Category Archives: Role-Playing

If you thought you'd be able to kick back and soak in some Final Fantasy IX [$16.99] since its surprise launch earlier today, I have some bad news. Or good news, depending on how much free time you actually have and/or how massive your backlog already is. The classic Ys action RPG series continues on iOS with Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99], which just dropped mere moments ago from the fine folks at DotEmu...

'Adventures Of Mana' Review - The Secret Is Simplicity

Adventures Of Mana [$13.99] is a remake of a classic Square Enix game, something that could be said for more than half of the company's iOS releases. Yet it's quite different from the usual Square Enix remake in that it's positively restrained in how much it chooses to change from the original game. It's especially interesting in light of the fact that said original game, Seiken Densetsu/Final Fantasy Adventure/Mystic Quest (henceforth Final Fantasy Adventure), was a 1991 release for the original Game Boy. On top of that, there was already one high-profile remake of the game, 2003's Sword Of Mana for the Game Boy Advance, which changed and added in a lot of things. Seeing Adventures Of Mana essentially present an early handheld action-RPG without doing much more than re-rendering everything in 3D and cleaning up the translation is certainly unexpected, but it's also most welcome...




Hello, friends! We're almost back to the normal schedule for the RPG Reload Podcast, and that means we've only got one featured game this time around. Our usual roster of Eric Ford, Andy Fretz, and I take a look at Nameless: The Hackers RPG [$2.99] in this episode, and as usual, there's a lot of chat about other things beforehand. Each of us shares our thoughts on Crashlands [$4.99] and its many wonders. We also spend some time discussing some of the difficulties in factoring price points into reviews. We also got around to answering a reader question sent to us way back in the distant year of 2015. Admittedly, we go off topic for a while in the middle of the show, but it's all for the sake of droning on about games, so I'm sure we're fine, right?..

With Aralon: Forge And Flame [$4.99], the sequel to Aralon: Sword And Shadow [$4.99], a few months behind us, we naturally had to wonder what was next for Crescent Moon in the world of 3D RPGs. The market has changed quite a bit since Ravensword: The Fallen King [$2.99] released, and what once was a surefire hit is now a much more risky endeavor. Well, it looks like Crescent Moon isn't ready to call it quits on the genre just yet, as they today announced in the TouchArcade Forums that they had started work on a prequel to the original Ravensword. It's called Ravensword: Legacy, and while it's incredibly early in development, it's immediately clear that Crescent Moon is coming at things from a different angle this time around...

Many a song is sung about the Final Fantasy series from Square Enix, but if any of those songs is less sung than the other songs, it's probably Final Fantasy 2. An extremely experimental sequel that didn't fare too well in practice, Final Fantasy 2 nevertheless made some additions that are still a part of the franchise today. The modern version of the game is far easier to swallow than the Japan-only original release, but the game certainly does carry a reputation, enough of one that some people might not want to risk buying it. Personally, I like the game, as I outlined in an RPG Reload a while back. If you've never given the game a chance, the time has never been better, because you can get the game for the enticing price of $0.00 until February 14th through the Final Fantasy Portal [Free] app...

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

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 brief but impressive reign of the Game Boy Advance, and the bounty of RPGs it brought with it. While it was mostly uncontested during its life, seeds were being planted in unexpected places that would sprout into the fiercest competition Nintendo would face to date of this writing. We'll be looking at those nooks and crannies today as best as we can. In total, this feature will span twelve columns, each one taking a look at a specific era in handheld RPGs. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I've enjoyed researching and writing them! Please let me know what you think by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. If you like this project and wish to support endeavors like it, please consider contributing to the TouchArcade Patreon. It's what makes these kinds of big features possible...

Last month Adult Swim Games launched Pocket Mortys [Free] into the App Store, and today it's received its first content update. In case you missed all the hubbub, Pocket Mortys is a riff on Pokemon that has you running around a bunch of wacky dimensions, capturing and cultivating a fearsome team of Mortys, and then fighting a huge cast of wacky "Morty trainers" in an effort to bring down the Council of Ricks and return to your normal dimension. Basically just another day in the lives of Rick and Morty. While a bit repetitive, Pocket Mortys was still extremely entertaining, and was stuffed with so much awesome fan service that it was hard not to like it. Today's update adds a whopping 19 new Mortys for you to capture and collect...

The East New World [$1.99] is pretty comfortable wearing its inspirations on its sleeve. The enemy designs map pretty closely to those found in Goblin Sword [$1.99]. The button layout is very similar to the one used on Sword Of Xolan [$0.99]. The basic gameplay of all of these games isn't that far removed from Devious Dungeon [$2.99]. That's not to say that The East New World doesn't have a few ideas of its own, but it's similar enough to Goblin Sword in particular that it feels like a reskin at times. You'll need to make your way through preset levels, searching out three crystals and two chests per stage, defeating whatever gets in your way using your sword. Pick up all the coins and gems you find on the way so that you can buy new gear in town between levels. Use your trusty double jump to avoid spikes and other hazards, and make your way to the exit somewhere on the far right-hand side of the stage. Very much a clone, to be sure, but it's at least a good one...

Last September, Square Enix announced that they would be releasing a new remake of the original Mana game on iOS, Android, and PlayStation Vita. That game, known as Seiken Densetsu in Japan, has had many names in English. If you're North American, you might know it as The Final Fantasy Adventure on the original Game Boy, or perhaps as Sword Of Mana, as its Game Boy Advance remake was called. If you're from Europe, you probably know the Game Boy game as Mystic Quest. Well, the game has yet another title now, as the English version of this remake is going by the title Adventures Of Mana, a nice nod to both of its previous American names. Oh, and the important bit: it's coming out worldwide for both iOS and Android this Thursday...

RPG Reload File 068 - 'Legends Of Yore'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where punch skeletons for apples. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in modern times. It's a bit of reflecting, a bit of revisiting, and a chance to take a deeper dive than our reviews usually allow for. I try to present as diverse a selection of RPGs from week to week as I can muster, but if you feel like I've missed something important, please let me know. You can give suggestions by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. Since the schedule is planned pretty far ahead of time, you probably won't see any games you suggest soon, but you will see them eventually...

'Dungelot: Shattered Lands' Review - Chewie, We’re Home

Most people that have seen the new Star Wars movie enjoyed it, but one complaint I’ve seen a lot is that it borrows heavily from the first film, A New Hope. I’ve read that it was intentional, and part of the reason was probably to remind people of how much they loved the original trilogy and help them forget the prequels. And as weird as it may seem, it sort of reminds me of what Red Winter has done with the latest Dungelot sequel, Dungelot: Shattered Lands [$3.99]...

Tower Of Fortune 2 [$0.99] was just about everything you could want in a sequel. It kept the core elements that people enjoyed in Tower Of Fortune [$0.99], but expanded out on them greatly. It felt like the first game, but more. It's a good approach for a first follow-up, but as many developers can attest to, there's only so long you can play it safe before things start to sour. Game Stew seems to be quite aware of that, having taken an extended break away from the main Tower Of Fortune series to work on various other game ideas. Now returning to the Tower Of Fortune series, the developers appear to be eager to apply some of the things they've learned to make a decidedly different sort of sequel...

We really liked Crowntakers [$1.99 (HD)] when it came out a few months ago for its blend of elements from roguelikes, strategy games, and RPGs, and people in our forums have had the same opinion since there are almost 300 comments in the forum thread. If you're one of those who enjoyed the game, you'll be happy to know that the developers just released new content for the game that should give you another reason (if you actually needed one) to dive into the game once more. Undead Undertakings takes your heroes to the land of the living dead, the Necropolis, where death and decay have, well, decayed everything. You'll have to battle against zombies, skeletons, and vampires in your attempt to see the sun shine on your face once more. I like the idea of taking the game underground as it definitely changes the feel of Crowntakers...

Hello, friends. Today, I've got something a little out of the ordinary for you. A few months ago in the RPG Reload feature we covered Heroes Of Steel Elite [$3.99], an RPG from developers Trese Brothers. As usual, I reached out to them for some background information, but for a variety of reasons, we couldn't connect for an interview until after the Christmas holidays. I promised in that article that I would print the interview separately later on, and here we are, living and breathing in the world of "later on"...

RPG Reload File 067 - 'The Bard's Tale 2: The Destiny Knight'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we always keep our drinks topped off. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see if it holds up in the modern day. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on classic hits, or just to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. As party leader, I try to pick a balanced plate of RPGs from week to week, but if you think I'm missing something important, please let me know. You can make suggestions by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. As the schedule is planned well in advance, you probably won't see your suggestion soon, but I promise it will go on the list...

'Crashlands' Review - Holy Wompit, This Is Outstanding

This might sound odd, but I hadn't been paying much attention to Crashlands [$4.99]. I had read the inspiring story behind its genesis, and I knew it was some sort of crafting game. I knew the developer, Butterscotch Shenanigans, has always turned out quality games. But because I had initially pegged it as being something outside of my usual interests, my eye was off the ball. I'm glad for that, because it allowed me to approach this game without too many preconceptions or any sort of hype build-up. If anything, I wasn't sure if I'd like it as much as another reviewer might, since I rarely get deeply into games built around crafting mechanics. Crashlands had to win me over, in other words, and my biggest surprise is how fully it did so...

Hi there, friends. It's been a while, but the RPG Reload Podcast is back. We had a few technical issues with the original 11th episode, and with the holidays upon us, we felt it was best to just save it all up for a special comeback in the new year. And here we are! As usual, I'm joined by Eric Ford, and as semi-usual, Andy Fretz joins us from B25 of TouchArcade Towers. Since we were supposed to talk about 9th Dawn [$2.99] last time, we do that here, but we also make room to talk about the original January selection, King Cashing [$0.99]. Wow, it's a double-header! To tell the truth, we don't spend as much time discussing either game as we would have preferred, but I hope you still enjoy the discussions. Before we get to the main games for the episode, we spend a long time talking about what we've been playing and our thoughts on 2015. Plus, no less than three shocking confessions from yours truly! Who says this isn't the RPG Reload Age of podcasting entertainment?..

'Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead' Review - A Learning Curve Like A Sheer Cliff, But Great Rewards Await

There are a lot of roguelike games on iOS, but that's going with the more modern definition of the genre. In the years between the earliest days when roguelikes were pretty easy to get into and their recent explosion in popularity correlated with more approachable or hybridized designs, the roguelike was something a lot more complex. It was like a secret club for the most obsessed type of gamer, offering virtually limitless possibilities and options for those who were willing to do a lot more learning than the average game demanded. That particular brand of roguelike is far more rare on iOS, and it's not hard to see why. A touch interface is a poor substitute for a full keyboard, and games of that sort of complexity are probably not what the majority of mobile gamers are looking for. At the very least, compromises have to be made on the granular nature of the player's actions, because the alternatives are having a keyboard's worth of buttons on the screen or using the software keyboard, and what kind of loon would do either of those?..

RPG Reload File 066 - 'Nameless: The Hackers RPG'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we never met a Gibson we couldn't hack. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's hanging in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit some old favorites, reflect on their position in the iOS RPG tapestry, or just to take a deeper dive than reviews typically allow for. I try to present a balanced plate of RPGs from week to week, but that's a job that gets more difficult the further into this we go. So, if you've noticed that I've missed a game that you'd really like to see, please let me know by commenting below, tweeting to @RPGReload, or by dropping in on the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the TouchArcade forums. I schedule pretty far in advance, so I can't promise your suggestion will appear soon, but it will go on the list...

During E3 in June of last year, Natsume Inc. announced Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories [$9.99], a new entry in the long-running farming/RPG series and the first "true" Harvest Moon game to land on iOS, as the previous mobile game bearing the Harvest Moon name was a puzzle game. Great news, right? Well, maybe. As many know, the Harvest Moon franchise is a convoluted one, and later entries in the series haven't quite captured the magic that the original SNES Harvest Moon did back in the mid-90s. So fans of the series were understandably cautiously optimistic when it came to Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories, but as of today they can find out for themselves as the game has officially launched on the App Store. Also, even though it would make TOTAL sense for this type of game to be free to play'd out the wazoo, Seeds of Memories is actually a fully paid game with zero IAP. Check out the official trailer...

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