Category Archives: Role-Playing

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 [$4.99]. 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 [$2.99]. 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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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...

RPG Reload File 102 - 'Dragon Quest 3'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where it was Earth all along. In each file, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in the modern day. 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. As a distant descendant of Ortega, I choose the games that appear here, but if there's something you really want to see, don't be shy. You can offer up suggestions by posting in the comments below, by tweeting me at @RPGReload, or by heading on over to the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the TouchArcade forums. You might not see your suggestion soon, but it will be added to the master list for future consideration...

Were you aware that there's currnently a Final Fantasy VI [$14.99] event taking place in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius [Free], Square Enix's popular social RPG? Well, even if you don't play that game and are not aware of the event, you can benefit from it if you don't already own the iOS version of the full Final Fantasy VI port. In celebration of said event, Square Enix has dropped the price of Final Fantasy VI down to $6.99 from its normal price of $14.99. The game has been on sale plenty of times before, but this is in fact the lowest it has ever been, and while 7 bucks is still considered high in the world of mobile games, your money is getting you one of the all-time classic RPGs with dozens of hours of gameplay. ..

The silence you hear after successfully unloading an entire volley of cannon fire into a now sinking enemy ship in HeroCraft's latest release, Tempest [$7.99] , is euphoric. The only problem is that a stop in the action is guaranteed to be short lived. The pace and pay off of being a pirate captain may feel highly romanticized in this sea-worthy offering, but I approve. Any time a developer cooks up an ARPG that even seems half-baked, my ears perk up and this time I am really glad they did. This game taps directly into a whole lot of what makes the genre great and does it in a way that is original enough for you to sit up and take notice too...

Kemco is a company that has had a lot of strange ups and downs since they entered the game industry during the 8-bit Nintendo boom in the 1980s. In their early days, they were most famous for their ports of Western computer games like Shadowgate and Deja Vu to the NES. In the 16-bit era, they were probably best known for publishing the Top Gear racing series from Gremlin Graphics. The next two generations were perhaps the company's darkest days, resulting in such legendarily awful games as Batman Beyond, Batman: Dark Tomorrow, and the Nintendo 64 version of Daikatana. About 10 years ago they started focusing on the blossoming mobile market, acting as the publisher of a multitude of low-budget, low-priced RPGs. A half-decade ago, they started bringing those games out worldwide, and my friends, they did not stop...

RPG Reload Glossary - Tactical RPG Video Games in the 1990s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we know iteration is the key to success. Last week, we took a look at the early history of the tactical RPG genre, covering the origins of many of its core concepts through to what is generally considered to be the game that established the genre, Nintendo's Fire Emblem. In that article, I also listed some features that I consider to define games in the TRPG genre, so I strongly encourage heading back and reading that piece before moving on with this one. In this week's article, we're picking up from where we left off last time and covering the genre's explosion in popularity in the 1990s. Both the East and the West (and by extension the console and PC sectors) would see little cottage industries spring up around their respective takes on the genre. Perhaps most remarkably of all, these two flavors of TRPG appear to have formed virtually independently of one another...

Back in early March, we told you that HeroCraft was looking for beta testers for the mobile port of their hit Steam game Tempest: Pirate Action RPG, which as you might guess is a pirate-themed action RPG. About a month later, we learned that the game was just about finished and was scheduled to launch on April 18th. Today I woke up and looked at the calendar, and noticed that the date is April 18th. You see where this is going? Yes, as of this morning Tempest: Pirate Action RPG [$7.99] is now available on the App Store and if you've missed our previous coverage you can see it in action in the following trailer...

'Planescape: Torment' Review - What Can Change the Nature of an App?

Oh. Really? Another one of those old isometric dinosaurs got released on iOS? No. I am sorry, but that's wrong. THE old isometric dinosaur that devours and spits out other isometric dinosaurs is finally out for iOS. Fresh off solid remasters of Baldur's Gate [$9.99], Baldur's Gate II [$9.99], and Icewind Dale [$9.99], Overhaul Games is back with the magnum opus of the CRPG world Planescape: Torment [$9.99], and yes this terrible thunder lizard still has teeth. Much commentary of this recently revamped game is devoted to how the upgrade was handled. As many of you, dear readers, may not be very familiar, I will also be unwrapping my personal experience with the actual content of Torment. Even though I have been an avid gamer through the decades, this was one I did not get the chance to play back in the day (I blame Diablo II, personally). Now given the chance to remedy this grave personal flaw, I present to you my humble take on a giant of the industry. ..

'Sunless Sea' Review - A Brilliant Journey in a Dark, Fascinating World

When I reviewed Falibetter Games' Fallen London some time ago, I talked about how much I enjoyed the dark, twisted, yet also funny world the writers have created; it's not every day you journey through a London realized in an intriguing Victorian Steampunk aesthetic. While that literary RPG was great in terms of content and ideas, the app itself had huge issues that, unfortunately, kept players away. I'm glad to say that Sunless Sea [$9.99 (HD)], Failbetter's sequel of sorts to Fallen London, works pretty much like a charm on an iPad, and that made playing it much more enjoyable than Fallen London simply in terms of it actually working as it should...

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