Category Archives: Role-Playing

RPG Reload Glossary: An Inability to Count to Three, or Action-RPGs in the Late 00s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where spin-offs are never out of season. This week, we're continuing our look at the history of the action-RPG sub-genre. Last time, we checked in on the early 00s, a period where Diablo's massive success spawned a number of imitators and Square Enix hooked up with Disney to make some real money with a fantasy cross-over. Steam was just beginning what would eventually be a near takeover of the PC market, while Nintendo was about to lob a couple of Hail Mary passes that may have saved the company. Oh, and Apple was only a year or two away from launching the product that would come to define them in the new millennium. Somehow, the action-RPG genre was still a slippery one, but developers had more or less figured out that to be a big success with them, you had to make them easy to play...

'Cat Quest' Review - An Interactive How-to on Mobile RPGs

We've had our teeth sunk into Cat Quest [$4.99] here at Touch Arcade Towers for a while now. It's been just about a year since one of our first looks at the game at TGS 2016. Since then we also took a peek into the dev process Gentlebros went through to cook up this Action-RPG offering. A lot of times our Patreon supporters will ask us about games that shape or define a genre, and Cat Quest, for all its levity, has left an indelible paw print on that list. ..




With the big Apple conference occurring later today, the impending 32-bit Appocalypse that we've wrote about at length over the past few weeks is closer than ever. While it's been extremely gratifying to see so many developers update their classic titles to support the demands of iOS 11, there will inevitably be some games that will depart the App Store in the next few weeks, and QuestLord [Free] appears to be one of them. Having last been updated in December 2013, QuestLord is sadly still only 32-bit compatible, and with the developer's focus presumably being on the upcoming sequel, the retro-themed dungeon crawler is currently sitting firm in iOS death row. To perhaps give mobile gamers one final chance to play this iconic mobile RPG, Lava Level has today made QuestLord free to download for the first time since its February 2013 release...

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!..

Kemco is continuing their series of experiments with a familiar face this time around. Before 2017, the publisher generally only cranked out a near-monthly procession of JRPGs. They weren't identical to one another, but they were certainly similar in a lot of ways. This year, they've slowed down their release schedule on mobile a little and partnered up with some new developers to try to freshen things up. What Hadjane Says Goes! [$4.99] comes from Hit-Point, one of their old standby development studios, but it's not like any of their previous games. Instead of being a turn-based adventure across a medieval fantasy world, it's an action-RPG set in the depths of the underworld itself...

Video games as a medium have long been seen as a form of escapism. Whether you choose to explore the beautiful, utopian open world of Hyrule, or if you don the jet-pack and hyper-realistic weaponry of the latest Call of Duty title, jumping into the latest release serves as a way of blocking out the hardships and monotonous tedium of everyday life. However, the passage of time can make many titles become a little too real in their sprawling dystopian narratives, and upon its release back in May, Beholder [$4.99] joined the likes of Papers, Please [$7.99 (HD)] in providing a terrifying yet utterly immersive look into a totalitarian future of absolute surveillance amidst some difficult moral dilemmas. We adored Beholder in our review, and today the game has gone on sale for a mere $1.99, which is its lowest price since the title's release...

Slay Humans With Crossbows and Capitalism in 'Goblin's Shop', Releasing September 17th on the App Store

While occasionally certain titles can just become inundated with conflicting mechanics and convoluted stories, sometimes a game just makes sense, and that's very much the case for the upcoming Goblin's Shop, from Taiwanese indie developer Firestoke. In the titular trading post, a goblin with an unhappy history with humans is determined to take revenge - through kitting up themselves and their monstrous allies for genocidal raiding parties. Yes, the premise is somewhat dark, but the colorful pixel art exterior gives Goblin's Shop a degree of levity, as the action and role-playing elements combine for what could be a neat little mobile adventure. For anyone wanting to betray humankind and ally with a nefarious cast of creatures, Goblin's Shop is set to release onto both the App Store and the Google Play store on September 17th...

'Strike Team Hydra' Review - Trading Walking Guns for Regular Guns

Wave Light Games came virtually out of nowhere with the excellent tactical RPG Demon's Rise [$7.99] a couple of years ago. Perhaps more impressively, the small developer updated the game frequently, responding to player feedback to hammer out many of the game's dents and rough edges. All of that work paid off when Demon's Rise 2 [$7.99] was able to launch last year in a much more polished form than its predecessor. Naturally, that game got more than a few updates as well. One problem that sequel faced was that the original game was updated so often, the sequel had trouble distinguishing itself, an issue that likely would have afflicted a third Demon's Rise had that been Wave Light's next project...

RPG Reload Glossary - Send in the Clones, or Action-RPGs in the Early 00s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where everything goes better with a good loot system. This week, we're continuing our slow but steady crawl through the history of the action-RPG sub-genre. The last time we looked at this topic, we covered the late 1990s, perhaps one of the more significant periods thanks to the debut of Blizzard's Diablo. Just how influential was it? Read on, friends. If you don't already know, I have a feeling you will soon. Keeping in mind the general explosion of game releases from here on out, I'm only going to be covering a five-year span, and only the games I think are noteworthy. If I leave out your favorite, it might have just slipped my mind. Hold on to that hope!..

'Darkest Dungeon' for iPad Has Finally Released on the App Store

Red Hook Studios have flirted with the concept of their 2016 critical and commercial hit Darkest Dungeon [$4.99 (HD)] making the transition to mobile for some time now. While the PC and PS4 versions of the title were essential purchases, the game's Vita port emphasised its potential for portable play, and so a move to tablet devices was always a natural progression for the developers to make. Finally, after what has felt like years of impatient anticipation, Darkest Dungeon has made its way to the iPad. With a beautiful gothic graphical style, and a clever twist on the turn-based RPG formula with its stress mechanic, Darkest Dungeon is the latest in a line of essential indie releases on the App Store, and is available to download for $4.99 exclusively for tablet devices...

I kind of feel bad for the developers of Glyph Quest, We Heart Dragons. They've got a sound concept for their puzzle/RPG hybrid series, one with a satisfying amount of depth that nevertheless manages to be quite straightforward. The problem seems to be in finding the right balance of elements that allows them to make some money with the idea. After trying two player-friendly models and not getting great results, I guess I can't blame them for veering things hard in the free-to-play monetization direction. That's a tricky road to walk, however, and Glyph Quest Chronicles [Free] can't quite keep itself from stumbling into the ditch now and then...

'Nexomon' Review - Gotta Tame 'em All

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$2.99 Buy Now

How did my passion for mobile gaming start? My first dose of "mobile" gaming came from Pokemon Blue on the Gameboy Color. I can't tell you how many hours I feverishly poured into that game. I would play it for as long as my little AA batteries would last me. I loved being able to bring it with me on car trips or wherever I went. It is definitely one of my most precious gaming memories from when I was a kid. Now that I am an adult, I find myself seeking that nostalgic feeling of being a kid again, especially through playing games similar to those that I experienced in the past. That is why I regularly scour the App Store for modern games that resemble the games of my childhood, as well as why I decided to download Nexomon [$2.99] by LIME TURTLE, INC...

Get ready for another Final Fantasy [$7.99] sale. Square Enix while known for premium pricing on the App Store for classics, never shies away from a decent sale once in a while. Today’s sale features the older classics. Granted IX [$20.99] and VII [$15.99] are also classics, those aren’t discounted right now. The sale is focussing on the earlier releases. We had Final Fantasy Tactics [$7.99] go on sale and Square Enix finally commented on the 32 bit appocalypse situation for it. Hopefully that gets resolved but today, you get to complete your classic Final Fantasy iOS collection. Most of the games discounted here are pretty damn amazing. Square Enix even went the extra mile with some of the releases doing some excellent touch optimized controls while others haven’t received the attention they deserve...

RPG Reload Glossary - Giving the Devil His Due, or Action-RPGs in the Late 90s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where the real monster was us all along. This week, we're heading into the next chapter of our RPG Reload Glossary covering the history of action-RPGs. The genre remains somewhat difficult to nail down to this day, but the 1990s would prove to whittle down the general perception of the genre to two or three basic forms. Like with any other genre, this more solid form came about due to some very popular tentpole releases that set a template for others to follow. In the last installment, we saw how the more Japan-focused console side of the industry settled in on two basic templates for the genre. This time around, we're covering the second half of the 1990s, where the Western-focused PC market finally found its genre-maker...

'Fighting Fantasy Legends' Review - Nomad Successfully Passes their Skill Test

Given their importance both in RPG history and in the memories of many players, it's not surprising that Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson's Fighting Fantasy gamebooks have been adapted into many different kinds of video games over the years. Some of them simply did the obvious, turning the books into text adventures. More often than not, however, the developers would get creative, turning out everything from first-person action/adventure games to Tomb Raider knock-offs. As a fan of the books, I ended up trying out most of these games as they released, and I can say that the main thing they had in common was that they weren't very good at all. Then smartphones and tablets came along, and all of a sudden, Fighting Fantasy games found their feet. Fighting Fantasy Legends [$4.99] continues that bout of good fortune, offering an awesome new take on the classic gamebooks...

The original Knights of Pen & Paper [$4.99] was a goofy, grind-heavy RPG with a novel set-up that allowed it to poke fun at the many tropes of the genre. It painted over its repetitive mechanics with a sweet candy coating of enthusiastic charm and only slightly overstayed its welcome. In spite of its flaws, it was a great starting point both for the Pen & Paper concept and its developers Behold Studios. Oddly, the two went their separate ways when Behold opted to work on Chroma Squad [$4.99] instead of putting together a direct sequel to their popular game. The task of crafting Knights of Pen & Paper 2 [Free] fell to Kyy Games, and it's safe to say they didn't quite meet the expectations of many of the fans of the first game. Now, Behold is back to try their own follow-up to Pen & Paper. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel with a similar setting, however, they've decided to take things to space with Galaxy of Pen & Paper [$4.99]...

After launching in Japan back in April and topping the charts, us Westerners finally have a chance to experience Egglia: Legend of the Redcap [$9.99], which missed our weekly out now post from last night but did eventually hit the App Store earlier today. With a development team comprised of folks who have had their hands in many famous RPG series over the years, Egglia: Legend of the Redcap has you playing as an elf named Chabo who mysteriously falls from the sky into the land of Egglia. The land has been broken into pieces by evil forces and those pieces have been sealed into special eggs, which only Chabo can open. You'll join up with a merry band of friends to travel the lands exploring, fighting, and rebuilding the land of Egglia one egg at a time. ..

RPG Reload Play-Along: 'Chrono Trigger'

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!..

Turn of the Millennium Sci-Fi Adventure 'Galaxy of Pen & Paper' Hits the App Store

It figures that after I posted our weekly Out Now post where I mentioned that Behold Studio's highly anticipated Galaxy of Pen & Paper hadn't released yet that it would find its way to the App Store mere minutes later. That said, I have no problem writing up an extra post to alert all you fine and lovely people that at long last Galaxy of Pen & Paper [$4.99] is available in the App Store! Behold's original Knights of Pen & Paper [$4.99] released in 2012 and was a quirky if imbalanced love letter to old-school pen and paper gaming in a slick mobile game format. It had a ton of personality, and the following year Behold teamed up with the folks from Paradox Interactive to release a huge "+1" version of the game. A sequel was also planned but with Behold busy on other projects like Chroma Squad [$4.99] the sequel was left to KYY Games. Knights of Pen & Paper 2 [Free] did a lot of things right, but didn't quite live up to the original...

RPG Reload Glossary - Smells Like Ys Spirit, or Action-RPGs in the Early 90s

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we're either playing gods or slaying gods. This week, we're filling in the next chapter in our RPG Reload Glossary look at the history of action-RPGs. One of the messier and less-satisfying genre labels around, the action-RPG had already taken many forms by the end of the 1980s. In the next decade, some of the most successful examples of the genre would arrive on the scene. While you would think that might simplify matters, the 1990s closed with the genre being harder to nail down than ever. While I had intended to cover the entire decade in this installment, it became apparent halfway through that it was beyond the scope of a single article. So instead, we're going to look at the first half of this formative decade and pick out some of the genre highlights along the way...

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