Category Archives: Role-Playing

Despite my lack of knowledge and interest in the card game that it takes its name from, Solitairica [$3.99] managed to take over my life for a few weeks in August, mainly thanks to its smooth difficulty curve, abundance of charm, and the ever-enticing goal of trying to get to the end of the road and defeat the omnipotent Emperor Stuck. With an extremely positive review last month, Solitairica was a bargain as its initial $3.99 price point - however, for anyone on the fence, developers Righteous Hammer Games have today put the game on sale for $1.99, which is an absolute bargain for the amount of hours you are likely to lose to the game...

Let's address it immediately: Treasure Buster [$0.99] is obviously inspired by Mixi's Monster Strike [Free]. Much like this developer's previous game, Slayin [$0.99], this game initially comes off uncomfortably similar to the object of its homage. Luckily, also like Slayin, Treasure Buster ultimately differentiates itself well enough to transcend the copycat label and settle in as an interesting variation on a tried and tested mechanic. In fact, I would say that this game ditches a lot of what makes Monster Strike so much fun, choosing to create its own brand of enjoyment by adding a number of gameplay elements that Monster Strike doesn't have. As usual for a game published by FDG, Treasure Buster also looks and sounds great, fusing a bang-on retro presentation to a very modern gameplay structure...




However you rank Final Fantasy 4 [$14.99] among the many installments of the popular RPG series, it's clear that it's special to many people. Not the least of them being the people at Square Enix, who have seen fit to remake and re-release the game more than any other installment in the series. It's the only Super NES Final Fantasy to get a direct sequel game, which itself has been remade a few times in spite of being a pretty weak effort. Just as last weekend got underway, Final Fantasy 4 got another feather in its cap, as it's the subject of the latest event in the well-received Final Fantasy Brave Exvius [Free]. To celebrate that, Square Enix has temporarily reduced the price of the iOS version of Final Fantasy 4 to less than half of its usual cost...

A very interesting looking game released under the radar this week, and although it doesn't look like my type of game personally, the trailer was cool enough I thought it was worth sharing. In fact, it looks totally like a Shaun Musgrave kind of game, but since it's about 3am in Japan right now and Shaun is fast asleep (at least you better be, young man!) we'll have to wait a while to see what Mr. Weird Game Expert thinks of this one. Anyway, the game is called iRIUM [Free] and it's a rhythm game blended with RPG elements and a really fetching art style. Check out the trailer...

For English console gamers, ASCII's RPG Maker for the original PlayStation was likely their first chance to make their own game without actually learning how to program. It was a very limited version of the software, but you could make a basic JRPG with it if you were dedicated enough. I imagine most players bounced off of it, though, since it took a lot of time to make anything really worthwhile. Those who stuck with it likely found their way to the more robust PC versions of RPG Maker, which started getting official English releases from 2005 onward. Since 2010, the English versions of the PC RPG Maker have been handled by Degica. That same publisher has now released an iOS RPG creation tool called RPG Creator [Free]. It's not from the same people as RPG Maker, but it certainly does a good job of approximating its earlier incarnations...

RPG Reload File 095 - 'Overlive'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where cats calm the raging insanity inside us all. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up today. It's a chance to revisit old favorites, reflect on their position in the overall market, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow. Supported by my assistant who appears in the form of a hologram that only I can see or hear, I try to choose a balanced plate of games that represents this big, wide genre. If you feel I'm missing something important, though, make sure to let me know. You can do that by posting in the comments below, dropping by the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. Since the schedule is planned far in advance, I might not get to your suggestion soon, but it will be added to the master list...

Hello, gentle listeners. It's time once again for an episode of the RPG Reload Podcast, arguably the finest retro mobile RPG podcast on the Internet! This month, we're revisiting a real oldie, the 2010 turn-based strategy RPG The War of Eustrath [$2.99 / $4.99 (HD)]. This one didn't go over so well with Eric and Andy, so the discussion is perhaps a little more negative than usual. But hey, there's plenty of other stuff to enjoy this month. We've all been playing a number of iOS RPGs, and the reader mailbag was full to the brim this month with excellent questions. Get a comfy chair and a cup of cocoa, friends, because this one ran to just the other side of two hours. Whoops!..

'Banner Saga 2' Review - Dredging up the Past

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October 7th, 2016 2:39 PM EST by Andrew Fretz in $4.99, 4 stars, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
$4.99 Buy Now

I hope you packed extra consonants and umlauts, because Stoic is back with Banner Saga 2[$4.99]. The epic journey has returned to iOS and with it new gameplay mechanics, new environments and new friends to see die in new and horrible ways. You've probably had enough time to get over the overwhelming depression the first episode was so good at instilling in you, I bet you're ready for round 2! Come and join me by the fire while we still have some rations to share while we look deeper into this enjoyably sad sequel...

RPG Reload Developer Spotlight 001 - Josh Presseisen from Crescent Moon Games

As mentioned in last month's RPG Reload roadmap, we're going to be taking one column out of every month to interview some of the developers and publishers behind some of our favorite games. The aim here is for you readers to get a sense of the person, so the tone is more conversational than we usually use in interviews here at TouchArcade. It's also not necessarily about the games themselves, either. Basically, we'll kick off and see where the conversation takes us. To start this series, Josh Presseisen from Crescent Moon Games has graciously agreed to be the guinea pig. Crescent Moon is perhaps most famous for the Ravensword [$6.99] series of RPGs, but they publish all kinds of games, including the recent Legend of the Skyfish [$3.99] and Atomic Super Lander [$2.99]...

'Jade Empire: Special Edition' Review - Everybody Was Kung Fu Grinding

As one of the most well-known RPG developers in recent times, Bioware is primarily known for two things: Dungeons & Dragons-style fantasy, and space operas. Back in 2005, as the original Xbox was fading out and the Xbox 360 was on the horizon, Bioware was able to slide a little something different down the line. Jade Empire [$9.99] was a martial arts fantasy action RPG inspired by wuxia films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers. It was the developer's first real foray into incorporating real-time action into the RPG framework that had become known for, a blend that woulds  be revisited with greater success in the Mass Effect series. While it was well-received critically, the game failed to sell anywhere near as well as Bioware's other titles, so the developer went back to the more reliable fantasy/sci-fi salt mines. That's a shame, because Jade Empire is an excellent game with some flaws that could have been buffed out to marvelous effect in a sequel...

Bioware's Classic 'Jade Empire' Hits iOS Tomorrow, For Real This Time

Hello, friends. Remember August? I sure do. Lots of great games came out that month, but the biggest story may well have been the game that didn't come out. Namely, Aspyr Media's port of Bioware's martial arts fantasy action-RPG Jade Empire, which was originally scheduled for release on August 18th. The game ran into a last-minute snag, however, and the release was pushed back. As the weeks passed by, everyone waited for the game to make an appearance on the weekly list of new releases, only to be let down. Well, it's been a little longer than I think anyone anticipated, but it looks like the iOS version of Jade Empire will be available really soon. As in, later tonight/tomorrow, barring any other unforeseen circumstances...

'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...

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