Category Archives: Role-Playing

RPG Reload File 084 - 'Shadowrun Returns'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we'll deck the world for a few credsticks. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the present day. It's a chance for reflecting on important releases, revisiting old favorites, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. As the present King of Canada, I try to choose a balanced plate of games from week to week to reflect the wide diversity in the genre. If you feel like I'm missing something important, though, make sure to let me know. You can do that by posting in the comments below, stopping by the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. You might not see your suggestion right away, but it will be added to the master list...

Orangepixel's previous game, Space Grunts [$3.99] was basically a fast-paced, roguelike-inspired, action game that just so happened to be turn-based. Heroes of Loot 2 [$3.99] instead is that fast-action game that Space Grunts coult have been in an alternate universe. This Gauntlet-esque dungeon shooter eschews the item system for some new tricks, such as a two-character swapping system. And there is the expected intense challenge to be had, with dozens of dungeon floors to try and traverse before beating the game. Good luck getting anywhere near that without a lot of skillful play. Yet, despite everything on paper that seems enjoyable, there's something about the loose feel of Heroes of Loot 2, with some questionable design decisions along the way, that leave me not entirely enamored with this game...




Well, there was a load of new iOS games released tonight but not among them was one that we've been highly anticipating since we played it at E3 last week. However, moments ago Teeny Titans [$3.99] from Grumpyface Studios and Cartoon Network finally popped up on the App Store. Better late than never, I always say! If you missed what Teeny Titans is all about, it's more or less a Pokemon-style character collecting and battling game utilizing a huge roster of DC Superheroes in their Teen Titans form. Here is our look at the game from E3 last week...

Well, I can't blame Kemco for trying. While the publisher has used IAP in its games for a few years now, even releasing free versions of some of them, it has largely stuck to what it's become known for on mobile: traditional single-player JRPGs. The quality of the games varies according to which developer it sub-contracts out to, and those games are rarely ambitious in any meaningful way, but for hungry JRPG fans, they at least fill the belly. Given the way the App Store market has shifted, particularly in Japan, and the sheer number of releases Kemco has published, these games can't be turning in particularly large numbers anymore. With social RPGs proving far more lucrative these days, it was only a matter of time before Kemco took a swing at something resembling one...

When Adult Swim Games launched Pocket Mortys [Free] at the beginning of the year, I figured it would be a cute Pokemon-alike dripping with Rick and Mortys fan service that would be a fun way to pass the time for a few weeks, and then it would fade away like dust in the wind. This was not the case. Pocket Mortys has been getting all sorts of updates since its launch, and after two rapid fire spring updates Adult Swim is ringing in the summertime with yet another big content update. Fans had been clamoring for new single-player content, and this update delivers that in the form of the new Morty Games, a series of 5 tournaments that will give you an opportunity to win exclusive Mortys not available anywhere else in the game...

While the array of traditional RPGs on iOS certainly are welcome (as long as they remain on the App Store, at least), it's cool to see an increasing number of role playing games that take a more portable and mobile edge on the genre while still remaining true to their roots. One such game is Questland, which has just soft launched on the New Zealand App Store for free, and features a decent amount of customization options with a interesting first person battling perspective under a layer of incredibly beautiful cel-shaded graphics. With a strong character creation system and a wide selection of armor and weapon choices which all have their own unique style, Questland should definitely satiate both hardcore and casual RPG fans looking for a new game to play on the go...

RPG Reload File 083 - 'Rimelands: Hammer Of Thor'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we regularly engage in medieval dumpster diving. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the murky mists of the App Store's past to see how it stands in the judgmental light of the modern day. It's equal parts reflection, reminiscing, and diving deeper than our reviews usually allow for. As the wielder of the sacred nail clippers, I try to choose a balanced plate of games from week to week, but if you feel like I'm missing something essential, please let me know. You can comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or tweet me at @RPGReload. You might not see it soon, but I'll add your suggestion to the master list, a prestigious prize if there ever was one...

Dawnbringer [Free], Kiloo Games and Copenhagen Creators' open world RPG that we've written about recently, is out now (one day earlier than announced), and if you like RPGs even a bit, you should probably give it a try. Dawnbringer takes place in a demon-infested realm where you traverse the ruined world in an attempt to probably kill every monster you meet until PETA stops you. In your quest you try and uncover the mystery behind the corruption destroying the world and in the process challenge your reckless brother. The brother-on-brother violence seems to be central to the game's story, which is an interesting narrative take...

It feels strange to type this, but Square Enix has removed almost the entire Chaos Rings series from the App Store, apparently never to return. From the entire series, only Chaos Rings 3 remains available for purchase. Those aren't the only games they've removed, either. Long-broken releases like Song Summoner, Drakerider, and others have also been taken down from the storefront, though they're all still accessible through your purchase history if you've already bought them. The removal of those games stings a little less since they've been non-functional for years now, but the Chaos Rings games only recently started having issues as of iOS 9. They're still fairly popular games, so it's surprising to see Square Enix throw in the towel on them...

RPG Reload File 082 - The Banner Saga

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we add a piece to our banner with each game played. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the harsh light of today. It's a chance to play some old favorites one more time, to see how a game settled into the iOS landscape over time, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. As the Mr. Miyagi of this particular dojo, I decide which titles we wax on about from week to week. I try to keep things fairly balanced, but if you feel like there's a great game I'm missing out on, please let me know. You can do that by posting in the comments below, stopping by the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload...

It isn't a proper release day on the App Store if a Kairosoft game doesn’t drop now and then. Skyforce Unite! [Free] is the newest in their long line of simulation games and appears to be rather left field for Kairosoft’s standard, with the game presenting a bizarre amalgamation of a traditional RPG, a card based fighter, and an airplane collection simulation...

Back in December of 2014, a heavily old-school-inspired CRPG named Dungeons of Chaos was released for the iPad. A passion project from solo developer Volker Elzner, Dungeons of Chaos was meant to replicate the experience of classic computer RPGs from the '80s like Ultima and Wizardry, and for the most part he succeeded with that. However, one big negative with the original Dungeons of Chaos was that it was built in its own engine so wasn't quite as platform-flexible, and being an iPad-only game it left a lot of iPhone players out in the cold. Well, since that original release, Elzner has taken to completely rewriting the game for the much more flexible Unity Engine, and the results of that effort Dungeons and Chaos Unity Edition [$3.99], which launched over the weekend. ..

Hello, gentle listeners! This month we've got an exciting episode of the RPG Reload Podcast for you, as it happened to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the featured game, Dragon Quest [$2.99]. Eric Ford and Andy Fretz spent the last month playing through one of the most important JRPGs in history for the very first time, while I replayed it for... well, let's not count, okay? By now, regular readers and listeners probably know that I still think highly of the game, but how did it turn out for my co-hosts, who don't have the benefit of nostalgia? You'll just have to listen and see...

The clicker meets the action RPG in Nonstop Knight [Free]. Essentially, the progression of action-RPGs with loot, character leveling, and elements of clickers like idle revenue generation, and prestiging to reset your progress in the name of permanent stat upgrades, are combined into one game. Your hero automatically runs through dungeons, and you watch them fight, triggering special timed abilities, and using the revenue you earn to buy more and better equipment. Normally, I'm opposed to clickers without clicking, but having the timed abilities to use means that there actually is a degree of meaningful interactivity. The only problem with Nonstop Knight is that its progression slows to crawl, and stops being meaningful way too soon...

Slightly more hyped than usual, Samurai Rising is RPG giant Square Enix's latest attempt to get a slice of the booming social RPG market. As with many of their other efforts in this market, Samurai Rising takes strongly after another popular free-to-play game, in this case White Cat Project. It's an action-RPG built for single or multiplayer play, with all the trimmings and tricks you've probably come to expect from the social RPG genre. I've spent a little time with the game since it came out yesterday here in Japan, and I thought I'd give you a few impressions...

As we all know, love it or hate it, freemium is a concept that is never going away. That said, there is a very specific subset of freemium that I like to call freemium fan service games. When a popular franchise or intellectual property wants to cash in on their loyal fan-base, slapping together a freemium game set within that world seems to be the way to go. But you know what? I love it sometimes. I’m pretty susceptible to some good fan service myself, and sometimes; not often, but sometimes, it makes the whole game worthwhile. Games like Star Trek Timelines [Free], while largely disliked by our community, still appealed to me as a huge trekkie, and the fan service within that game was fantastic. Well, if you’re partial to the ‘Tales of’ franchise of JRPG’s, then Tales of Link [Free] is the freemium fan service game for you, and has nothing to do with The Legend of Zelda if that’s also where your mind immediately jumped...

Chances are good that if you know any Japanese RPGs at all, you know Final Fantasy [$7.99]. It's also quite likely you've at least heard of Dragon Quest [$2.99], even if you haven't played it. Chrono Trigger [$9.99] and Secret Of Mana [$7.99] are both quite well-known worldwide, as well. It's not surprising, then, that Square Enix has diligently ported almost every one of those games to mobile over the last several years. With only a few holes remaining among their world-famous titles, however, Square Enix is probably going to have to dig a little deeper in their back catalogue if they want to find new candidates to port. This year we've already seen a lovely remake of Final Fantasy Adventure in the form of Adventures Of Mana [$13.99]. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that the next unexpected selection comes from the other series that started on Nintendo's Game Boy...

RPG Reload Presents - The History Of Handheld RPGs, Part Ten

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload. This week, we're continuing our little monthly project looking at the history of handheld RPGs. That means that we will not be taking a look at a specific RPG from the App Store's past this time around. Last month, we looked at the early years of smartphone RPGs, when paid games ruled the roost. For the first time since perhaps the early years of the Game Boy, JRPGs and WRPGs were arriving on a handheld in nearly equal numbers. Dedicated handheld systems weren't finished yet by any means, however, and both Nintendo and Sony would introduce successors to their handhelds just as the smartphone market started to pivot. This month, we're looking at Nintendo's offering, a system that had some pretty big shoes to fill in the wake of the Nintendo DS's unprecedented success...

Even though the Verby Noun game phenomenon is wearing a bit thin at this point, I've really been enjoying Taco Illuminati's Looty Dungeon [Free], which we even chose as our Game of the Week when it released back in April. It utilized the core mechanics of any good Crossy Road-alike by having you move square by square and see how far you can go, but it blended its dungeon crawling elements in beautifully making it more than just a cool theme. The best part about Looty Dungeon was that its extensive cast of characters each had unique abilities which changed how you played through the game. Today a huge update has hit which takes all of that to the next level. Heroes can now earn experience and level up which will unlock even more new abilities and outfits. Plus if you happen to unlock a duplicate character through the gacha prize machine it will go towards leveling up that character, which is neat. On top of all this there's 5 more brand new characters added to the game...

We wrote a few days ago that Star Nomad 2 [$7.99], the very ambitious space game by developer Anh Huy Phan, was about to drop onto the App Store today, and apparently it has arrived on time and is now available for download. Ambitious is definitely a word that fits the game as it is a combat/strategy/RPG/trading game that Phan describes as a blend of Mount & Blade and FTL. So, as you can tell, this game doesn't lack either ambition or scope. The game is set in a dynamic open-world sandbox that figures an evolving conflict between three splinter groups. You get to travel around this hostile environment as a merchant, bounty hunter, pirate, miner, smuggler, or even a wanderer, all the while influencing the world with your actions or in-actions...

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