict between a married rock crab couple with a weird rock paper scissors dispute. The game is littered with these jokes and funny conversations, which made me want to keep on going and see what else the developers put in.

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Then, we have the actual gameplay, which is a pretty solid immersive life simulator. Throughout Bandle Tale, you will take on different quests to help you reach your overall goal. Most of these involve crafting to some degree or talking to specific Yordles, but it never feels like a huge chore. Clearing these quests gives you experience towards badges and skill points, but as you craft, gather, and clean up garbage, you will fill up "Emotion Orbs," which will give you extra skill points when you sleep. The skill tree is expansive and has multiple tabs, promoting learning different skills, like cooking and engineering, to complete quests and utilize all of your skills.

I really like the system and the balance of finding the right times to sleep and maximizing skill point potential. It was also cool being able to open your own food stand, which you can use to cook and earn money to purchase stuff from shops and host your own parties. The combination of cooking, crafting, and magic, along with the skill tree and upgrading my own home, kept me very busy without feeling any sort of boredom whatsoever.

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Unfortunately, with all of these systems, it can sometimes feel a bit too complicated. For some equipment and buildings, I needed stones and wood. To get those, I need to either find junk or craft it, then find the corresponding workbench, and then set it to craft with the junk. It sounds simple, but these are basic materials in the game. Bandle Tale has a lot of different workbenches for specific items, with some needing an inside or outside workbench to use. I ended up having to check each station to find the correct one, and I often needed material from a different station to craft the thing I originally needed. A lot of times, this can feel like a bit too much.

That isn't to say there are no quality-of-life features in Bandle Tale, though! I love that you can pick up your home with all of your stations and move it with you where you go. It saves on backtracking if you need to go home while you are traveling and completing quests. Quests will also tell you if a specific skill is needed to complete it, which can give you insight and a goal, though it won't outright tell you if something else needs to be done first to unlock that skill.

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The visual quality, however, is fantastic. The vibrant and well-made pixel art, coupled with the fluid animations, is wonderful. Each island has a different theme to it, each packed with its own details to help it stand out from the others. The soundtrack often helps Bandle Tale keep that calming and laid-back atmosphere, which I found very endearing. The game has no trouble presenting itself both visually and audibly, and it is a lot of fun.

Bandle Tale - Steam Deck Performance

As for playing Bandle Tale on the Steam Deck, it generally doesn't have any issues. We are able to keep a high framerate without making any visual sacrifices, which I really like, but there are a few little issues. The biggest one is when running around. There may sometimes be minor drops or stutters. I found this primarily when running around new areas, so after I had run around once, it got better afterward. I did try setting a GPU clock speed limit to see if this was the issue, but that only fixed it temporarily.

I also wanted to make a note of the battery drain. I feel like Bandle Tale drains way too much throughout gameplay. At 60 FPS, it was pretty manageable and stuck under 12W, but when I bumped the framerate up to 90, we started to hit 17W battery drain. For a pixel game like this, I would expect it to be on the lower end regardless, with maybe a 10W - 11W drain for 90 FPS, but this was a bit higher. It could be much worse, and it is okay at 60, but I was hoping for more. So, for now, I would recommend playing at 60 FPS.

Lastly, I noticed a weird sort of vibration the character makes when walking around. The animations of the game are fluid, but when moving around, it seemed like my Yordle was somewhat vibrating. It's small, and I didn't notice it all the time, but I did notice it here and there. This may not be a Steam Deck-specific issue, but it is one I noticed and should be noted regardless.


When it comes to accessibility, the game does have colorblind modes for Protanopia, Deuteranopia, and Tritanopia, but that's about it. We do have settings for language, audio quality, and cursor changes, but that's it there.

The game supports 16:10 resolutions, so we don't have black bars, and we have controller and cloud save support, too! There are no HDR options, though.


Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story is an enjoyable, immersive life simulator with some fantastic writing. The game shines through its ability to not take itself seriously and use its humor effectively. And, while the gameplay mechanics can feel a bit tedious and overcomplicated at times, it is still enjoyable to go through, upgrade skills, and discover what else you can do in the game. And, because it needs no changes to run well on the Steam Deck, it is definitely a Best on Deck game!

It's a shame this is Riot Forge's last game before they were closed, but I am glad they went out with a great final game under their belt.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story is a great immersive life simulator that is wonderful on the Steam Deck.

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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