Category Archives: Role-Playing

RPG Reload File 021 - 'Knights Of Pen And Paper'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we're not afraid to go meta from time to time. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past. Why would we do such a thing, you ask? Well, just because a game didn't come out this week, it doesn't mean it's not worth playing. This feature gives us a chance to revisit, reflect, and take a deeper dive than the usual scope of our reviews allows for. I try to schedule out a good variety of RPGs, but just to keep me on my toes, once per month I turn the choice to you, the reader. Simply vote for the RPG you'd like to see featured by commenting below, posting the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload, and you might just see your game appear here next month. The next reader's choice feature will be in the first week of February, so get those votes in...

'Hero Emblems' Review - A Heroic Match-3 Adventure

As we mentioned in our Game of the Week post, there’s a certain amount of oversaturation that has hit the Match-3 genre on the App Store. Thus, the launch of Hero Emblems [$3.99] was met with some skepticism that it would be yet another Match-3 with nothing to differentiate itself. Thankfully that’s not the case with this gorgeous puzzler. Impressive strategic implications, beautiful visuals, and great RPG mechanics make this title worth checking out...

Now, here's a rare situation. One of the strengths of the gamebook genre is in the sheer variety of situations it covers. Unlike most RPGs, there aren't a lot of expensive assets that need to be built and hopefully reused in future games, since apart from a handful of still pictures, the world is built through text. This frees the writers to tackle any kind of story or setting they want, including superheroes, pirates, horror, fantasy, comedy, and so on. With virtually anything on the table in terms of possibilities, the one type of story we don't see terribly often in gamebooks is a sequel story. Sure, the Fighting Fantasy series had a couple of direct sequels along with some tenuous links between their fantasy stories, most notably in the Sorcery! sub-series, and even the classic Choose Your Own Adventure series had a couple of follow-up books to some of the most popular stories. The Lone Wolf series was notable for allowing you carry your character forward from book to book, though the stories necessarily had to be stand-alone to a great extent...

It's still early in the year, and while there were a few gems that hit the App Store last week, we're always liable for a slow period around this time of year. As such, when an indie RPG sneaks out mid-week, and for free, we might as well check it out, eh? Mounting Force: The Awakening [Free] is a free, ad-supported real-time RPG, the debut title from Deprecated Software. I'm not going to mince words: this game is ugly. I don't want to be mean, but it is. The production values are definitely lacking here, there's visual judder all over the place (the bad kind of screenshake), and the script is riddled with typos...

Foursaken Media tackled the deficiency in games inspired by Mega Man Battle Network last year with their action-RPG Phantom Rift [$0.99]. Haven't gotten a chance to check it out yet? Well, now's as good a time as any, as the game is on sale for $0.99. The game combines deck-building with real-time combat, as you create decks of attacks, and draw them out in battles, which you use against enemies, but with an energy cost to equip. You also get to explore a world that is built before your eyes, Bastion-style [$4.99], and can get all manner of equipment to deck out your wizard...

Developer EXE Create seems to have their business all sorted out when it comes to putting together an enjoyable JRPG on a Kemco-sized budget. Even at their worst, we end up with something like Infinite Dunamis [$3.99], a solid effort whose chief offense is in its lack of ambition. More typically, however, an EXE Create release will fall among the best of prolific publisher Kemco's mobile catalog. The developer has a particular strength for characterization, casting their adventures with clashing personalities and a hero that shows actual growth. This work is backed by surprisingly strong localizations, resulting in a story that's fun to play through even if the overall plot isn't all that special. In terms of gameplay, they tend to play it safe most of the time, but unlike their stablemates at Kemco, even if they're not strong at a particular design element, they at least turn in a good enough effort that it doesn't detract from what they do well...

There are lots of different reasons that a person might enjoy an RPG, from the story to the battle system to exploration, but I think the one aspect that speaks to just about everyone is seeing numbers go up. It's such an appealing element of RPGs that it's been wholesale lifted by other genres over the last several years to massive success. Some games have even gone as far as to ditch everything else, allowing you to mindlessly tap away to see your numbers go up. Templar Infinite Crusade [$1.99] doesn't go quite that far, but it's certainly in the neighborhood. It looks like the dog's breakfast, it's so random that you'll need as much luck as strategy to survive, and yet, there's a certain basic appeal to the game that might get its hooks into you if you give it a shot...

RPG Reload File 020 - 'Akalabeth: World Of Doom!'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we often take marching orders from a guy named British. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the modern day. It's a chance to revisit some classics, take a deeper dive than reviews allow for, or even just to reflect on the ever-expanding history of mobile RPGs and how certain games fit into it. For the most part, I set the schedule, and while I try to present a diverse line-up, just to make things interesting, I throw the choice over to you, the reader, once in a while. The next reader's choice article will be next week and will be covering Knights Of Pen & Paper [$4.99], a suggestion offered by reader Andre Garcia. If you want to put your choice in as a potential candidate for the next reader's choice article in February, simply post a comment below, drop by the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet to @RPGReload. A roll of the dice determines the winner, so everyone has a chance, no matter how obscure their selection!..

I must admit that I am a sucker for games with good craftsmanship. For me, good visuals, refined controls, little details, things that can seem often shiny and superficial reveal something to me, especially when they come from a smaller developer: they reveal that there is perhaps a deeper quality to pay attention to here. Crossy Road [Free] was so excellent to me not just because it is so much fun to play, but little details and tweaks made to game feel abound in that game, and they push it from "entertaining diversion" to "supremely excellent game." What we have here in Bit Dungeon 2 [appprice url="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bit-dungeon-ii/id823658485?mt=8" is the flip side of that coin: what happens when a game has a compelling structure, but lacks that last stretch of quality that makes the great games what they are? You're left with an experience of what could have been...

Tap Titans [Free] is the latest game to make me feel ashamed for enjoying it so much. After Bitcoin Billionaire [Free] ruined my life, I figured I was safe from clickers for a while. Then I saw Tap Titans on the App Store, and heard it mentioned in a comment that I was probably enjoying it. I wasn't yet, but that spurred me to check it out. And I'm either really glad I did, or really distraught that apparently my tastes are this shallow that the very semblance of a game is enough to satisfy me...

RPG Reload Special Edition - 'RPG Reload's Favorite RPGs Of 2014'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to yet another special edition of the RPG Reload. In this weekly feature, we usually take a look at a game from the App Store's past, and I suppose we're not far off from that this week, from a certain point of view. I'm writing this edition from the distant past of early December because as you read this, I am on the second week of my vacation back to my hometown in Canada, and likely just about ready to get back to Japan and my normal routine. I pinkie-promise we'll be back to regular RPG Reload articles next week, but just to tide you over, I prepared both last week's Christmas Special and this week's New Year's Special in advance. Please don't forget to vote for the next reader's choice article, which will be coming up in RPG Reload File 022. It's easy to vote, just drop your choice in the comments below, drop by the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload. I'll roll a dice to randomly select the winner, so anyone could win!..

Hello, ye merry readers, and welcome to a very special edition of the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we understand the true meaning of the season is having extra time off to play our RPGs. Each week we usually take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up, but since I'm taking a rare Christmas holiday to my hometown in Canada this year, we're doing something a little different for the next couple of weeks. We'll be back to our normal schedule in January, but for the time being, let's spread a little holiday cheer with a special RPG Reload. Just because I'm slacking about, however, doesn't mean you get to relax! I need some votes for the next reader's choice feature, which will take place in RPG Reload File 021 in January. Just mention the name you'd like to see in the comments below, the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or through the magic of Twitter by tweeting @RPGReload. I'll be randomly selecting the winning game, so everyone has a chance, no matter how big or small the request...

If you haven't played Papers, Please[$7.99 (HD)] yet, I am going to save you some time. Go buy this game. I don't care if you buy it for your iPad, your computer, your tivo, or your pocket watch, just get it and start playing. A little over a year ago, developer Lucas Pope struck gold with a game that ostensibly is about being a clerk for the fictitious, yet highly Russian influenced, country of Arstotzka. Now that it's out for iOS we wanted to give you a little assistance with getting through the game and into those 20 different endings. ..

You know, I've had a lot of people ask me why I cover every single one of Kemco's RPG releases. They're a big time sink to play and few people seem all that interested in them until they're on sale for $0.99, at which point people tend to buy them blindly without even knowing or caring about their merits. Sometimes, I even ask myself if it's worth the bother when I could be working on other things. Then, a release like Shelterra The Skyworld [$3.99] comes along and totally clarifies why I started writing about these games in the first place. ..

It's that time of the year again when tons of great games can be had at deep discounts, and for RPG fans, that means it's time to get some of Square Enix's usually relatively pricey games at bargain prices. It wasn't too long ago that Square Enix held a Final Fantasy sale that included many of these games, but this sale also includes some spin-offs and a few non-Final Fantasy titles. Some of the price changes are still rolling out, so if you don't see the sale price in your store yet, just hang in there, they'll be along soon. Here's the list so far:..

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