Category Archives: Role-Playing

'Antiquia Lost' Review - Goo Girl Gone

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You don't even have to squint for Antiquia Lost [Free / $4.99] to resemble the recent Asdivine games released by Kemco. In terms of its visuals, mechanics, and systems, it's barely changed from EXE-Create's last few games for the prolific RPG publisher. There are a few small twists, most notably that one of the main characters has an unusual method of leveling up, but for the most part, if you've played any of the EXE-Create RPGs that use weapon customization as a core mechanic, you'll know what to expect here. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I suppose, but it's also not a very exciting thing. The most noteworthy part of Antiquia Lost is in how it advances Kemco's IAP monetization techniques, and that's not really the kind of dinner bell most of us want to hear...

RPG Reload File 094 - 'Yipe 5'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we chomp burgers and stomp zombunnies. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it hold up in the modern day. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their overall place in the iOS library, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. Since my whole village was just burnt to the ground, I suppose I'm the hero of this piece, and that means I'm in charge of the schedule. While I do my best to present a balanced plate, if you think I'm missing something important, please let me know. You can comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in our forums, or tweet me at @RPGReload. Since the schedule is planned well in advance, you might not see your suggestion soon, but it will go on the master list...




In January of 2014 Stoic Studios launched their tactical RPG Banner Saga [$4.99] on PC to much critical acclaim. In October of that year, just shy of two years ago, they launched Banner Saga on the App Store, and it turned out to be a fantastic fit for the mobile platform. The following December, Stoic officially announced what many people had already assumed was coming, a full sequel, and also mentioned their plans to eventually bring that sequel to mobile platforms as they did with the first game. Well, after another well-received launch on desktop this past April and on consoles in July, Banner Saga 2 [$4.99] has finally popped up for purchase in the App Store...

'Ember' Review - Keeping the Old-School RPG Light Burning

When 505 Games and N-Fusion released their old-school inspired RPG Ember [$9.99] last week, there were a few interesting things we noted. First, with a stated longevity of 30+ hours (coupled with no IAP), it’s certainly one of the longest premium RPGs we’ve played in awhile. Second, as a near simultaneous release with the PC version, it’s one of those increasingly rare games where the developer isn’t trying to hide the fact that a mobile version was developed concurrently with the PC version. Both are typically good indicators of a well-made game, and Ember certainly fits the bill. It does an excellent job paying homage to the old-school RPG and its controls make an acceptable transition to touch screen...

RPG Reload File 093 - 'WazHack'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the semi-weekly feature where we can't quite remember how old that rat meat is. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in the here and now. It's a chance to revisit some old favorites, reflect on their place in the overall library, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. As the ringleader of this little circus, I try to choose a balanced selection of games from week to week. If you feel I'm missing something important, however, please let me know. You can do that by posting a comment below, dropping by the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. Since I plan the schedule pretty far in advance, it might be a while before you see your suggestion, but it will be added to the master list...

'Sorcery! 4' Review - The End of an Incredible Journey

It's been over three years since inkle released their adaptation of the first book in the Steve Jackson's Sorcery! series. In a lot of ways, that app redefined what players expected from a mobile version of a gamebook. It would have been a far simpler matter for inkle to do the expected thing and do a straight conversion of the original books. They had the engine for it, and the series is well-regarded enough that it probably would have done fairly well. Instead, the developers decided to make something that a physical book would have a hard time approximating, while at the same time appealing to the fairly large overlap between gamebook readers and tabletop gaming fans. The first game mostly relied on a unique presentation and reworked battle mechanics, but the following two games brought more and more complexity to the table. Sorcery! 3 [$4.99] was so near to a full-on RPG that its roots were hard to spot at times...

Ed. Note: We’re trying a new feature for the plethora of freemium titles that hit the iOS market. Rather than do an immediate review of a freemium game after a few days of gameplay, when the game is trying its hardest to entice new players, we’ll be chronicling our experiences across longer periods of time, starting at a week or longer. Obviously, each reviewer has their own preferences for how they play freemium games so pay attention to their play styles when taking into consideration their conclusions...

'Siralim 2' Review - Have Another Scoop of the Good Stuff

No matter how you slice it, making a sequel to Siralim [Free] was always going to be a tough job. The original game is essentially an overstuffed endless pit of RPG joy, densely packed with enough systems, side content, and additional challenges to keep any genre fan busy for dozens of hours or more. In hindsight, it was almost an impossible achievement. It was developer Thylacine's first stab at the genre, and it was extremely unconventional. Mixing elements of monster-catching, base-building, and roguelikes, it was like someone made a delicious Shin Megami Tensei - Romancing SaGa - Rogue sandwich and somehow pulled that blend off with only a few minor hitches. Excellent post-release support ironed out just about all of the game's issues, leaving one to wonder what exactly a sequel could accomplish...

RPG Reload File 092 - 'The War of Eustrath'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we may not have the fancy licenses, but know that a giant robot is a giant robot. 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 the classics, reflect on their place in the overall App Store library, or just to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. As the wielder of Falchion, I try to choose a balanced plate of RPGs from week to week in order to accurately reflect the diversity of the genre. If you think I'm missing something important, however, please let me know. You can do that by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. The schedule is made quite far in advance, so you may not see your suggestion soon, but it will be added to the master list...

Hello, gentle listeners, and welcome to another episode of The RPG Reload Podcast. This month's episode sees us swing back around to Square Enix's bread and butter franchise with a look at Final Fantasy 6 [$15.99]. If you've read my recent write-up, you know how I feel about the game these days, but you might be surprised to hear Eric and Andy's takes on this old favorite. We do our usual talk beforehand about a variety of games we've been playing lately, with a lot of talk about World of Warcraft. Sorry it's not mobile, but what can I do when it's all these other guys have been playing for the month? Since we didn't get any mail this month, I presented a Final Fantasy 6-specific question, and the answers were quite interesting...

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we usually take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the present day. We're not going to be doing that this week, however. We just closed the book on the second year of this feature, with a hefty article delivered each and every week since the Reload launched on August 15th, 2014. I've covered more than 90 RPGs and/or RPG-related games, put together two large Christmas specials, done two year-end award ceremonies, recorded nearly 20 podcast episodes, and created a book-sized 12-part feature on the history of handheld RPGs. Our readers (you all!) have shown tremendous support to this weird, niche idea, and I'm always thankful for that. The Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums just passed 1,000 posts, if you can believe that. It's as good a time as any to take a little pause and consider where we're going. Warning: this will be navel-gazey and bloggish. We'll be back to the games next week, I promise...

There has been a wide variety of Final Fantasy spinoff games over the years, from sprawling turn-based strategy titles such as Final Fantasy Tactics [$13.99], to some more eccentric entries like Chocobo Racing for the original Playstation. While fans may be focused on the upcoming Final Fantasy XV, Square Enix are sharing some of the love with mobile gamers, as Justice Monsters Five [Free] has finally launched today on the App Store for free, seven months after we first learnt of its existence. Bizarrely merging pinball elements with RPG mechanics, this new spin-off title will certainly be one for any fans of the massively popular social RPG Monster Strike [Free] to try out, and worth a look for anyone looking to fill the void until the November release of Final Fantasy XV...

The original Siralim [Free] is one of those great cases of a game that started off rough but interesting, only to be shined to a sparkle through a ton of updates. The developer had a lot of ideas worth exploring and committed to seeing a great deal of them through. After launching on mobile, Siralim made its way to other platforms like Steam and PlayStation, so I suppose it must have done well for the developer. We've known Siralim 2 [$4.99] was coming for a while now, and after it hit Steam, it was only a matter of time before it made its way back to where it all started...

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we sound like lines from a self-help book. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up on a second, third, or tenth view. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on the overall RPG landscape of iOS, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. As the main character of the first half of the game, I try to present a balanced plate of RPGs from week to week. If you feel like I'm missing something important, however, please let me know. You can do that by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. As the schedule is planned well in advance, I can't promise you'll see your recommendation soon, but it will go on the master list...

'Leap of Fate' Review - Jump In

Leap of Fate [$3.99] didn't make a great first impression on me. The opening cut-scene dialogue is ponderous. The aiming feels a little off. The tutorial has a lot of clumsy navigation elements, suggesting there will be some shoveled-in platforming to break up the action. The first time I loaded the game, I played through the tutorial, wondered why Jared was raving about it so much, then switched over to something else. Of course, since I was assigned to the review, I had to come back to Leap of Fate soon. Reviewing games is generally a great job, but one of the few downsides is that you can't always walk away from games you're not enjoying. Sometimes, however, that turns out to be a good thing, and Leap of Fate is one such case...

Three weeks ago, The Quest HD [$7.99] hit the App Store after receiving a very warm reception on Steam earlier in the year, but there was only one major problem: The game was iPad-only. That's all well and good if you have an iPad, but if you don't or even if you simply prefer gaming on your iPhone then you weren't able to experience this remaster of one of mobile gaming's all-time classic RPGs. Well, as it turns out, developer Redshift didn't make The Quest HD iPhone-compatible because the numerous previous releases and expansions of the original The Quest are all iPhone-only, and they were worried people might be confused which games were the old ones and which one was the new one when looking at them in the App Store. Well, it wouldn't be any more confusing than it already is with like 20+ existing versions of The Quest! Thankfully Redshift agreed, and so after seeing the demand from players wishing for an iPhone version, they quickly went to work on a Universal update which has just become available...

Bioware's Epic Action RPG 'Jade Empire' Hits iOS [Update: Soon, Not Today]

[Editor's Note: Please see the update at the end of this article.] Not even Master Li could see this one coming. Aspyr Media, the team behind the iOS ports of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic [$9.99] and Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy [$9.99], are adding another classic adventure to their iOS portfolio later today. Many of us had anticipated that their next release might be an iOS version of Obsidian's Knights of the old Republic 2, but it turns out they had their eyes on another RPG from the Xbox era first. Jade Empire, Bioware's epic martial arts fantasy, will be available for your favorite iOS device later today...

We were on the hype train for Gambrinous and Versus Evil's Guild of Dungeoneering [$4.99] ever since we saw it at PAX South way back in January of last year. However, as is common with multiplatform releases, Guild of Dungeoneering was released on desktop the following July, and us poor mobile gamers had to wait an entire year before the game finally launched in the App Store last month. It was worth the wait, though, as we thought the game was pretty darn good. There's another side benefit to this staggered release too, as since the game has been on desktop for a year already that means it's already had a major expansion released, and now less than a month after arriving on iOS, that expansion is hitting the mobile version of Guild of Dungeoneering. According to the developers, the Pirates Cove expansion includes "30% more game with a brand new pirate themed region complete with 3 new dungeoneer classes to quest with, 23 new monsters to defeat and 27 new items to equip." Here's the trailer from when the expansion launched on desktop...

'The Quest HD' Review - That Old Magic is Still Alive

Redshift's The Quest [$4.99] was originally released for Pocket PCs and Palm devices, but it found new life when the game was ported to iPhones in March of 2009. Its massive size and depth, combined with a seemingly endless parade of new content through regular expansion pack releases, made it one of the best RPGs on the platform, and for many people, the only one they ever needed. Surprisingly, the years have been generally kind to it in most regards, so it still plays as well as it ever did. Only a few respects betrayed the game's age. One of the most obvious points is that it offered no iPad-native version, forcing tablet owners to play it with a less-than-flattering zoom applied to the visuals. As detailed as the graphics in the original port are, they're clearly coming from the pre-retina days of mobile gaming, and while that's not something I mind terribly, it made the game look too old-fashioned for some...

RPG Reload File 089 - 'Infinity Blade 2'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we know how to retcon and aren't afraid to do it. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it shapes up by today's standards. It's a chance to check in on old favorites, consider their place in the overall landscape, or simply to zoom and enhance on games in a way our reviews typically don't allow for. As the God King of this feature, I try to choose a balanced mix of games from week to week in order to represent the variety in the genre. If you feel like I'm missing something important, you can let me know by leaving a comment below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. Since the schedule is planned pretty far in advance, I can't promise you'll see your suggestion soon, but it will be added to the master list...

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