Published on March 13th, 2015 | by Richard Goodacre0
The Best Android RPGs of 2015
We’re nearly a quarter of the way through 2015 and in just those few short months dozens of developers have been burning the midnight oil in order + to bring their latest creations to Android. Whether we’re talking about the oldest of old school RPGs, sharp roguelikes, microdev rehashes of legendary formulae, or ports of seminal classics, the first quarter of 2015 saw it all. For those fortunate enough to enjoy RPGs, dungeon crawling and RPG-style tactical combat, the first quarter of 2015 has been a godsend. Unfortunately Android gamers usually have to sift through a lot of crap before they get to the good stuff. Luckily, Hardcore Droid’s got your back. The following list takes a hard look at the best RPGs titles to arrive on Android over the last few months. You’re welcome.
At its core Ananias is a dungeon crawling roguelike, rife with the hallmarks of that vaunted subgenre, such as procedurally generated dungeons, random loot and a steep difficulty level. With a choice of character classes, dice based combat, a menagerie of monsters to slay, and a bevy of treasure to loot, Ananias manages to fulfill the most familiar roguelike criteria. Ananias does this well with good controls and decent graphic design, but this isn’t really where the game shines. It’s all the interesting mechanics developers Slashware Interactive have added to that formula, such as pet familiars, equipment degradation, mystery upgrade options and the potion mixing system for the alchemist class, that make the game a cut above the rest.
With its paper-craft look and nigh inexhaustible longevity, it’s easy to understand Paper Dungeon’s popularity. The games customizable dice system brings depth and strategy to the title by letting you equip types of dice to various effect. The roguelike gameplay, complimented by a responsive control system, is responsible for new randomized items, enemies and loot every time you enter a dungeon. The inclusion of campaign, rogue and puzzle modes, in addition to the main board game option, provide a lot of variety within the format, be it altering the leveling system or telling a story with a ten-dungeon narrative. Add to this an option to create and share boards online and you have a title in which the content seems nearly limitless. More importantly, Paper Dungeon provides a challenging yet rewarding dungeon-crawler that’s good for both quick bursts and lengthy sessions.
The influence of Ultima will be immediately apparent to those familiar with the series, with Lowlander sporting both similar gameplay and similar graphics to the seminal 80’s RPG. There are some differences in mechanics, with Lowlanders limited inventory and non-recharging manna bar bringing new challenges to an old formula. As an open-world RPG, Lowlander doesn’t hold players’ hands, leaving them to explore the world and discover quests and locations in their hunt for the evil sorceress Azamon.
Numerous castles and villages, ready to be explored and filled with NPC’s waiting to help you with information vital to your quest, cover the land. Powerful spells are waiting to be unlocked as you level up and a simple stat system makes customizing heroes easy.
With monsters to kill, loot to collect, and tools and potions to collect while clearing dungeons and journeying across the world Lowlander will provide hours of playtime to fans of both old-school RPGs and open-world gameplay.
Bit Dungeons 2 is a game that builds on, improves and crushes its predecessor. With its clean sprites and sharp art-style, procedurally generated dungeons and battling screen filling behemoth bosses is slick, compelling, and fun. The inclusion of ranged weapons in the arsenal of Axe, staves, hammers, and swords brings new possibilities to gameplay. Alternatively you can cause some havoc for the baddies with magic attacks. The one touch controls make gathering loot and battling hosts of monsters as you explore the expansive dungeons swift and simple and a customized leveling system allows you to craft the hero you want. With an elegantly simple combat system, a world worth of loot to collect and myriad customization options, Bit Dungeons 2 is created for those who want to delve into cavernous dungeons and slay Colossi on their own terms.
Text Dungeon is the first installment from developer Nicklebits following the exploits of the brave dwarf Brune Bronzeguard. In this choose-your-own- adventure you guide Brune through the Milkin silver mine to retrieve an artifact for the possibly villainous Vorgen. The story is beautifully illustrated as the venturesome dwarf navigates your literal pitfalls and encounters spiders and goblins in the dark. The art, combined with the strong original story, crafts a dark and compelling world as the player’s choices forge Brune into a dwarf capable of surviving in it. Those who enjoy adventure fantasy and interactive novels would be well served taking a look at the first part of the Bronzeguard series.
A generous improvement upon its predecessor, Swap Heroes 2 is a refreshing take on the mobile RPG formula with its cool graphic style and interesting party mechanics. Crossing the world with your party of four you slaughter golems, ghosts and bunnies while swapping out your heroes for those you find along the way on your journey to find the shadow knight. There is a decent amount of content with different modes and difficulty levels offering new challenges. It’s casual turn-based gameplay works well with the strategy elements of rotating and upgrading your heroes and the game lends itself well to short sessions and quick bursts while you’re on the move.
Dragon Quest 3, a port of the 1998 NES game, Dungeon Warrior 3, is a classic fantasy RPG that tells the start of the series’ Erdrick Trilogy. With a large world to explore, players face powerful monsters, explore charming cities while staying on the lookout for cursed items as they search for the Demon Lord Baramos’ lair. The game’s character class system lends strategy to the gameplay, with players having to consider a class’s strengths and weaknesses in regards to upcoming challenges. Only ‘The Hero’ can be directly controlled in battle while the rest of your party is governed by preset AI. As enemies become more powerful adequately customizing your teammate’s combat routine becomes vital as you have to accommodate for frequent healing and status effects. With over 30 hours of content, this colorful classic is a long and worthy distraction filled with classic hardcore gameplay.
Deever was a popular writer in the 1980s, producing 28 titles for the Lone Wolf Saga, a gamebook series set in the land of Magnamund. In the game, as in the books, readers guide Lone Wolf, the sole remaining member of his sect of warrior monks. Joe Deever’s Lone Wolf is a reimaging of that universe.. Playing once again as Lone Wolf the gamebook format benefits from the inclusion of QTEs, turn-based party combat and minigames for events such as lock picking. A structured combat system allows players an unprecedented amount of influence in battle compared to other interactive novel’s and customizable elements such as fighting discipline, traits, and equipment add further depth. Joe Deever’s Lone Wolf will easily appeal to those with a preference for dark storied fantasy, fast-paced challenges and tactical turn-based combat.
1. LucasArt’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 4.5/5
Since it’s original release in 2003 LucasArt’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has received praise for its character development, expansive empires and immersive gameplay.
This historic title made its way to Android just before the New Year but being that it was a matter of days; we thought it deserved to be included in our Quarter 1 list.
Set 4000 year before the events in Star Wars: A New Hope, KOTOR does away with death stars and adopted princess to focus on politics, bureaucracy and the galaxy-spanning struggle between Jedi and Sith. Players follow a young soldier gifted with the force as they learn to harness their powers and earn recognition for their deeds. A player’s actions at important points in the story influence the game’s outcome as their behavior will determine whether they lean more toward the Light Side or the Dark, but for the most part KOTOR is a galaxy-sized sandbox to explore filled with bounties to hunt, Wookies to meet, mysteries to solve, contraband to smuggle and pirates to evade. This interstellar RPG from Bioware has long been considered a classic and with a storyline that trains you in the ways of the force while throwing you into amazing set pieces and enjoyable side missions that expand and develop the Star Wars universe, it’s easy to see why. With smooth controls and original missions the newest edition of KOTOR for Android will easily find a home in the hearts of those who like RPGs crammed with challenges, lore, and content, basically, anybody who loves RPGs.