Category Archives: Role-Playing

DUNGEONy [$2.99] is a curious game because while it's a turn-based roguelike, and certainly those are not rare, but it's more of a puzzle game set around roguelike mechanics than an actual roguelike...

They ventured into outer space, starred in their own cartoon series, and even wrestled with the idea of Go-Kart racing, but now our favorite feathery icons have left their physics puzzling roots behind and nose-dived into an all new medium. Sticking with the all-familiar theme, (involving birds, pigs, and the ever iconic eggs), the feathered flock have found themselves yet again in the midst of an all-out war, and in the form of a cute strategic RPG nonetheless. Angry Birds Epic [Free] is, underneath it all, a game with familiar role-playing mechanics, but a far cry from the norm; there’s no princess to rescue or the customary “chosen one”, nor are their side-quests to unlock or towns to explore. No, Angry Birds Epic is a non-stop consecutive procession of turn-based fights that are selected from a slightly linear (and rather Mario-esque) map. ..

We're now well into what I'd say is the next generation of Puzzle & Dragons [Free] imitators coming from Japanese developers, and with games like Rise of Mana and Final Fantasy Agito, it's clear the big boys are arriving and bringing their hefty budgets and resources with them. These days, it seems like if a Japanese publisher has an RPG property to leverage, a social RPG for mobiles with that property is almost inevitable. It also means if you see an old, familiar name from the past pop up on the Japanese App Store, you shouldn't expect anything other than a variation on collect 'em/fuse 'em/evolve 'em/battle 'em. I shouldn't have been surprised that SEGA's new Phantasy Star Online 2 es is just that, yet for some reason, I had hoped this would be something closer to the spin-off it's spinning off of...

You can file this one in the "better late than never" folder with Blek [$2.99]. A Dark Room [$0.99] released several months back, but due to a horrific accident in the TouchArcade break room involving the microwave oven and a can of non-dairy powdered cream, it fell between the cracks. Well, I stuck a piece of chewing gum to the end of a stick and pulled this interesting little game out of that crack. I also found my keys. I'm glad for both, since not only can I get back into my home, I also got to enjoy a really unusual and entertaining adventure. It's one of those games that you finish and want to talk about almost immediately, and so, here we are...

'Battleheart Legacy' Review - This RPG is Among the Best Games I've Played This Year

Turning the clocks back to early 2011 brings us to the original release of Mika Mobile's Battleheart [$2.99]. It's hard to forget for me, as I was living in Paris for a few months at the time, but instead of doing all sorts of Parisian things I was pounding away at monsters on my iPad. It was impossible to put down, as Battleheart did something totally unique in that it allowed you to effortlessly control a whole party of dudes in a MMO-feeling boss encounter, with fairly complicated boss gimmicks, without ever feeling frustrating. If you haven't played it, I still highly recommend the game- Or at least reading our review of it...

'Dragon Quest VIII' Review - One Of Japan's Most Epic RPGs Gets A Slightly Less Epic Port

The Dragon Quest series has had an odd relationship with western gamers. It's a bonafide cultural icon in its home country of Japan in a way few games have managed to become anywhere. I mean, as I type this review, I can hear the theme being played by a school band at the local elementary school, and that's hardly a rare occurrence. However, it's never quite taken in the west, and it's certainly not for lack of trying. Nintendo gave the first game a massive push, overhauling the graphics, interface, and save system, and featuring it prominently in their magazine Nintendo Power, only to be left with so many unsold cartridges they ended up giving them away with subscriptions. Enix of America quietly translated and released the other three NES games, then disappeared shortly into the 16-bit generation before they could release Dragon Quest 5 and 6. Enix of America then briefly reappeared in the PlayStation 1 era, translating the massive Dragon Quest 7. Unfortunately, that game was about as pretty as the south end of a northbound mule, and it released almost a year after the PlayStation 2 released, so it wasn't exactly a big hit...

It was just last week we learned Mika Mobile's follow-up to Battleheart was submitted to Apple, so when we saw the game show up in the New Zealand App Store this morning we weren't totally sure if it was some sort of soft-launch, an accident, or what. Well, it turns out it was simply a very fast approval process and the release date was set for May 28th, a day earlier than the typical App Store release day, which means that Battleheart Legacy [$4.99] is now officially out in the US and the rest of the world...

Cornfox & Bros. and FDG Entertainment's Oceanhorn [$8.99] is an action-RPG that was years in the making. First announced in late 2011, it wouldn't finally release until two years later, almost to the day. But it would be worth the wait, as Oceanhorn was simply wonderful. It was also a "premium" priced game with no IAP and it did quite well, enough so that FDG announced this past December that they were working on additional content for the game, and possibly even a sequel. Today, Cornfox has started teasing additional Oceanhorn content, and it looks like that will include some manner of fishing. Here are the two screens they posted to the Oceanhorn blog...

I'm sure, like me, you've seen many RPGs market themselves as having 100 hour quests or something outrageous like that, only to find that unless you delve into side-content, it's less than half that in almost every case. Record of Agarest War [$14.99], the latest port from HyperDevbox, makes a similar claim, but they're not shoveling manure. Though I finished my first, and I might add quite rushed, pass through the game under the 100 hour mark, it wasn't that far off, and I think it's entirely believable the average player will eclipse the century hour mark before seeing the ending. Add in the side content, and you're probably looking at 130-150 hours, if not more. If you're determined to get your dollar's worth out of a game on sheer length, you'll be hard-pressed to beat Agarest. Of course, a game running that long can be a double-edged sword, and that's definitely the case here, but I'll come back to that later in the review...

I'm not going to try to put one over on you guys. I wasn't exactly excited when Kemco's latest, Band of Monsters [Free], popped up on the App Store, since it hit right about five minutes after Agarest War [$14.99] and five minutes before Final Fantasy Agito dropped. I'd say I have an appreciation for Kemco's fare that exceeds many people's, but there's such a thing as too many RPGs at one time. Starting the game up, I was at least relieved to see it was from developer Hit-Point, whose system-based focus usually results in something interesting, if not extremely iterative...

Well, it's not often I find myself having to write a second review, but here we are. A few months back, the hotly-anticipated sequel to Dungelot, surprisingly named Dungelot 2 [Free], was released on the App Store. While retaining the same basic gameplay as the original title, the sequel was quite different in a lot of ways, many of them owing to the new free-to-play structure. It was still pretty fun, but, as I said in an alternate timeline review, in most ways it represented a step back from the original game. It was also rife with bugs, including people losing out on purchased IAPs, which is basically a worst-case scenario. So, in a move that has very little precedent, developer Red Winter Software pulled the game from the App Store to rework it extensively and fix up the known issues. At last, it's seemingly ready to go again, so let's have a look and see how Dungelot 2-2 has turned out...

Back in February, Red Winter Software released Dungelot 2 [Free], the highly-anticipated follow-up to last year's well-recieved Minesweeper-meets-dungeon-crawler Dungelot. Well, the Dungelot 2 release did not go so well, and that's putting it lightly. The new game had a lot of strange bugs, wasn't balanced very well, and in general garnered quite a lot of negative feedback in our forums...

'Final Fantasy Agito' Preview - Final Fantasy Goes Back To School

Anyone who has been following the story of Final Fantasy Agito knows that the development of the game has had almost as many twists and nonsensical turns as the average Final Fantasy game's plot. Back in 2006, a game called Final Fantasy Agito XIII was announced for mobiles as part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis project of Final Fantasy XIII companion games. It helps to put things into scope when you realize that announcement predates even the original iPhone by more than a year. Eventually, the team's ambition grew beyond what phones of that time could manage, so the project was moved to Sony's Playstation Portable in 2008. After the whole Final Fantasy XIII business didn't go quite the way Square Enix envisioned, the game was retitled Final Fantasy Type-0, finally releasing in late 2011. That seemed like it was that for Agito, but late last year, Square Enix announced out of the blue that they would be developing a prequel to Type-0 for mobiles, once again claiming the name Final Fantasy Agito. I guess they were really proud of that title...

You might remember the developer of this game, Game Stew, from the cool Tower of Fortune [$0.99] games. Even if you forgot their name, you would know the minute you laid eyes upon Devil Shard [$1.99] that it's from the same people, since it shares a visual theme. Play into the game a little bit and you'll have it entirely confirmed. That series, most recently represented by Tower of Fortune 2 [$1.99], presented a unique combination of RPG, roguelike, and slot mechanics which, with its unique art style, created something that really stood out among the numerous pocket RPGs available on the App Store. Devil Shard is another RPG twist, but this time it's a considerably more pedestrian one. It doesn't stop it from being fun, but it's a lot harder to make the case for adding this to your library as a result...

In a world dominated by quick, bite-sized, "casual" experiences, there always seems to be a subset of gamers begging for something meaty on iOS. Well, this one's for you: HyperDevbox have just released their iOS port of the Xbox 360/PS3/PC game Record of Agarest War [$14.99]. As mentioned, Record of Agarest War was originally released for consoles and PC several years back, and is a massive tactical JRPG that boasts over 100 hours of gameplay. That's enough to fill, like, 1,200 times waiting in line at the movies. It's also stuffed with a full storyline to follow and tons of cutscenes, and rumor has it there's even a dating meta-game where you can eventually have a child with your partner. I'm strangely intrigued by that part...

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