Category Archives: Role-Playing

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 [$4.99] 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...

RPG Reload Presents - The History Of Handheld RPGs, Part Six

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 brief but impressive reign of the Game Boy Advance, and the bounty of RPGs it brought with it. While it was mostly uncontested during its life, seeds were being planted in unexpected places that would sprout into the fiercest competition Nintendo would face to date of this writing. We'll be looking at those nooks and crannies today as best as we can. In total, this feature will span twelve columns, each one taking a look at a specific era in handheld RPGs. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I've enjoyed researching and writing them! Please let me know what you think by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. If you like this project and wish to support endeavors like it, please consider contributing to the TouchArcade Patreon. It's what makes these kinds of big features possible...

Last month Adult Swim Games launched Pocket Mortys [Free] into the App Store, and today it's received its first content update. In case you missed all the hubbub, Pocket Mortys is a riff on Pokemon that has you running around a bunch of wacky dimensions, capturing and cultivating a fearsome team of Mortys, and then fighting a huge cast of wacky "Morty trainers" in an effort to bring down the Council of Ricks and return to your normal dimension. Basically just another day in the lives of Rick and Morty. While a bit repetitive, Pocket Mortys was still extremely entertaining, and was stuffed with so much awesome fan service that it was hard not to like it. Today's update adds a whopping 19 new Mortys for you to capture and collect...

The East New World [$2.99] is pretty comfortable wearing its inspirations on its sleeve. The enemy designs map pretty closely to those found in Goblin Sword [$1.99]. The button layout is very similar to the one used on Sword Of Xolan [$0.99]. The basic gameplay of all of these games isn't that far removed from Devious Dungeon [$2.99]. That's not to say that The East New World doesn't have a few ideas of its own, but it's similar enough to Goblin Sword in particular that it feels like a reskin at times. You'll need to make your way through preset levels, searching out three crystals and two chests per stage, defeating whatever gets in your way using your sword. Pick up all the coins and gems you find on the way so that you can buy new gear in town between levels. Use your trusty double jump to avoid spikes and other hazards, and make your way to the exit somewhere on the far right-hand side of the stage. Very much a clone, to be sure, but it's at least a good one...

Last September, Square Enix announced that they would be releasing a new remake of the original Mana game on iOS, Android, and PlayStation Vita. That game, known as Seiken Densetsu in Japan, has had many names in English. If you're North American, you might know it as The Final Fantasy Adventure on the original Game Boy, or perhaps as Sword Of Mana, as its Game Boy Advance remake was called. If you're from Europe, you probably know the Game Boy game as Mystic Quest. Well, the game has yet another title now, as the English version of this remake is going by the title Adventures Of Mana, a nice nod to both of its previous American names. Oh, and the important bit: it's coming out worldwide for both iOS and Android this Thursday...

RPG Reload File 068 - 'Legends Of Yore'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where punch skeletons for apples. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in modern times. It's a bit of reflecting, a bit of revisiting, and a chance to take a deeper dive than our reviews usually allow for. I try to present as diverse a selection of RPGs from week to week as I can muster, but if you feel like I've missed something important, please let me know. You can give suggestions by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. Since the schedule is planned pretty far ahead of time, you probably won't see any games you suggest soon, but you will see them eventually...

'Dungelot: Shattered Lands' Review - Chewie, We’re Home

Most people that have seen the new Star Wars movie enjoyed it, but one complaint I’ve seen a lot is that it borrows heavily from the first film, A New Hope. I’ve read that it was intentional, and part of the reason was probably to remind people of how much they loved the original trilogy and help them forget the prequels. And as weird as it may seem, it sort of reminds me of what Red Winter has done with the latest Dungelot sequel, Dungelot: Shattered Lands [$3.99]...

Tower Of Fortune 2 [$0.99] was just about everything you could want in a sequel. It kept the core elements that people enjoyed in Tower Of Fortune [Free], but expanded out on them greatly. It felt like the first game, but more. It's a good approach for a first follow-up, but as many developers can attest to, there's only so long you can play it safe before things start to sour. Game Stew seems to be quite aware of that, having taken an extended break away from the main Tower Of Fortune series to work on various other game ideas. Now returning to the Tower Of Fortune series, the developers appear to be eager to apply some of the things they've learned to make a decidedly different sort of sequel...

We really liked Crowntakers [$1.99 (HD)] when it came out a few months ago for its blend of elements from roguelikes, strategy games, and RPGs, and people in our forums have had the same opinion since there are almost 300 comments in the forum thread. If you're one of those who enjoyed the game, you'll be happy to know that the developers just released new content for the game that should give you another reason (if you actually needed one) to dive into the game once more. Undead Undertakings takes your heroes to the land of the living dead, the Necropolis, where death and decay have, well, decayed everything. You'll have to battle against zombies, skeletons, and vampires in your attempt to see the sun shine on your face once more. I like the idea of taking the game underground as it definitely changes the feel of Crowntakers...

Hello, friends. Today, I've got something a little out of the ordinary for you. A few months ago in the RPG Reload feature we covered Heroes Of Steel Elite [$3.99], an RPG from developers Trese Brothers. As usual, I reached out to them for some background information, but for a variety of reasons, we couldn't connect for an interview until after the Christmas holidays. I promised in that article that I would print the interview separately later on, and here we are, living and breathing in the world of "later on"...

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