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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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Heroes Rise: The Hero Project - Perfect Legend Guide Linux Front Cover

Linux (2013), Windows (2013) and Macintosh (2013)

Heroes Rise: The Hero Project - Perfect Legend Guide give instructions on how to achieve the perfect Legend score, in-game....

Heroes Rise: The Hero Project - Warning System Linux Front Cover

Linux (2013), Windows (2013) and Macintosh (2013)

Heroes Rise: The Hero Project - Warning System adds a warning system to your MeChip, in-game, that will alert you...

Heroes Rise: The Prodigy Linux Front Cover

Linux (2014), Windows (2014), Macintosh (2014), Browser (2012), iPhone (2012), Android (2012), iPad (2012) and Kindle Classic (2012)

In this entirely textual superhero game, the player gets to customize story-relevant attributes of a Power user -- sex, sexual...

Heroes Rise: The Prodigy - Perfect Legend Guide Linux Front Cover

Linux (2012), Windows (2012) and Macintosh (2012)

Heroes Rise: The Prodigy - Perfect Legend Guide ads instructions on how to achieve the perfect Legend status in-game. It...

Browser (2010)

Hero Force was a free-to-play browser-based game. Players could create a superhero, choose and upgrade powers, and save New York....

Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013)

Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok is a tribute game to Sierra's classic Quest for Glory series. You play as...

Hero of the Kingdom Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013)

Hero of the Kingdom is a 2D role-playing game with fantasy elements. The gameplay is similar to those of classic...

HeroQuest Atari ST Front Cover

DOS (1991), Amiga (1991), Atari ST (1991), Commodore 64 (1991), ZX Spectrum (1991), Amstrad CPC (1991) and Acorn 32-bit (1993)

The famous fantasy-themed board game was converted into an isometric-viewed role playing game in which the evil Wizard Morcar must...

HeroQuest + HeroQuest: Return of the Witch Lord DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992), Amiga (1992), Commodore 64 (1992) and ZX Spectrum (1992)

This compilation includes: Hero Quest (base game) Hero Quest: Return of the Witch Lord (expansion)For the DOS version, this bundled...

Amiga (1994) and Amiga CD32 (1994)

The isometric role-playing game engine of the original Hero Quest license is reused in this sequel, set in the evil-infested...

Hero Quest: Return of the Witch Lord Atari ST Front Cover

Amiga (1991), Atari ST (1991), Commodore 64 (1991), ZX Spectrum (1991) and Amstrad CPC (1991)

This is a Hero Quest expansion pack with a set of new quests and adapted from a similar expansion to...

Browser (2011)

Hero's Adventure is a short role-playing game that follows the adventures of a little boy living deep in the woods...

Hero Siege Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2013), Macintosh (2014), iPhone (2013), Android (2013) and iPad (2013)

Hero Siege is a fast-paced, top down action game with roguelike qualities. The player will choose one of several classes;...

Hero's Quest: So You Want To Be A Hero DOS Front Cover

DOS (1989), Amiga (1990), Atari ST (1990) and PC-98 (1991)

The little town of Spielburg is populated mostly by beer-drinking humans and some centaurs who like working in the field....

Hero X Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002)

As a former apprentice to a superhero, you are ready to strike out on your own. You have been provisionally...

Amiga (1986) and Atari ST (1986)

Hex is a turn-based strategy game, played out on a grid of hexagons, each linked to up to 5 other...

Hexen II Windows Front Cover

Windows (1997) and Macintosh (2002)

The world of Thyrion was continuously conquered by the demon brothers known as the Serpent Riders. After two of them...

Hexen II: Mission Pack: Portal of Praevus Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998)

After Eidolon is defeated, a sudden winter arrives at the world of Thyrion. This is no natural winter and you...

Hexplore Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998)

The events of Hexplore take place during the Crusades, ca. 1000 AD, portraying an alternate reality where magic and monsters...

Hexx: Heresy of the Wizard DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994)

Somewhere on the top floor of a sinister tower, there is an evil wizard who likes conjuring powerful deities. Those...

Hexyz Force PSP Front Cover

PSP (2010)

One side of Berge was bathed in constant light, and is known as Lustrous Berge. The other half is cloaked...

Highborn Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2013), Macintosh (2013), Browser (2010), iPhone (2010), Android (2011) and iPad (2010)

Highborn is a fantasy-based, casual, turn-based strategy game that doesn't take itself too seriously. In fact it is the humorous...

TurboGrafx CD (1991)

High Grenadier is a turn-based strategy game with role-playing elements. The game has a rather abstract plot that depicts a...

Hikkikomori Quest Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

Hikkikomori Quest is an RPG where the player controls a reclusive individual who has not left his house for a...

TurboGrafx CD (1994)

Long time ago, the races of humans and fairy creatures co-existed peacefully. But the power of magic corrupted some of...

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