Category Archives: Role-Playing

If you've been holding out on picking up Ossian Studios' Western-style RPG The Shadow Sun [$7.99], now is the time to pull the trigger as the game has been discounted down to just $2.99. The Shadow Sun is a project that first piqued our interest all the way back in October of 2010. Development was slow as Ossian tried to make sure they crafted an intriguing story and rich world to explore, and this past December after nearly four years of development The Shadow Sun was finally released. Fortunately, it was worth the wait, as we really enjoyed it in our review...

Adventure To Fate [$2.99] bills itself as a JRPG-style game, but if the Internet has taught me anything, it's that no two people can agree on exactly what 'JRPG' means. I'm not going to even try to go into the million different definitions I've come across in my time. That said, if your personal definition of 'JRPG' is turn-based random encounters, then Adventure To Fate upholds its promise. If your personal definition of 'JRPG' involves an off-the-wall story, deep battle systems, interesting characters, party building, exploring a big world, customizable character growth and development, or awkward laughing scenes, you might find this game to be a bit lacking. Adventure To Fate takes the basic ideas of very early console role-playing games and somehow creates something even more simple. On paper, this sounds like a horrible idea, but somehow, I still found Adventure To Fate to be a fairly enjoyable game...

Fans of indie titles on Steam have probably heard of David Williamson’s rogue-like Hack, Slash, Loot. True to its name-sake HSL is an exceedingly streamlined take on the genre that is known for its occasional unforgiving difficulty, all due to the random nature of the game. In its debut on iOS, Hack, Slash, Loot [$4.99] for makes a decent transition to iPad complete with navigable touch controls. Whether its barebones gameplay makes a splash amongst a crowd of great rogue-likes on iOS is another question, however...

When I was younger, I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined bite-sized RPGs to work at all, let alone become popular. Of all game genres, the RPG was the one where you had to set aside a pretty good chunk of time on a fairly regular basis to see the games through, and that long-term investment seemed to be an intrinsic part of the appeal. Yet, here we are today, and RPGs that can be enjoyed in two or three minute slices are not only successful and prolific, they actually seem to have taken the majority position in the genre over their more time-intensive forebearers. With the benefit of hindsight, you can kind of see how it happened. Most people love particular aspects of RPGs, with the satisfaction of raising a character from weak to ultra-powerful being one of the more popular elements. At the same time, not everyone enjoys sinking in the copious amount of time and focus that's usually required. Developers found a way to give those people what they wanted while cutting away what they didn't, and it seems to have gone well, especially on mobiles...

Ah, Kemco, my old nemesis. After the release of the surprisingly high-effort Alphadia Genesis [$9.99], for the first time in quite a while, Kemco did not come out with a new RPG at the beginning of last month. Maybe they wanted to give the game time to breathe. Maybe they were anxious about what to follow it with. Whatever the case, iOS gamers have had to face a dystopian reality where we had no new Kemco RPG for a month and a half. Our long nightmare is over, however, because we've got a new release, and its name is Fortuna Magus [$2.99]. Android gamers got this one several months ago, actually, so we're a bit late to the party on this one, but don't worry too much. It's a pretty lame party...

Just under a year ago, Aspyr Media made the dreams of many come true by bringing the classic Bioware RPG Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic [$9.99] to the iPad. We thought it was a stellar port, and pretty much a must-own for anyone with an iPad. However, the release did leave iPhone and iPod touch gamers out in the cold, but Aspyr fixed this last December when they updated the game to be Universal. Since its release on iOS, Knights of the Old Republic has seen quite a few sales, but none as drastic as the one currently taking place. In celebration of May the 4th (as in "May the 4th Be With You") the game has been put on sale for just $3.99 down from its regular price of $9.99...

'Wayward Souls' Review - A Must-Have Game For All Souls

It feels like forever since we first learned about the follow-up to Rocketcat's awesome action RPG Mage Gauntlet [$2.99]. It's actually only been a couple of years, but in iOS time, that feels like a lifetime. Known by many names over the course of its development, Wayward Souls has finally been released. With all of that anticipation, there's always a high risk of disappointment, but I'm very happy to report that Wayward Souls [$5.99] delivers fully on its promise. If you came to this review wondering if you should buy the game or not, let me save you some time: go open up the App Store and get this now. It's an incredible game. It's one of those games where after you play it, you're filled with a sort of infectious enthusiasm that makes you want to tell someone all about it...

With our present knowledge of how well puzzles mix together with dragons, it's almost tragic that it took gaming so long to bring the two together. Fortunately, if there's one thing the video game business is good at, it's making up for lost time. The brilliant mash-up of puzzle and RPG in Puzzle Quest was pounded into a more specific shape by Puzzle & Dragons [Free], and with that game's success, the floodgates opened. Generally, games following that blueprint tend to come in with either a variation or replacement of the puzzle element, or an interesting new theme. Occasionally, you get a game that does both. Fable Age [Free], from Blue Tea Games, brings a bunch of new twists to the sub-genre, but the most prominent one is cosmetic. Instead of the "mythology plus Batman, Angry Birds, and whatever other cross-overs we can swing" approach of P&D or going with wholly original characters like Brave Frontier [Free], this game uses characters from fables such as Goldilocks or King Midas...

Even if you've never heard of the Lone Wolf series of gamebooks written by Joe Dever (with their sporadic publishing history I wouldn't blame you), Joe Dever's Lone Wolf [$4.99], a new adventure made specifically for mobile platforms, has got a lot of initial punch. While everything seems to start like any other gamebook you've played on iOS, as soon as you reach the first battle of the game, it's clear that this game has got some strong ideas about where to take gamebooks in the future. The 'Wow' factor of turning the page to an illustration that comes to life in full 3D can't be underestimated, but in its quest to escape the shackles of its old format, Lone Wolf trips over some very familiar problems inherent to its new one. In the style of our reviews of The Walking Dead [Free] and The Wolf Among Us [$4.99], this review will be appended to as each new act releases...

I think it's kind of interesting how if we look at the most successful genres in the free-to-play category, they really go about trying to make money quite differently. For people who aren't big on spending a lot of money on them, these choices color the gameplay experience dramatically. Building games generally hit you with long timers and premium buildings or units, making playing them more a matter of checking in a few times a day to sort things out. Racing games usually opt for relatively easy-to-consume energy meters but replenish fairly quickly, along with premium cars and expensive upgrades, resulting in a game you have to give a few minutes to several times a day to progress meaningfully. Basic puzzle games use lives and power-ups, so you end up progressing smoothly until you hit a wall, then bang your head against it until you get past. How generous you see each of these models, I think, depends on your lifestyle and what you're looking for out of a game...

'Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller' Review - Choose Your Own Kirk-Venture

Do you like Star Trek? Specifically, do you like the original series, with reckless Captain Kirk going on tons of away missions with Spock, Bones, and Redshirt, breaking the Prime Directive whenever he feels like it all in pursuit of adventure and alien love? If so, you're going to want to check out Tin Man Games's latest mobile conversion, Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller [$5.99]. It's an utterly shameless love letter to Star Trek, and it happens to be one of my very favorite books in the Fighting Fantasy series. I've played plenty of Star Trek games over the years, more than the franchise has deserved given the somewhat sorry state of quality they usually offer, but in my opinion, nothing has captured the feeling of the original Trek quite as well as this little gamebook written by Steve Jackson...

Ossian Studios' The Shadow Sun [$7.99] was in development for years before finally landing in the App Store last December, but it turned out to be worth the wait. We really enjoyed the game in our review, and it really is one of the more enjoyable Western-style RPGs on iOS. This week, The Shadow Sun received its second update since release. The first update, released in February, was mostly bug fixes, and this latest update contains some fixes as well. But it also includes a new dog companion which you can recruit to fight by your side and generally just keep you company. Yay a dog!..

In my younger years, I would often look through the ads in the back of games magazines, goggle-eyed at all the niche import games and weird pieces of hardware that, living in a very small town, I would never, ever have a chance to find in a local store. Ads were a liittle different back then, which was likely a result of the primitive nature of game graphics, and they had a tendency to, shall we say, oversell the concept in slightly misleading ways. If you had an active imagination, it was all too easy to read one of these ads and conjure up something in your mind that was far more entertaining than the reality. I'm sure we can all rifle off a variety of examples, but for me, one of the worst was the Barcode Battler...

Fans of PC Tower Defense titles may have heard of Prime World: Defenders [$4.99]. Originally released back in mid-2013, this 3D TD title made a splash offering a complete TD experience supplemented with aspects from a few other genres. Nearly a year later, Defenders finally makes its debut on iOS, a platform that should (in theory) fit it perfectly. While iOS TD aficionados will easily see that Defenders was obviously designed for the PC, it’s still a great title for fans of the genre...

Man, 2014 has already been an absolutely crazy year for roguelikes, and we're not even halfway into it. With the intensely strategic Hoplite, the everything-and-a-bag-of-chips Cardinal Quest 2, the unique sci-fi hybrid Out There, and the iPad port of the grand FTL, you might find yourself wondering how many more high-quality roguelikes you need on your mobile device. That's a valid question, and it's one that hits Quest of Dungeons [$1.99] right in the gut. This is a great, high-quality example of a roguelike, hitting all the expected buttons in the right ways. If you find yourself yearning for another good roguelike, particularly a fairly orthodox one, do yourself a favor, open up the App Store, and throw down your two bucks right now. If, however, you're still right in the middle of Cardinal Quest 2, only taking breaks to play Hoplite, it's sadly a bit hard to come up with reasons why you should add Quest of Dungeons to your cycle...

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