Category Archives: Role-Playing

RPG Reload File 082 - The Banner Saga

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we add a piece to our banner with each game played. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it holds up in the harsh light of today. It's a chance to play some old favorites one more time, to see how a game settled into the iOS landscape over time, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. As the Mr. Miyagi of this particular dojo, I decide which titles we wax on about from week to week. I try to keep things fairly balanced, but if you feel like there's a great game I'm missing out on, please let me know. You can do that by posting in the comments below, stopping by the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload...

It isn't a proper release day on the App Store if a Kairosoft game doesn’t drop now and then. Skyforce Unite! [Free] is the newest in their long line of simulation games and appears to be rather left field for Kairosoft’s standard, with the game presenting a bizarre amalgamation of a traditional RPG, a card based fighter, and an airplane collection simulation...




Back in December of 2014, a heavily old-school-inspired CRPG named Dungeons of Chaos was released for the iPad. A passion project from solo developer Volker Elzner, Dungeons of Chaos was meant to replicate the experience of classic computer RPGs from the '80s like Ultima and Wizardry, and for the most part he succeeded with that. However, one big negative with the original Dungeons of Chaos was that it was built in its own engine so wasn't quite as platform-flexible, and being an iPad-only game it left a lot of iPhone players out in the cold. Well, since that original release, Elzner has taken to completely rewriting the game for the much more flexible Unity Engine, and the results of that effort Dungeons and Chaos Unity Edition [$3.99], which launched over the weekend. ..

Hello, gentle listeners! This month we've got an exciting episode of the RPG Reload Podcast for you, as it happened to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the featured game, Dragon Quest [$2.99]. Eric Ford and Andy Fretz spent the last month playing through one of the most important JRPGs in history for the very first time, while I replayed it for... well, let's not count, okay? By now, regular readers and listeners probably know that I still think highly of the game, but how did it turn out for my co-hosts, who don't have the benefit of nostalgia? You'll just have to listen and see...

The clicker meets the action RPG in Nonstop Knight [Free]. Essentially, the progression of action-RPGs with loot, character leveling, and elements of clickers like idle revenue generation, and prestiging to reset your progress in the name of permanent stat upgrades, are combined into one game. Your hero automatically runs through dungeons, and you watch them fight, triggering special timed abilities, and using the revenue you earn to buy more and better equipment. Normally, I'm opposed to clickers without clicking, but having the timed abilities to use means that there actually is a degree of meaningful interactivity. The only problem with Nonstop Knight is that its progression slows to crawl, and stops being meaningful way too soon...

Slightly more hyped than usual, Samurai Rising is RPG giant Square Enix's latest attempt to get a slice of the booming social RPG market. As with many of their other efforts in this market, Samurai Rising takes strongly after another popular free-to-play game, in this case White Cat Project. It's an action-RPG built for single or multiplayer play, with all the trimmings and tricks you've probably come to expect from the social RPG genre. I've spent a little time with the game since it came out yesterday here in Japan, and I thought I'd give you a few impressions...

As we all know, love it or hate it, freemium is a concept that is never going away. That said, there is a very specific subset of freemium that I like to call freemium fan service games. When a popular franchise or intellectual property wants to cash in on their loyal fan-base, slapping together a freemium game set within that world seems to be the way to go. But you know what? I love it sometimes. I’m pretty susceptible to some good fan service myself, and sometimes; not often, but sometimes, it makes the whole game worthwhile. Games like Star Trek Timelines [Free], while largely disliked by our community, still appealed to me as a huge trekkie, and the fan service within that game was fantastic. Well, if you’re partial to the ‘Tales of’ franchise of JRPG’s, then Tales of Link [Free] is the freemium fan service game for you, and has nothing to do with The Legend of Zelda if that’s also where your mind immediately jumped...

Chances are good that if you know any Japanese RPGs at all, you know Final Fantasy [$7.99]. It's also quite likely you've at least heard of Dragon Quest [$2.99], even if you haven't played it. Chrono Trigger [$9.99] and Secret Of Mana [$7.99] are both quite well-known worldwide, as well. It's not surprising, then, that Square Enix has diligently ported almost every one of those games to mobile over the last several years. With only a few holes remaining among their world-famous titles, however, Square Enix is probably going to have to dig a little deeper in their back catalogue if they want to find new candidates to port. This year we've already seen a lovely remake of Final Fantasy Adventure in the form of Adventures Of Mana [$13.99]. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that the next unexpected selection comes from the other series that started on Nintendo's Game Boy...

RPG Reload Presents - The History Of Handheld RPGs, Part Ten

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload. This week, we're continuing our little monthly project looking at the history of handheld RPGs. That means that we will not be taking a look at a specific RPG from the App Store's past this time around. Last month, we looked at the early years of smartphone RPGs, when paid games ruled the roost. For the first time since perhaps the early years of the Game Boy, JRPGs and WRPGs were arriving on a handheld in nearly equal numbers. Dedicated handheld systems weren't finished yet by any means, however, and both Nintendo and Sony would introduce successors to their handhelds just as the smartphone market started to pivot. This month, we're looking at Nintendo's offering, a system that had some pretty big shoes to fill in the wake of the Nintendo DS's unprecedented success...

Even though the Verby Noun game phenomenon is wearing a bit thin at this point, I've really been enjoying Taco Illuminati's Looty Dungeon [Free], which we even chose as our Game of the Week when it released back in April. It utilized the core mechanics of any good Crossy Road-alike by having you move square by square and see how far you can go, but it blended its dungeon crawling elements in beautifully making it more than just a cool theme. The best part about Looty Dungeon was that its extensive cast of characters each had unique abilities which changed how you played through the game. Today a huge update has hit which takes all of that to the next level. Heroes can now earn experience and level up which will unlock even more new abilities and outfits. Plus if you happen to unlock a duplicate character through the gacha prize machine it will go towards leveling up that character, which is neat. On top of all this there's 5 more brand new characters added to the game...

We wrote a few days ago that Star Nomad 2 [$7.99], the very ambitious space game by developer Anh Huy Phan, was about to drop onto the App Store today, and apparently it has arrived on time and is now available for download. Ambitious is definitely a word that fits the game as it is a combat/strategy/RPG/trading game that Phan describes as a blend of Mount & Blade and FTL. So, as you can tell, this game doesn't lack either ambition or scope. The game is set in a dynamic open-world sandbox that figures an evolving conflict between three splinter groups. You get to travel around this hostile environment as a merchant, bounty hunter, pirate, miner, smuggler, or even a wanderer, all the while influencing the world with your actions or in-actions...

'Mazes Of Karradash 2' Review - Go Big Or Go Home

I'm frequently impressed at how quickly some small developers can create a game. It hasn't even been a year since the original Mazes Of Karradash [$0.99] released, and here I am looking at an impressively large-scale sequel. The fundamentals of the game haven't changed much in Mazes Of Karradash 2 [$1.99], but everything is bigger, brighter, and more advanced. Whereas I tended to think of the first game as a lightweight RPG best fit for filling in short gaps of time, the sequel has become something you'll want to settle into a comfy chair to play...

RPG Reload File 081 - 'Dragon Quest'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we only use pseudo-Elizabethan English accents when no one is looking. 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 give old classics another spin, reflect on the iOS RPG market on the whole, or simply to take a deeper dive than our reviews typically allow for. As a direct descendant of Loto, I try to choose a balanced schedule of games from week to week. If you feel like I'm missing anything 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. The schedule is planned quite far in advance, so you may not see your selection soon, but it will be added to the master list...

Hello, friends! Do you like deals? Do you like Dragon Quest? Is your iOS collection of said games inexplicably missing the best installments the series has to offer? If you answered yes to all of those questions, then today, fortune smiles upon thee, for thou hast found some Dragon Quest sales. Perhaps to coincide with the release of Romancing SaGa 2 later today, Square Enix has dropped the price on a few of the better Dragon Quest games. No telling how long these prices will last, so get them quickly if you want them...

Virtually every Japanese strategy RPG can be said to be inspired by Nintendo's Fire Emblem in some way or another. While strategy RPGs followed their own path in the West, they did so mostly on computer formats that either weren't available in Japan or were very niche. When Fire Emblem's developer Intelligent Systems got the idea to add some Dragon Quest-style elements to their Famicom Wars turn-based strategy formula, they ended up creating a sort of Dragon Quest of their own. Not nearly as popular, mind you, but certainly as influential for its sub-genre. Without Fire Emblem, games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, and Shining Force likely wouldn't have existed, nor would the numerous strategy RPGs that they themselves spawned. That said, while a debt is clearly owed, the genre has widened and evolved considerably over the years, to the point that many strategy RPG games bear little resemblance to Fire Emblem...

'Titan Quest' Review - It's A Win, But At What Cost

Ever since Gameloft's Dungeon Hunter series shifted gears towards a free-to-play model, one of the most frequent requests I've seen come up in the TouchArcade forums has been for a game that could fill the role of a paid substitute for Diablo. Unfortunately, most of the big publishers have little interest in making games like that, and the scope of something like Diablo is just a little beyond the means of most independent developers. We've seen a few attempts, but they usually end up being buggy, feeling incomplete in some regard, or dropping the ball in one of many other ways. Hopes were raised last year when a couple of familiar names from the PC scene were announced for iOS. In the case of one of those names, Torchlight, it was revealed that the game would be modified to fit a free-to-play model, so everything has come to rest on the other: DotEmu's iOS version of Titan Quest [$7.99]...

RPG Reload File 080 - 'Cardinal Quest'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where I randomly generate an article about an RPG. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's archives to see how it holds up in the here and now. It's a chance to look back on old favorites, see how they stack up in the overall library, or simply to go further in-depth than our reviews typically allow for. As the ersatz Higgins of this estate, I try to pick a balanced selection 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, stopping by the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload. I can't promise your suggestion will appear soon, but I'll put it on the master list...

It's pretty hard to believe that it's been more than 4 years since developer Touch Foo released their Metroidvania-style action platformer Swordigo [Free] to the App Store, but in the crazy world of mobile gaming time flies right before your eyes. While Swordigo has lived a long and happy life as a paid game and seen several freebie sales during that time, its latest update marks a permanent change and strategy for this plucky little platformer. It's now permanently free to play and supported with ads as well as a couple of new in-app purchase items. ..

'Diablo'-like Hack 'N Slash RPG 'Titan Quest' Hits the App Store

We've been anxiously awaiting DotEmu's port of the hit 2006 PC hack 'n slash action RPG Titan Quest ever since it was first announced back at E3 in June of last year. And we're not alone as folks in our community have been dying to get their hands on it as well. Which makes me very happy to announce that as of just a few moments ago Titan Quest [$7.99] finally launched in the App Store. Rejoice!..

Having played hundreds of action adventure games over the years, the thirst is still very much intact. To many people out there there's only so many times you can adventure with Samus in space, or take an anthropomorphic rabbit on a quest to remember his past before you started to get winded of the concept. But every time I encounter a brand new 2D world, I feel like it's a brand new challenge to undertake -- a new excuse to get to know another universe. While the mechanics most definitely hold up, Soul of Sword [Free]'s world isn't necessarily worth uncovering...

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