Category Archives: Role-Playing

RPG Reload Glossary - The Unexpected Modern Awakening of TRPGs

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we're all just trying to S-rank our relationships. Last month, we continued our look at the history of turn-based tactical RPGs with a look at the years from 2000 to 2010. The genre came into the decade blazing, but by the time it wound down, things were looking pretty bleak. As it turned out, hope was right around the corner. This month, we'll be wrapping things up by taking a look at the notable games in the genre from the last several years. At least at the moment, it feels like TRPGs are more popular than ever. The various things that had to happen for that to come about were so unlikely that it makes for quite a story...

After a soft launch in a couple of countries last week to make sure everything worked well, Flat Black Films' Lowlander 2: Lowerlander [$2.99], is out now, and officially in competition for the best game name of 2017. This is the sequel to Lowlander [$1.99], which despite its primitive looks was quite the fun Ultima 2-inspired RPG. It's not exactly going to win any best visuals awards, and still looks like something that could have existed three decades ago, but if you like expansive RPGs in the Ultima tradition, this is the game for you!..




'Beholder' Review - Oppressing People and Taking Names Was Never This Fun

Recently, we've had the "pleasure" of playing quite a few games that turn you into a cog in a totalitarian machine rather than a hero fighting against a ruthless State apparatus. Paper's Please and The Westport Independent played on the delicate balance between being moral and staying alive in an oppressive regime, although with differing levels of success. Still, they both managed to involve the player in what is a game of moral tug of war, where any initial desire to play the game as a moral and just individual slowly gets crushed under the reality that is survival for you and, in many instances, your family...

The Quest HD [$7.99], which actually isn't even called The Quest HD anymore because developer Redshift renamed it simply The Quest and then renamed the original The Quest and its many expansions to The Quest Classic but I didn't want to be any more confusing than I need to be and since this is the HD remake of The Quest I'm just going to go ahead and call it The Quest HD anyway… ahem, where was I? Oh yeah, The Quest HD has already received a lengthy expansion with Islands of Ice and Fire [$3.99], which was an HD remake of an existing expansion, but as was hinted at last month long-time The Quest expansion creator Zarista Games has been hard at work on a brand new expansion specifically for The Quest HD called The Quest - Thor's Hammer [$2.99], which just arrived in the App Store today...

The RPG Reload Play-Along: 'Final Fantasy 5'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload Play-Along. Each month, we'll be playing an iOS RPG together, sharing laughs and tears in equal measures. The post on the front page (like this one!) is basically here to announce the game in question and give a few tips on getting started. The real action will be happening in the TouchArcade forums, where you'll find a thread dedicated to each month's featured game. Sign up if you haven't already, post your screenshots, ask for advice, or just chat about your misadventures with others. We've got a great community of RPG fans here at TouchArcade, so let's make the most of it! As a little incentive, at the end of each month, I will randomly pick one of the participants and send them something small and silly from here in Japan. All you have to do to be eligible is, well, play along with the Play-Along!..

Earlier this month, news broke that Knights of Pen & Paper 2 [Free] was reverting from its previous $4.99 premium pricing to a brand new free-to-play monetisation model, and there was understandably a mixed reaction to such a sudden volte-face for one of the App Store's most beloved original series. Amidst fan criticism and issues surrounding save files being wiped from the new free version of the game, Knights of Pen & Paper 2 was promptly removed from the App Store, as many of our community wondered what this change would mean for the title. Today, we may finally have an answer - Knights of Pen & Paper 2 has returned to the App Store for free, and has been updated to rework the combat and game economy to be geared towards a new freemium existence...

There aren't many good games out there based on the Power Rangers franchise. Much of that is down to the nature of the licensing beast, similar to how hard it seems to be to get a superhero game of decent quality. There are many factors, both obvious and subtle, that work against licensed games. The Rangers certainly haven't been free of such hassles. The obvious solution is to take a swing at it without a license, but as Behold Studios found out, that's a delicate road to walk. Things worked out in the end, however, and Chroma Squad [$4.99] became an officially-endorsed spin on the Super Sentai concept that is free to do its own thing without the heavy restrictions that come with a full license. It's a good game, probably the best Ranger-themed game ever, though how much you like it will depend greatly on what you're looking to get out of it...

Much to the consternation of some long-time fans of the series, the recent Fire Emblem games have placed a strong emphasis on marriage. It's such a popular feature that it was a little odd when Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] launched without any signs of the popular relationship system included. The latest event for the game doesn't really do anything about that, but if it's a Fire Emblem waifu you want, then a Fire Emblem waifu you shall have...

RPG Reload File 103 - 'Fairune'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we know the trees are a lie. In each installment, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it stands the test of time. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall library, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. Being the disembodied voice that tells you where to go, I try to choose a balanced plate of games to feature. If there's a game you really want to see, though, don't be shy! You can let me know in the comments below, by posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. You might not see your suggestion soon, but it will be added to the master list for future consideration...

A couple of months back developer Spellbind Studios were looking for beta testers for an upcoming mobile port of their rogue-lite dungeon crawling RPG Rogue Wizards, which launched on Steam to fairly positive reviews back in September of last year. Well, the beta testers have tested their little hearts out and, although it's a bit behind the rest of the week's new releases, Rogue Wizards [Free] for iOS has now arrived in the App Store. The game utilizes a neat isometric view that reminds me a lot of the excellent Shattered Planet [Free], and in addition to normal dungeon crawly things you'll also be doing a bit of city building, somewhat reminiscent of the wonderful Sproggiwood [$1.99]. Also the way the game world sort of pops in and pops out as you move gives me a heavy Bastion [$4.99] vibe. Basically, in a sea of mediocre dungeon crawlers, Rogue Wizards throws some interesting inspirations from a variety of great games into the mix to make itself stand out. One other cool touch about Rogue Wizards is that it offers two different modes. Story mode is the more casual option and features a quest-driven storyline and the town-building features. Gauntlet mode strips away the story and town-building stuff and throws you into an increasingly difficult dungeon with permadeath and challenges you to make it into the Hall of Fame...

Trusty JRPG publisher Kemco's been trying to spread its wings a little bit of late, trying out new developers and gameplay variations after years of serving up the same old. They haven't quite given up on the old formula yet, though. Developer EXE-Create is still by Kemco's side, cranking out their serviceable brand of JRPG joy every couple of months or so. Onigo Hunter [$4.99] is the latest offering, and it's more or less the usual fare for Kemco. It tries to do a few new things but was obviously constrained by the resources available, making for an experience that is likely to be a little too familiar to mobile RPG fans...

Let's face it: when it comes to strategy/tactical RPGs, iOS gamers have got it pretty good. Setting aside the occasional great port we get from PCs or consoles, there are also plenty of quality original games in the genre. The only catch is that they tend to be a little rudimentary in their presentation. Bucking that trend is the Demon's Rise series, which offers up accessible yet deep strategy gameplay with surprisingly high-quality production values. The games aren't much for story, but if you enjoy the mechanics of games like Final Fantasy Tactics or X-COM, you'll want to check out Demon's Rise [$7.99] or its sequel, Demon's Rise 2 [$7.99]. At the moment, you can grab the latter game for its lowest price yet...

RPG Reload Glossary - The New Millennium of Tactical RPGs

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we maintain a healthy fear of Etna. Last month, we took a look at the early history of the tactical RPG genre followed by its blossoming in the 1990s. It was an important time for the genre, as the vague concepts of the 1980s were finally drawn together into a functional set of genre guidelines. While the genre really started to take off in Japan, things went a different way in the West. Besides occasional hits like X-COM, Western game developers were largely focused on a considerably more popular sister genre, the real-time strategy game. This gap would only become wider as time went on. This month, we're taking a look at some of the significant tactical RPGs of the 2000s, as the Japanese variation of the genre rode a massive wave of popularity worldwide off the back of Final Fantasy Tactics...

Oh, you thought your wallet was safe for another week? Well, Bandai Namco and Behold Studios have some other plans for your precious pocket money. After what feels like 10,000 years, Chroma Squad [$4.99] has finally made its way to the App Store. From the developers of the popular Knights of Pen & Paper, Chroma Squad is a tactical RPG based on the Super Sentai/Power Rangers-style teams of heroes in color-coded spandex...

We're only a handful of days away from the release of the latest game in Nintendo's long-running Fire Emblem series in North America, Europe, and Australia. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is a full Nintendo 3DS remake of the second game in the series, Fire Emblem Gaiden, which released in Japan in 1992 for Nintendo's 8-bit hardware. Fire Emblem Echoes launched last month in Japan, and to commemorate it, mobile spin-off Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] held an event featuring one of the game's two main characters, Alm, and some of his associates. At the time, there was speculation that Nintendo was holding back some of the cast for a second event nearer to the international launch, speculation which has now proven to be correct...

Rick and Morty is the greatest television show in history (it's a fact, Google it) and Pocket Mortys [Free] is the greatest Pokemon-like video game based on Rick and Morty (also a fact). We loved Pocket Mortys in our original review from January of last year, and it's only gotten better in the many months since then with a steady stream of content updates released for the game. Now, it's about to get even betterer as one of the key elements that would help it feel truly Pokemon-like, online battling, is apparently heading to Pocket Mortys and Adult Swim wants to recruit some beta testers for the new feature on Android...

You may have noticed in the past month or so that Knights of Pen & Paper 2, developed by KYY Games and published by Paradox Interactive, had gone missing from the App Store. Several players in our forums and elsewhere on the internet sure noticed, but Paradox was remaining tight-lipped about why the game was removed saying that a big announcement would be coming. Well, here is the big announcement: Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is converting to full free to play, and all previous progress players have made in both the iOS and Android versions is being completely wiped due to the save files being incompatible with the new free to play version. PriceIsRightFailHorn.wav..

The RPG Reload Play-Along: 'Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload Play-Along. Each month, we'll be playing an iOS RPG together, sharing laughs and tears in equal measures. The post on the front page (like this one!) is basically here to announce the game in question and give a few tips on getting started. The real action will be happening in the TouchArcade forums, where you'll find a thread dedicated to each month's featured game. Sign up if you haven't already, post your screenshots, ask for advice, or just chat about your misadventures with others. We've got a great community of RPG fans here at TouchArcade, so let's make the most of it! As a little incentive, at the end of each month, I will randomly pick one of the participants and send them something small and silly from here in Japan. All you have to do to be eligible is, well, play along with the Play-Along!..

'Ms. Spell' Review - Ms. Fire

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$1.99 Buy Now

There are a ton of roguelikes, roguelites, and roguelike variants on iOS. Collectively, the genre is nearly as prolific on mobile as puzzle games and Kemco RPGs are. While there's always going to be an audience of some size craving more coal for the fire, going beyond that audience takes some clever, out-of-the-box thinking. To an extent, MicRogue [$1.99] had that. Developed by Jason Pickering and published by Crescent Moon, MicRogue offered up a heavily streamlined roguelite experience blended with an interesting chess-inspired twist. Its strong focus on positioning and predicting enemy moves helped it stand out a little bit. Pickering's latest roguelike-inspired game is Ms. Spell [$1.99], and it's unfortunately not quite as interesting...

A few months back, we wrote about Lightseekers [Free], the toys-to-life action adventure RPG that looked quite fun, and now you can try it out for yourself if you're in the US, Canada, or the UK (broader release to come later). While the game is using its pretty fancy—and expensive—figures as a selling point, it's totally playable without them, so don't let the $70 figures scare you away from what looks like a pretty fun—and totally free—action adventure RPG. As you can see from the video below, there's a ton of things you can do in the game besides just fighting enemies, and your heroes can be upgraded in cool ways...

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