Category Archives: Role-Playing

Cubus Games is a relative newcomer to the surprisingly burgeoning gamebook market on the App Store, with Heavy Metal Thunder [$2.99] being just their second release. Mobile gamers have been getting spoiled lately by the heavy competition between the existing gamebook publishers, with each new release finding new ways to push beyond what was possible with an actual paper book. Heavy Metal Thunder won't be joining that particular arms race, but it does deliver a reasonably exciting adventure with some occasionally shaky but always enthusiastic writing. In most ways it's a very orthodox entry into the genre, though I do give it credit for its strong use of audio, and while it may lack in ambition, it's a very well-put together, enjoyable bit of pulp sci-fi action...

Mojang Is Slashing the Price of 'Scrolls' Before Its Upcoming iPad Release

Scrolls — the hex-tiled collectible card battler and the subject of a hilariously asinine lawsuit — cost $20.95 when it was put into open beta last year. However, the development team at Mojang are gearing up for an iPad release later this fall and have announced that they'll be slashing the game's price to a cool $5...

TGS 2014: Hands-On With 'Chaos Rings 3'

The kids are back in school and the temperatures are cooling down, and in Japan that means it's the time of the year for the annual Tokyo Game Show. I got hands-on time with a bunch of cool upcoming games, but I figured you guys might be interested in hearing about this one first. Square Enix had a huge booth at the show this year, and while a lot of that was for their console and handheld games, mobile had a major presence as well. There were a handful of playable titles, but I went right for Chaos Rings 3. It's one of my most anticipated games, so I was eager to see if it lived up to my hopes...

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome back to the RPG Reload, the weekly journey to seek the long-buried legends of iOS RPGs, revisit them, and escape within 2,000 words. I haven't succeeded in that yet, and I'm pretty sure today isn't going to buck that trend. As this week's installment hopefully demonstrates, we are welcome to all kinds of RPGs here in the Reload, and while I will do my best to share the love around, there is someone who can keep an eye on me to make sure I'm not sticking too closely to my comfort zone. That someone is you. Yes, as regular readers know, once a month, I'm playing and writing about an RPG selected by the readers. The next reader's choice is coming up pretty fast in RPG Reload 008, so get your votes in now by leaving a comment below or posting in the Official RPG Reload Club in our forums. This is your last week to cast a vote, because even Batman needs prep time. In addition to voting, I'd also love to hear your thoughts on this week's game or any other games I've covered. I'm also not going to say no to any fresh humor, just throwing that out there...

I wanted to love Phantom Rift [$2.99]. I wanted to give it my unabashed affection. I am quite fond of the Mega Man Battle Network series because of, well, everything about it. Certainly, paying homage to Mega Man is something Phantom Rift isn't doing, but the series itself is paying homage to boasted a unique combat system that took the best aspects of card games and mixed it with fast-paced real-time combat. But where Phantom Rift falls apart is not respecting that speed. Not so much in the combat, but in the overworld that governs getting from fight to fight, and managing the character and deck: it's just too slow to get anywhere in this game, both figuratively and literally...

Several months back, mobile gamers were treated to Alphadia Genesis [$9.99], the first kind-of-3D RPG from Kemco, courtesy of developer EXE Create. Since then, Kemco's released another half dozen or so games, but they were all using older 2D engines, even EXE Create's Fanatic Earth [$7.99]. Well, we've finally got our second game using the 3D battle engine in Illusion Of L'Phalcia [$3.99], and it just goes to show that if you're dedicated to churning out an RPG in a span of weeks, it doesn't matter if you're using 2D or 3D graphics, the results are still going to be mixed...

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...

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