Category Archives: Role-Playing

One of the fun things about following a specific platform over a number of years is watching how things progress. Developers and series will pop up, and if they hang around, you can see what they do to build on what they did before to try to make an even better game. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't. In the case of developer TouchMint and its Adventure To Fate series of turn-based RPGs, it's happily been the former. When the first game launched almost two years ago, it was a fun, somewhat rough game that got better with a couple of updates. Last year, a free-to-play follow-up came out, focusing almost entirely on the combat system and character development mechanics. That game, too, got some really nice updates that made the game better. I don't know what the update plans look like for Adventure To Fate: Quest To The Future [$3.99] looks like, but even in its present state, it shows the experience TouchMint has gathered in its own personal quest for glory...

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 mobile, pocket computers, and the RPGs that came with them. While the pickings were a bit thin early on, a great deal of the modern mobile gaming culture was born from that period. At the time, however, it proved to be very little threat to traditional handheld gaming, which was about to hit its biggest boom yet. This month, we're looking at the first and biggest part of that equation, a system that initially seemed to be a desperation move on the part of Nintendo. As we know, things turned out rather differently from what most expected...




Virtually everything can be made better by doing it in space. Except breathing oxygen, I suppose. And eating potato chips. And using the toilet. Okay, let's revise that. Some things can be made better by doing them in space, and engaging in capitalistic ventures just happens to be one of them. The core principles of buying low and selling high simply go well with traversing a lonely universe and battling space pirates. Perhaps unsurprisingly, iOS gamers already have a few games to choose from in this style, including games that focus mostly on trading mechanics at the expense of action or visual flourish, ones that put most of their eggs in the combat basket, and some that try to dazzle you with their slick presentation and sense of immersion in order to build a believable universe. Simply put, there's a fair bit of established competition for Stellar Wanderer [$4.99], albeit little of it recent...

Hey, everyone! We're finally back on schedule! Once you're done celebrating that fact, come on back around and have a listen to Eric, Andy, and I discussing Spiderweb Software's Avadon: The Black Fortress HD [$9.99 (HD)]. That comes after a fairly lengthy discussion about RPGs in general, per usual. We talk about Final Fantasy 9 [$20.99], Hearthstone [Free], Fire Emblem Fates, and Eric's latest shenanigans. But how does Ernest Borgnine figure into all of this? You'll have to listen to find out!..

RPG Reload File 071 - 'Final Fantasy 3'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where salad days sometimes give way to onion knights. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see if it stands up to the test of time. It's an opportunity to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in iOS gaming's history, or just to take a deeper dive than our reviews usually allow for. As the Cid on this particular airship, I try to plot a fair course from week to week, but if you feel like I'm missing out on any important RPGs, please let me know. You can comment below the article, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload. It might take a while before the game shows up, since I plan these things pretty far in advance, but you will see it sooner or later...

Asdivine Menace [Free / $4.99] represents something of a benchmark for prolific JRPG publisher Kemco. While it's not the first time they've released a sequel, or even the first time characters have returned from a previous game, this is the first time they've put out an RPG where the story directly follows up on the game that came before, right down to sharing the same main character. While you don't need to have played Asdivine Dios [Free / $4.99] to enjoy this game, if you have, you're going to get a lot more out of it. Furthermore, playing even a short way into Asdivine Menace will completely spoil the story of Dios right down to the ending, so tread carefully if you haven't finished that game yet. It's not just a follow-up in story terms, either. Unlike previous Kemco sequels, this game actually keeps all of the gameplay systems from the last game, adding only a couple of new things of its own. For some, this game might prove to be too much of a rehash from a publisher that already recycles a little too much, but if you enjoyed Asdivine Dios, I think you'll be happy with where this sequel takes the story...

I think there's a pretty good game buried somewhere in The First Tactics [$0.99]. It's hard to be sure at times because there are so many bad choices with the presentation. If you can cut through the obvious vestiges of the game being designed as free-to-play, and somehow comprehend an extremely poor English localization that only makes things more confusing the more it tries to explain itself, you'll find a small-scale yet pleasingly complex turn-based strategy game. I'm just not sure if the good part of the game is worth dealing with the multiple barriers it's encased in, particularly in a genre that has so many strong examples on the platform that don't require you to jump through such hoops...

'The Quest: Cursed Stone' Review - On The Quest Again

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February 23rd, 2016 2:45 PM EDT by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 3.5 stars, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
$2.99 Buy Now

In a lot of ways, Redshift's The Quest [$4.99] is one of the best mobile RPGs. Its huge open world is a great place to lose hours in, but its quest-based structure makes it equally suitable for shorter play sessions. You can enjoy it as a straightforward hack 'n' zap, skipping around from dungeon to dungeon smashing the monsters that get in your way, or you can dig in deeper, building crafting and alchemy skills, collecting flowers for recipes, reading books, and so on. Still, most games like this have an end, and when you run out of things to do, that's usually that. In the case of The Quest, however, a massive amount of content has been added through expansion packs, most of which have been handled by third-party developer Zarista Games. Their latest effort is Cursed Stone [$2.99], an adventure that sees you trying to save a small fishing town by restoring the magical stone that brings them luck...

Nothing like starting off the week with a surprise, and I'd have to say that Dungeon Raid [$0.99 / Free] developer Fireflame Games releasing a brand new puzzle RPG is about as big of a surprise that there is. For a little backstory, Dungeon Raid was released more than 5 years ago in November of 2010, and basically dropped the mic on the match-3 RPG genre with an incredibly solid character progression system layered on top of a fun and strategic matching game. You can still feel Eli's excitement in his original Dungeon Raid review from all those years ago, but the kicker was that in the months that followed several major updates made the game even better than it originally was by adding things like new classes and two new game modes. This was truly the pinnacle of the match-3 RPG genre, and it was about as perfect as a mobile game can get...

RPG Reload File 070 - 'Avadon: The Black Fortress HD'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where beards beat dragons every time. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall iOS library, and to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. I try to present a balanced plate of RPGs from week to week, but if you feel like I'm missing something important, please let me know. You can do that by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. You might not see it soon, but I will add your suggestion to my master list, so you'll be able to look forward to seeing it someday...

Redshift's The Quest is one of the oldest RPG series on the App Store, and to this day it's still among many gamers' very favorites. The easiest way to describe The Quest is that it's like a massive open-world RPG along the lines of The Elder Scrolls series, but with an old-school first-person game engine. It may not look like much in screenshots or video, but The Quest is an absolutely massive world teeming with interesting characters and stories. With its beefy original campaign and well over a dozen expansions released since 2009, The Quest is the type of game that just keeps on giving and most of us will never finish all the content on offer. At least I won't, I mean who has that kind of free time? Well, as we learned back in November, Redshift and developer Zarista Games weren't quite done adding to The Quest just yet, and announced yet another new expansion scheduled for release in early 2016. That expansion, called The Quest - Cursed Stone [$2.99], has just hit the App Store...

'Final Fantasy 9' Review - Celebrating The Series In Style

I had often wondered if we were going to see Final Fantasy 9 [$20.99] on iOS. As the only installment of the PlayStation 1 trio without a PC port, it was going to take a lot more work to get the game going on other platforms. At the same time, it's also the lowest-selling among its PlayStation peers, and while it seems to be generally more well-liked than Final Fantasy 8 these days, it's hard to say how well Square Enix would be able to financially justify what would have to be a high-effort port. Well, I guess the numbers must have finally worked out, because not only is Final Fantasy 9 now available on iOS, the quality of the port is well beyond my expectations. This is a great RPG from one of Square Enix's best eras, and it's been given an exceptional amount of care in the transition to mobile...

RPG Reload File 069 - 'Coldfire Keep'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where our fish are abnormally crunchy at all times. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the here and now. It's a bit of revisiting, a dash of reflecting, and a giant splash of taking a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. I don't know, it felt like a thing to write at the time. Anyway, I try to choose a good variety of games from week to week, but if you feel like I've missed something, feel free to give me suggestions by posting in the comments below, stopping by the RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. Since the schedule is currently planned through August, you might not see your suggestion for a while, but I will add it to the master list...

'Ys Chronicles 2' Review - Adol's Back, And He's All Fired Up

Last May, DotEmu surprised us with an iOS port of Nihon Falcom's Ys Chronicles 1 [$4.99], a PC remake of one of the best action-RPGs of the 1980s, Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished. Aside from a rough job on the English translation, the port came out surprisingly well. While the lack of an attack button has always caused some misunderstandings on other platforms, body-checking enemies into oblivion makes an awful lot of sense on a touch-screen device with no buttons to speak of. The game itself is just as great as it has ever been, with a blistering fast pace and amazing soundtrack that few other action-RPGs can match. The biggest downer of Ys Chronicles 1 is that it ends on a cliffhanger that leads directly into Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99]. The two games are frequently packed together due to their tight continuity and are best enjoyed as one complete adventure. DotEmu quickly confirmed the second game would be coming to iOS as well, and here we are...

Friends, when it RPG rains, it RPG pours, and we're all soaking wet after the last few weeks. With the release of Adventures Of Mana [$13.99] last week and Ys Chronicles 2 [$4.99] this week, you'd think we might be able to catch a breather somewhere in between, but no, Square Enix went and dropped an 800-lb gorilla, on a Tuesday of all days, right in the middle of things. While we knew Final Fantasy 9 [$20.99] was close to release, I'm not sure anyone expected it so soon after a major release like Adventures Of Mana, but there you have it. Now, since this was as much a surprise for us here at TouchArcade as it was for all of you, it's going to take a few days to put a proper review together, so we've got some early impressions to tide you over until then...

If you thought you'd be able to kick back and soak in some Final Fantasy IX [$20.99] 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 [$1.99] 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...

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