Category Archives: Role-Playing

RPG Reload File 005 - 'Saturday Morning RPG'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome once again to the RPG Reload, your weekly dose of words about RPGs, where every morning is Saturday morning, and we are all wearing our metaphorical pajamas. Every week, we tune in for a rerun of an RPG from App Store days gone by for a little reflection and revisiting. I'll do my best to keep things a bit varied and balanced between the many different kinds of RPGs out there, but once a month, in order to defend human freedom against my ruthless determination to rule the world, the selection falls to you, the reader. Our next reader's choice feature will be in RPG Reload 008, so please vote for the RPG you want to see me write about in either the comments below or the Official RPG Reload Club thread in our forums. Those are also both great places to share your thoughts, experiences, fresh comedy, and knowledge...

Reviewing a game like Dragon Quest [$2.99] is never easy. First of all, as many of you probably do, I have a very deep childhood connection to this game, which means it's a nostalgic trip for me every time I play it. Then there's the fact that this is a genre-defining game, and as a result, can't possibly be expected to be as refined as the games that followed in the path it carved out. Ultimately, this game is both a classic and a curio, a piece of history that feels like one, no matter how much Square Enix tries to pretty it up. Its age is in its fundamental structure. I think it holds up very well relative to other games from its era, but that's perhaps faint praise, given the state of console RPGs in 1986. A completely new player without any sort of fondness for the history of the series would be better off checking out Dragon Quest 4 [$14.99] first. That doesn't mean that the first Dragon Quest has nothing to offer, but it's probably not the best way to break the ice in 2014...

I have a very simple wish. I don't think I'm asking for all that much. I want Etherlords [Free] to be the vanguard for the death of energy systems in free-to-play RPGs. We've seen a rise in these kinds of games that make game design purists recoil in horror – ruled by automated battle systems that don't always work in favor of the player. But here's Etherlords, which at least has the decency to let the player play as much as they want. Oh, and it's also a puzzle game with battling that's really just incidental to the whole experience...

It's been a long while since we've seen an update to Beamdog's iOS version of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition [$9.99], but finally, version 1.3 has arrived, and it brings with it a ton of fixes and changes, including one of the most requested and significant changes yet: Fixing the colors on Drizzt and giving him his signature scimitars. Yes, at long last, the legions of fans and general iOS gamers can rest easily knowing one of pulp fantasy's biggest characters is now faithfully transcribed in video game format. Oh, and they've also added support for iPhone, if anyone was asking about that...

'Gemini Strike' Review - A Freemium Shooter That’s a Blast

As we mentioned in our earlier preview, Armor Games’ Gemini Strike [Free] was worth some attention simply due to its interesting combination of a vertical shoot ‘em up combined with a deep loot system reminiscent of any RPG. Thankfully, Gemini Strike is far more than just an interesting combination of genres; it’s also a pretty awesome game in its own right. With fast, frenetic gameplay, a fair freemium system, and a ton of replayability, Gemini Strike is a pretty fun game...

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome once again to the RPG Reload, our weekly quest to revisit some golden RPG classics of the App Store. Each week, I take a look at a different previously-released RPG to see how it holds up these days, or just to do a little deeper dig than we normally have a chance to do in our reviews. I try to cover a variety of RPGs from various times and places, but just to keep me from going mad with power, once a month I turn the task of choosing the game over to you, the readers. In fact, what you are reading on your screen right now is the very first Reader's Choice RPG Reload, and your deadly mob justice has proven to have some spectacular taste. Nevertheless, that means it's time for you to do your thing again and cast a vote for the topic of RPG Reload 008 in the comments below or in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in our forums. Feel free to also chime in with your thoughts, anecdotes, and fresh humor...

It feels like we've been waiting for this forever, but the massive version 2.0 update for the classic JRPG Lunar Silver Star Story Touch [$6.99] is now available in the App Store. Originally released as Lunar: The Silver Star on Sega CD back in 1993, an enhanced remake of the game launched in Japan for the Sega Saturn in 1996 and later in North America on the PlayStation as Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete. The iOS version is based off of that enhanced remake, and launched in September of 2012–just in time to miss out on being enhanced for Apple's then-new 4-inch widescreen of the iPhone 5...

'Appointment With F.E.A.R.' Review - My New Favorite Superhero Is Tin Man

If you ever need proof that competition is healthy for the customer, just check out the gamebook scene on mobiles. What started as simple conversions of the text of existing books has spun out into three developers each, in their own way, trying to combine the essence of classic gamebooks with the flexibility that modern technology allows. It started with Tin Man Games essentially giving you the keys to the game via a bunch of extra features, followed by inkle's brilliant adaptation of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! [$4.99] and Forge Reply's original RPG adventure based on the popular Lone Wolf [$0.99] character. Then, in April, Tin Man released their version of Starship Traveller [$5.99], where for the first time, the developer didn't simply bring the original book over with some bells and whistles, but elaborated on it. Recently, inkle again upped the ante with their stunning take on Jules Verne's classic novel, 80 Days [$4.99], and now we've got Tin Man replying in kind with what is clearly their most confident conversion yet, Appointment With F.E.A.R. [$2.99]...

I've played a lot of free-to-play RPGs, and they all tend to have the same strengths and weaknesses. That's probably due to most of them being inspired by the model used in the popular Puzzle & Dragons [Free], following its formula as closely as possible in hopes of achieving similar levels of success. Now, I like that game quite a bit, but even I'm getting a little tired of getting into a new game only to see the same old mechanics powering it. There must be other effective ways to monetize your puzzle RPG besides monster-collecting and stamina meters. Spellfall: Puzzle RPG [Free] takes a different approach, avoiding many typical elements such as multiple currencies, drawing random monsters, and nudging you to expand your inventory. Unfortunately, the game also has its own take on the stamina meter concept that seems on paper like it would be better, but in practice doesn't quite work out...

It would be nice if, one day, all four of Kemco's development teams could get together and make an RPG that combines all of their strengths and covers all of their weaknesses. After just over one year of reviewing Kemco's near-monthly releases, I'm at the point where all I need to do is look at which team is behind a game to make a strong guess at which areas the game will succeed or fail in. This time, we've got Magitec's latest, Soul Historica [$7.99]. They're the developers behind Grinsia [$7.99], Chrome Wolf [$7.99], and Covenant of Solitude [$7.99], and if you've played any of those, you've probably got a good idea of how well you'll like this one...

Whether you love it or hate it, one thing you can say for certain about the Infinity Blade series is that it's been well supported over the years. Each entry in the series has seen numerous post-release updates that add brand new content to the game and take advantage of the latest Apple hardware. The most current game in the series, Infinity Blade III [$6.99], has seen some particularly strong updates since its release and our initial review back in September of last year. There was the Soul Hunter update that landed the following month, the Ausar Rising update in December, and the return of Ryth with the Blade Masters update this past May. And that's not even counting the more minor updates like holiday helms, Clash Mob events, and even 3D-printed figurines...

Ask M. Night Shyamalan: When you strike it big by giving people an amazing swerve, it's incredibly hard to follow it up in a way that will please that audience. You either give the people the twist they're expecting from you, totally losing the purpose of a twist, or you play it straight and leave out the reason why people are probably into you in the first place. That's the unfortunate position developer Amirali Rajan finds himself in with The Ensign [$0.99], an attempt to build on to the story found in the underdog hit, A Dark Room [$0.99]. If you didn't play that game but plan to, you should stop reading this review right about here unless you want to be totally spoiled, and you really shouldn't want that...

RPG Reload File 002 - 'Chrono Trigger'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome back to RPG Reload, the regular weekly feature where we jump into the time machines in our minds and take another look at an iOS RPG from days past. All types of RPGs are welcome here, and just to make sure things don't get tilted entirely towards my tastes, each month I'll be playing and writing about a game chosen by you. Right now, it's looking very much like The Quest Gold [$7.99] will be the topic of RPG Reload 004, but if you have a different idea, please make your voice heard in the comments below. I also encourage you to share your thoughts on the topic game in the comments, and if you have some spare gaming time, fire it up and play along in the RPG Reload Club thread in our forums...

Dungeon Slots [Free] is the kind of game that I'm glad an independent developer made as a curious side project, rather than by a large company looking to monetize it. This is a game that is somewhat mindless and random – but unlike many other slot games, it owns this fact, and manages to be surprisingly player-friendly for a game where there's little control over what happens...

RPG Reload File 001 - 'Chaos Rings'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the very first edition of RPG Reload. In what I hope will be an ongoing regular feature, each week I'll be shining some light on a different iOS RPG. These are not reviews. Many of the games I'll be talking about already have reviews on the site, some even written by me. Instead, think of this column as a chance to revisit an old friend, catch up on how it's doing, and reflect a bit on it. I hope to cover all kinds of RPGs here, whether they are ports or originals, JRPGs or WRPGs, action RPGs or strategy RPGs, famous or unknown, new or old, or anything in between. I absolutely encourage you to fire up the game, give it a play, and share your thoughts in the comments below. It's fun to play along! Just to underline how much I want this to be a community thing, once a month I will be playing an RPG selected by you. Simply head down to the comments and nominate the RPG you'd like me to feature. I'll tally the votes over the next few weeks and the winner will be the subject of RPG Reload File 004. Captain Planet was right, the power is yours!..

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