These days, angry poultry and putrid pigs are all but synonymous with the mobile gaming experience. Nonetheless, if you've been craving less transitory satisfaction (and have a thing for role-playing games), there's hope. The Google Play store is replete with a surprisingly diverse variety of games within the genre. While some are tender tributes to old-school sensibilities, others are a mismatch of exciting new ideas. Now, we're aware that it's tough finding something worth your money in the mess that is the Google Play store, so in the name of time optimization, we've rounded up 10 of the most interesting RPGs we could find that are worth checking out.
Knights of Pen & Paper
Knights of Pen & Paper is easily one of the most novel interpretations of the RPG genre yet. Instead of just depositing you in the middle of another elf-infested, medieval setting, it goes an extra step by making you take command of the people in control of the adventurers in a table RPG campaign—yeah, this is where you'd insert that Xzibit "Yo Dawg" meme. Though occasionally prone towards being a bit of a grind, this turn-based RPG works on a myriad of levels. The humor is spot-on, the combat reasonably satisfying, and the visuals are an absolute treat for those enamored of pixelated art. All in all, it's a deliciously well put-together experience that'll keep you captivated for hours on end.
Though the original iteration was released on the Super Nintendo nearly two decades ago, Chrono Trigger on Android remains a sterling example of how Japanese RPGs should be done. Expensive as it might be in comparison to the other titles in the Google Play store, this game is most definitely worth the price of entry.
Filled with brilliant music, and a stable of entertaining, complex characters, Chrono Trigger will have you plummeting through the time space continuum fighting off evil wherever (and whenever) it rears its ugly head. In spite of the fact the controls don't translate too well to the touchscreen, it's still a rocking good time.
Blazing Souls Accelate
Blazing Souls Accelate is one of those games you'll either like or detest tremendously. The controls are clunky, the visuals are dated, and the voice acting is tenuous at best, but all these flaws can be overlooked for a superb combat system that gives other turn-based RPGs such as Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics a run for their money. It has everything, really. Mountainous amounts of loot? Check. Endless variety of skills to juggle and balance? Check. Potential for spending hours battling a competent AI and exploring what constitutes the best possible combos ever? Check, check, and double check. Blazing Souls Accelate is an acquired taste, but if you're feeling adventurous (and are not disinclined towards its price tag), this one deserves a look.
Cthulhu Saves The World
Picture this: Cthulhu, in all of his tentacled glory, awakens from his age-old slumber, ready to bring about the end of our mortal world only to be emasculated by a passing force of good. Now, what's a beleaguered Old One supposed to do? Eavesdrop on the narrator and come to the realization that the only way to be restored to his former evil is by becoming a true, er, hero, of course!(?) Easily one of my favorite indie games of recent years, Cthulhu Saves the World is a loving—albeit highly tongue-in-cheek—tribute to old-school 16-bit JRPGs. From the combat system, to the graphics, to the music, and even the oddball references, Cthulhu Saves the World makes no secret of its affection of the genre or its awareness for the inherent silliness.
Penny Arcade's On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness
If you enjoyed Cthulhu Saves the World, and have more than a passing fondness for the dynamic duo helming the Penny Arcade juggernaut, it's probably a good idea to pick up On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. Here, you'll get to play alongside a pair of detectives dead-set on investigating supernatural maleficence in an occult-infused 1920s filled with…Tube Samurai? Crabomancers? Dinosorcerers? Yeah. This tribute to old-school RPGs combines retro visuals and Lovecraftian themes with creatures and jokes from the Penny Arcade comics making it one of the more hilarious games on this list.
If the titles we've mentioned thus far have been a little too mundane for you, why not go against the grain and pick something completely unlike your average Japanese or Western RPG? Dungeon Raid is a match 3 game, like Bejeweled, except that instead of swapping gems around, the game has you connecting weapons, potions, or coins in order to meet your objective and progress through the game.
Piled up on those rudimentary mechanics, however, we have many of the trappings of an RPG: a combat system, armor, health potions, gold coins, and an utterly randomized upgrade system guaranteed to make each experience relatively novel. All in all, it's a weirdly tantalizing, bite-size experience fit for boring bus rides.
How much Diablo do you want in your life? For those who just can't get enough of Blizzard's timeless classic, Heroes Call is calling out to you. Far more visually appealing than many of the titles available for the Android, Heroes Call is an isometric action-RPG that feels as though it was designed to cater to the on-the-move Diablo fan. Drawing, if you want to be kind about things, extensively from Blizzard's time-worn classic, Heroes Call will have you exploring a variety of dungeons as a member of a mercenary guild. Combat can feel sluggish at times and the controls can be finicky, but it's a must-have for dungeon crawler fans.
The Bard's Tale
Yes, it's yet another port—and a somewhat dated one at that (the original came out in 1985)—but that doesn't stop The Bard's Tale from being a fun piece of video gaming history. The unnamed protagonist of this bawdy tale isn't particularly keen on saving the world or engaging in any form of useful behavior, something the spiteful-sounding Narrator—who is voiced by the Princess Bride's Cary Elwes—is forever eager to remark upon.
Highly sarcastic and almost exasperatingly ready with the jokes, The Bard's Tale is a top-down action RPG with a basic, but somewhat unforgiving combat system. Want to be any good at this game? Be prepared to grind and to make full usage of The Bard's armament of summonable allies. The Bard's Tale shines because of its silliness, numerous tongue-in-cheek references to the genre, and snarky dialogue system.
Order & Chaos Online
No 'Top RPGs on Android' list would be complete without the inclusion of Order & Chaos Online. In a nutshell, it's World of Warcraft on the mobile platform. Decked out with everything from full-fledged quests to a crafting system and even high-level content like raiding, Order & Chaos Online bears more than a passing resemblance to Blizzard's soul-eating, multiplayer behemoth. Though I wouldn't recommend it for those content to separate their Androids from gaming of such nature, Order & Chaos Online will likely be more than capable of satisfying the hunger of diehard fanatics and those just itching for a portable MMO.
At this point, Battleheart is borderline legendary. Ask anyone with even a passing interest in indie games on the mobile platform and chances are they'll have nothing but positive things to report about the game. Battleheart eschews long-winded expositions and character development in favor of a more immediate delight: building up your party of fiendishly adorable adventurers and trouncing equally saccharine-looking enemies.
For all of its seeming simplicity, Battleheart works and one of the reasons it works so decadently well is because of the focus on frantic micro-management and the synergy between party members. The ability system is excellent, as is the spartan, yet effective usage of equipment and statistics. Have I mentioned it's tooth-achingly cute? Because it is.
This story, "10 Android RPGs worth playing" was originally published by TechHive.