Category Archives: Role-Playing

RPG Reload File 024 - 'Adventure Bar Story'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we serve only the finest wolf-ham sandwiches. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing these days. It's a chance to step out of the hustle and bustle of weekly releases and instead, think back to some of the great games we've left behind in our hungry search for the next bite of entertainment. I always strive to provide you with a balanced diet of RPGs, but to help me cover any blind spots, I've got the best sous-chef around: you. Once per month, the task of choosing the game falls to you, my appreciated readers. All you have to do is say the name of the game you'd like to see me feature in the comments below, in the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or in a tweet to @RPGReload. I'll randomly choose one winner each month, and plenty of fun will be had by all. The article you're reading right now is the result of one such suggestion, in fact. That means the next reader's choice Reload will be in the first week of March, so get those suggestions in now. February's a short month, after all...

There are a lot of issues with Heroes Of Might & Magic 3 HD [$9.99 (HD)], the spiffy remaster of the 1999 classic PC strategy game. The control layout has done little more than map things directly from keyboard and mouse to touch, with not much in the way of explanation of the intricacies, even in the tutorial. There's significant content missing in the form of the two expansions, which will not be coming to this version due to the source code being lost. The map editor found in the original game and the PC version of this HD remaster is not included in the iPad version. The updates are few in number, with just a bit of spit-polish done on the sprites and text to make them look a little less pixelated. These are all good reasons to pass on Heroes Of Might & Magic 3 HD, especially if you have a computer, where you can buy and play the complete version of the game with all expansions included for the same price...

I hate when a game lets me down. Exiles [$4.99] had a cool premise, and was from a developer that has done big, expansive open-world games on iOS before. Yet, this just falls way short of what it promised to be. This is the latest open-world RPG from Crescent Moon, having you deal with a government conspiracy involving a deadly virus, and the eventual fight against a politician riding in a giant mech. The game is mission-driven, but there's a giant, expansive world that you can explore, though there's not a whole lot to actually find beyond what the missions have. At least you can ride in mechs and on sweet air bikes, and shoot the ironically-named Peacebots...

Craft the World - Pocket Edition[$9.99] is a sandbox crafting game from Devokir Entertainment very much in the vein of Terraria[$4.99] and Starbound. The side view perspective works amazingly well and with multiple characters to control, it very much resembles an interactive any colony...

I have a confession to make to all of you. About a month and a half ago, I started playing Final Fantasy: Record Keeper, and I've been hooked ever since. I'm in deep, playing every day to open up new chapters from the games and unlock new characters. For a Final Fantasy fan, it's almost the best case you could imagine for a free-to-play social RPG. A lot of that is because it understands that you have to give people some of what they want or you're going to lose them right away. It's not as strategic as Terra Battle [Free], and it certainly has some pay boundaries when you get several hours in, but all-around, it's one of the more generous and fun social RPGs I've played so far. It's certainly not what I expected from DeNA, a company who has earned a bit of a reputation over the years...

RPG Reload File 023 - 'Final Fantasy Tactics'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where birth and faith wrong us, not Delita. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past for a little revisiting, a little reflection, and even a cheery bit of fun now and then. RPGs of all stripes are welcome here, and I try to plan out a fairly balanced schedule covering the four corners of this broad genre. I look to you, the friendly readers, to assist me with that by choosing one game each month for me to play and write about. Simply comment below, post in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or tweet me at @RPGReload to let me know what you'd like to see in the next reader's choice article. I'll choose one of the suggestions randomly and much entertainment will be had by all. The next reader's choice RPG Reload is next week, which means I have a winner to announce. I'll be playing Adventure Bar Story [$2.99], suggested by readers Zepfhyr and Curtisrshideler. Thanks for voting, friends! Now, everyone get voting for the March reader's choice feature. No rest for the wicked!..

Last year when I reviewed TouchMint's Adventure To Fate [$2.99], I suggested in the review title that if the game were boiled down much more, there wouldn't be anything left. Apparently, the developer took that as a thrown gauntlet, because the follow-up to the game, Adventure To Fate: Battle Arena [Free], manages to trim the concept down even more. Remarkably, it does so without losing any of the things that worked well in the first game, making for a more smartly-paced game all-around. Fans of the original title should be very pleased, while those who felt that it was a bit too grindy might be happy about certain cuts. Don't be alarmed by its free price tag, it's one of those good ones that makes you wonder how the developer plans on making any money...

Ambition Of The Slimes [Free] appeared on the App Store worldwide a few months back, but until recently, the only language it offered was Japanese, making it tough to play for people using every App Store except Japan's. An English patch was promised in the notes, but after a few updates came with no sign of a translation, I had assumed the developer meant it in a 'someday' kind of way. Apparently not, however, as the game's most recent update finally opened up the game to English players. So, as I promised back in the first article I wrote about the game, I'm here to give the game a proper review...

It's been just under a year since RPG fans were treated to the first ever official English release of Atlus's Shin Megami Tensei [$7.99], the game that launched the brand Atlus built its company around. It's a great port that mixes various pieces of different remakes to create the ultimate version of the game, though its UI in portrait mode sure does look strange. It was on the RPG Reload list of the best iOS ported RPGs of 2014, owing largely to its unique atmosphere and teeth-gnashing challenge level. There's really nothing else quite like it on iOS, and now you can own it for just $3.99, half the usual price...

The new year is already off to a great start for iOS RPG fans. We've received a port of the wonderful Dragon Quest 5 [$14.99], an excellent puzzle RPG in Hero Emblems [$3.99], and even a couple of indie surprises in the form of Lowlander [$1.99] and Adventure To Fate: Battle Arena [Free]. I'm feeling pretty good about 2015's potential RPG line-up already. While we don't know exactly what's in store for us, there is one thing we can surely count upon: Kemco will be here with about a dozen new RPGs, some of which might even be good. That said, they're not getting off to a great start with Dead Dragons [$3.99], their first release of 2015. While it's not as lousy as some of their efforts, I'm not sure it's actually worth your time and money, either...

'Dragon Quest 5' Review - The RPG Of A Lifetime

Dragon Quest 5 [$14.99] is a rare jewel. This is a game that carried the burden of being a sequel in one of the most successful franchises of all-time. In the pre-merger days, it's safe to say that Enix as a company depended on the performance of Dragon Quest games. It's the very definition of a AAA installment in the middle of a long-running series. Such products are not where we would expect to find the unique voice of the game's creator telling such a small and personal tale. That's just what designer and writer Yuji Horii did, however, and the result is perhaps one of the finest stories ever seen in an RPG. In my opinion, the series was never able to top this installment, but that's fine, because not many games in general have...

Hey there, fellow mobile gamers! Do you have a Nintendo 3DS to supplement your iOS habit? If so, I sure hope you checked out Square Enix's Bravely Default last year. It's one of the most interesting JRPGs I've played in quite some time, even if it did sort of overstay its welcome. Well, there's a sequel coming out in April in Japan for the 3DS that I'd say we're pretty likely to see in the West sooner or later, and to help drum up excitement, Square Enix has released a free-to-play mobile spin-off. The title of the game is Bravely Archive: D's Report and it is, of course, a social RPG...

RPG Reload File 022 - 'RPG Quest - Minimae'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we wander the world looking for shiny jewelry to pick up. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past to see how it's doing in the dystopian future of the present. It's a chance to revisit some golden oldies to see how well they've been maintained and if they're still as fun as we remember them to be. Sometimes, it's an excuse for me to write a lot of words that wouldn't really fit in a normal review. I try to get a nice balanced plate of RPGs in my schedule, and you fine people can help me out with that by voting for a reader's choice Reload once per month. You can easily cast your vote by commenting below, posting in the Official RPG Reload Club thread, or tweeting me at @RPGReload. The winner is randomly selected, so anyone has a chance to win. What fun!..

'Lowlander' Review - More Highs Than Lows

Of all of the Ultima games you would expect someone to want to make a tribute to, Ultima 2 has got to be near the bottom of the list. Oh, it's no Ultima 9, to be sure, but I've always seen it as the little road bump on the way to Ultima 3 and 4 more fully realizing the concept of the series. It's a familiar story for sequels, I suppose, but by playing things a bit too safely, it had to succeed without the novelty of the original game and all of its faults. It was still a pretty good game in its time, but relative to the series on the whole, I think it's kind of underwhelming. I'm sure a whole list of people might disagree with that, and at least one of the names on the list would be the developer behind Lowlander [$1.99]...

There's no two ways about it, sometimes an RPG fan just gets the urge to play a good, classic CRPG. While iOS offers plenty of options for the gamer who wants to revisit 90s CRPGs or early roguelikes, adventures that recapture the 1980s era of Ultima and the SSI gold box games are a bit harder to come by. Fortunately, we've seen a few developers try to fill the gap in recent times, and one such game is the iPad-only Dungeons Of Chaos [Free (HD) / $1.99 (HD)]. While it doesn't quite have the scope of some of the great games of old, it's certainly got the feeling down pat. For many, that might be a turn-off, but for some of you, and you probably know who you are, you're going to find this one hard to put down until you've finished it...

If you were a Monument Valley [$3.99] fan who fell in love with Ida and especially the Totem (though a couple million of you drowned your poor Totem friend), then I have good news: Super Glyph Quest [$1.99] is getting an update this Thursday that adds the Monument Valley stars to the puzzle game. They're appearing as cameo characters in the match-3 puzzler, appearing in some of the quests that show up in the game. The characters show up in this new trailer, and you can catch a a glimpse of them in the Glyph Quest art style:..

Tin Man Games has been applying their considerable gamebook know-how to the Fighting Fantasy series for a couple of years now, so far releasing eight of the most popular and noteworthy installments of the franchise. While there are a couple of conspicuous absences remaining, the developer has shown a good eye in its selections thus far. The latest release, Fighting Fantasy: Bloodbones [$5.99], is an interesting choice for a few reasons. This is the first of Tin Man's Fighting Fantasy releases that isn't written by either Ian Livingstone or Steve Jackson, instead being the work of Jonathan Green, one of the writers from the later days of the series. Bloodbones was considered a lost book for several years, as it was initially planned as the 60th entry in the series before publisher Puffin canceled Fighting Fantasy with the 59th book. Like its titular character, death didn't hold it back for long. In 2006, fans could finally put their hands on Bloodbones as the 26th release in the Wizard Books revival of the line...

'Elune Saga' Review - Pretty, Average

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From a Western point of view, it's easy to forget the fact that the mobile gaming market's most successful territories are in Asia, something that informs the behavior of many developers from the region. Just as base- and city-building games sit at the top of the Western top grossing chart, social RPGs are the chief earners in the East. The amount of money made by games like Puzzle & Dragons [Free], Brave Frontier [Free], and Monster Strike [Free] is absurd. It's little wonder, then, that companies like Korean publisher Gamevil are throwing out pitch after pitch trying to get in on some of the spoils of that phenomenon. They're hardly alone, with even the mighty Square Enix appearing almost desperate in their frequent attempts to score a home run...

RPG Reload File 021 - 'Knights Of Pen And Paper'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the weekly feature where we're not afraid to go meta from time to time. Each week, we take a look at an RPG from the App Store's past. Why would we do such a thing, you ask? Well, just because a game didn't come out this week, it doesn't mean it's not worth playing. This feature gives us a chance to revisit, reflect, and take a deeper dive than the usual scope of our reviews allows for. I try to schedule out a good variety of RPGs, but just to keep me on my toes, once per month I turn the choice to you, the reader. Simply vote for the RPG you'd like to see featured by commenting below, posting the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload, and you might just see your game appear here next month. The next reader's choice feature will be in the first week of February, so get those votes in...

'Hero Emblems' Review - A Heroic Match-3 Adventure

As we mentioned in our Game of the Week post, there’s a certain amount of oversaturation that has hit the Match-3 genre on the App Store. Thus, the launch of Hero Emblems [$3.99] was met with some skepticism that it would be yet another Match-3 with nothing to differentiate itself. Thankfully that’s not the case with this gorgeous puzzler. Impressive strategic implications, beautiful visuals, and great RPG mechanics make this title worth checking out...

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