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Role-Playing (RPG)

Description

Role-playing video games are descendants of pen-and-paper RPGs. In those games character development is the main driving gameplay mechanic. Typically one or more characters are created and shaped by the player, then embark on a series of encounters that increase the inventory, wealth, or combat statistics of said character(s).

A role-playing game is not just any game in which the player "plays a role", i.e. controls a character and participates in exploration and narrative. Rather, the defining characteristic of role-playing games is player-dependent character growth. A role-playing game can be seen as such when player-controlled characters become stronger ("levels up") because of the player's actions (usually depending on experience points received for vanquishing enemies), rather than being upgraded automatically as dictated by the storyline. The degree of the player's involvement in shaping the characters may vary considerably: some RPGs offer vast customization possibilities, while others tend to simplify and even nearly automatize the process.

Traditional RPGs have turn-based combat and a fantasy setting (Wizardry series, Ultima series, Roguelikes, etc.). Later, other settings were introduced, and many RPGs - such as Diablo - began favoring action-based combat. In these games, Action is used as a modifier to the RPG genre.

By the late 1980's, the genre has been distinctly split into two main sub-genres: Western and Japanese (sometimes called console-style) RPG. Western RPGs typically favored free exploration and player-made decisions, while Japanese RPGs focused on following a linear story line. Japanese RPGs also tended to retain simple turn-based combat mechanics, and in many cases also random enemy encounters.

In many early Western RPGs the player was given the option to create an entire party of characters (usually up to six). Ultima games introduced the possibility of recruiting initially non-playable characters (NPCs) with their own personalities from the game world into the party. Beginning with Phantasy Star, Japanese RPGs followed this template and even elevated it to their cornerstone mechanic.

Late 1990's saw a "RPG revival" in the West. Fallout greatly expanded the usage of non-combat statistics and moral decisions during gameplay, while Baldur's Gate popularized real-time party-based combat.
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sorted in ascending orderGame Title
Harbinger Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

Diablo in space. The game takes place aboard the vast slave spaceship Harbinger. A small band of outcasts is running...

Hard Nova DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990), Amiga (1991) and Atari ST (1991)

A spaceship carrying a mercenary with the crew was hit by a meteor. Its hull was breached, and only the...

Hard Time Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Hard Time is a jail simulator in which the player takes on the role of an inmate. The game starts...

Hard to Be a God Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Hard To Be A God is an action role-playing game based on the science fiction novel with the same title,...

Hard Truck: Apocalypse Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

In a post-apocalyptic world that is slowly trying to rebuild itself, you play a young man setting out on his...

Hard Truck: Apocalypse - Rise of Clans Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

Rise of Clans is a standalone expansion for Hard Truck: Apocalypse that brings an additional single player campaign and a...

PC-98 (1996)

Two thousand years ago, a great hero has defeated the demon lord Gargantua, with the help of a magical sword...

Windows (1998)

Harmonian Tales is a Korean-made role-playing game. The plot is introduced laconically: the player controls a young man who wakes...

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (2002)

The second Harry Potter role-playing game follows directly on from the first, with mostly the same game mechanics, controls and...

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2004)

Sirius Black has escaped from the prison of Azkaban and it is up to Harry, Ron and Hermione to find...

Game Boy Color (2001)

In the first Harry Potter game for the Game Boy Color, the story of Harry's first year at Hogwarts School...

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4 PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2008) and Wii (2008)

Chihiro Ashihara is a high school girl with no memory of her past, who lives together with her classmate Nagi...

Hatoful Boyfriend Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2012) and Macintosh (2012)

In Hatoful Boyfriend, the player plays the role of a human girl who is beginning her second year at St....

Hazard Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999)

Hazard is a role-playing game in which the player controls Rick, a warrior whose master has been murdered. Together with...

DOS (1985)

This is another version of DND, originally written for the Heathkit Z-150 computer's GW-BASIC, and later compiled for DOS. Apart...

Windows (2001)

Heath: The Unchosen Path is a turn-based RPG. The main character is Heath who received powers from the gods and...

Heavy on the Magick Amstrad CPC Front Cover

ZX Spectrum (1986) and Amstrad CPC (1986)

With full graphics throughout, Heavy on the Magick aimed the standard adventure style at a wider audience. Axil the Able...

Heimdall DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992), Amiga (1991), SEGA CD (1994), Atari ST (1992) and Acorn 32-bit (1993)

You play as Heimdall, a demi-god based in Norse mythology. Heimdall's job is to protect the entrance to Asgard, the...

Heimdall 2: Into the Hall of Worlds DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994), Amiga (1994) and Amiga CD32 (1994)

Isometric adventure platform game. Wandering mystic worlds in search of answers, weapons, and a hot meal. You can change shape...

Helherron Linux Front Cover

Linux (2006) and Windows (2006)

King Krolh and the Divine Sceptre have been taken away by a dark winged creature. Now the Isle of Helherron...

Hellfire Windows Front Cover

Windows (1997)

Hellfire is an add-on to the action RPG Diablo.It adds two new dungeons to the game: the Demon Crypt and...

Hellgate: London Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

It's the year 2038 and London lies in ruins. The nearby Hellgate has turned the sky gray and it's presence...

Hellgate: London (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

The Collector's Edition includes: Hellgate: London Map poster A Darkhorse Hellgate: London graphic novel Bonus DVD with making-of and official...

Hello Hero Browser Front Cover

Browser (2013), iPhone (2014), Android (2014) and iPad (2014)

Hello Hero is a fantasy-themed role-playing game game originally dedicated as a Facebook application game.In this game, the player assembles...

Herakles no Eikō 2: Titan no Metsubō NES Front Cover

NES (1989)

In this second installment of "Greek mythology" RPG series, the main hero is not the legendary hero Herakles (Hercules), but...

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