Remember when roll playing games (or RPGs, for the uninitiated) took place in dungeons (your mom’s basement) and consisted of heroes slaying monsters (or at least high-school kids rolling dice to see if their characters would vanquish their otherworldly foes)? No? Damn, I guess that means I’m old. But even if you’re part of a generation that grew up playing on laptops rather than tabletops, you may still harbor a love of games that present a story arc and plenty of opportunity to hack your enemies, save the princess, or go on an epic quest. Here are just a few modern entries for the iPhone that are sure to get your dice hand itching to roll a D6 again.
Final Fantasy Dimensions.
Let’s just put a disclaimer right up front for this game: although it is free to download, you have to buy chapters in order to play the game, and it’s going to cost you (nearly thirty bucks for the whole kit-and-caboodle). But true fans of the franchise will find a lot to love in this highly-rated continuation for just about every modern iDevice (it’s even optimized for the iPhone 5!). So what will gamers get for the money? Pretty much what you’d expect if you’ve played Final Fantasy before, which is to say highly addictive gameplay that centers on completing tasks and fighting battles in order to advance your character. But you’d better love the series if you’re going to shell out beaucoup bucks to play this mobile game.
This game is awesome for a couple of reasons. First, you get to play as the Incredible Hulk, and not just any Hulk, but a fully customizable one with extra abilities and even costumes. In addition, the graphics are top notch HD, a surprisingly rare commodity amongst otherwise full-featured, mobile RPGs. And finally, the mechanics take full advantage of touch-screen controls by allowing users to gesture their way through every battle. The story arc and episodic content are also appealing. You’ll pay $6.99 for the initial download and there is a lot of extra downloadable content to advance the game more quickly, for a price.
Another offering from Square Enix (makers of Final Fantasy), this RPG will put players in mind of the popular Hunger Games series (but with FF-style graphics) as it pits pairs of combatants against one another in the Ark Arena. Turn-based fighting gets a boost from tag-team advantages and spells culled from dead enemies, and graphics and controls are seamless. At $12.99 some will find the cost a bit steep, but overall it’s worth it for the fabulous gameplay, extensive storyline, and seeming lack of glitches.
If you’re currently suffering from zombie fatigue, take a break with this minimal reworking of the Sega classic and bash some skulls instead, literally – there are plenty of skeleton attackers for you to hack and slash your way through as you did in days of old. Although not yet compatible with iOS 6 (an issue that is currently being addressed), users can download the game for iDevices with iOS 3 or later for just 99 cents, a steal compared to other games in the genre.
Although this game isn’t nearly as good as the console version, and it’s not even quite as awesome as your case mate barely there iPhone 5 protector, it’s still better than a lot of the RPGs out there for mobile devices right now. What you need to know going in is that the game is not an FPS, as you might expect (this has made some reviewers pretty angry). And don’t expect the handling to be as nimble and responsive as your Xbox or PS3 controller. That said, it’s a fun foray into tactics and strategy that includes familiar characters from the beloved console games, as well as yet another opportunity to rid the world of skags. And at $4.99 it’s a lot less expensive.