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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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Windows (1999)

OverviewNatuk is a traditional overhead party-based role-playing game with a focus on detailed tactical combat that appeals most to those...

Necromania: Trap of Darkness Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002)

As you can read on the official site this is "action-tactical fantasy game". And that's true - it's an isometric...

Necropolis Browser Front Cover

Browser (2008)

Necropolis is a top-down dungeon explorer starring Ms. Lilian Trevithick, a lady adventurer and radical steam technician. During one of...

TurboGrafx-16 (1990)

Necros no Yōsai is based on the characters from the eponymous Japanese toy line from the 1980s. The story tells...

TurboGrafx CD (1995)

In a world where baseball plays a pivotal role in people's lives, teams compete against each for supremacy, using spiritual...

SNES (1995)

The young fighter Ryu was thrown out of his father's home, and this childhood trauma has been dominating his life...

PC-98 (1993)

Neko Mamma EX is a collection of four small games, unrelated by genre, story, or theme - with the exception...

Nemesis: The Wizardry Adventure DOS Front Cover Slide-in wrapping

DOS (1996) and SEGA Saturn (1998)

A new force has emerged in the world. Known as the Nithos Shadow, it is targeting, for yet inexplicable reasons,...

Neocron Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002)

By the end of the third millenium, Earth has changed... Global pollution, excessive wars and a perforated atmosphere have turned...

Neocron 2: Beyond Dome of York Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

In the middle of the 28th century massive warfare and reckless pollution have brought the life on earth to the...

Neopets Puzzle Adventure Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008) and Wii (2008)

Bearing similarity to Puzzle Quest, Neopets Puzzle Adventure is a role playing game where the battles take the form of...

NetHack iPhone Front Cover

Linux (1992), DOS (1987), Windows, Amiga (1988), Atari ST (1993), Windows Mobile (2002), Macintosh (1989), Browser (2005), iPhone (2009), Android (2010), GP32 (2009), Acorn 32-bit (2001) and OS/2 (2002)

NetHack is a text-only (although some graphical versions exist) roguelike role-playing game. The objective is to find the Amulet of...

Linux (1999)

In Nethack 3.0, the player chooses of one the available classes (warrior, cleric, tourist, wizard, etc.) and journeys into the...

Linux (2001), DOS (2001) and Windows (2000)

Falcon's Eye is the same game as the classic roguelike (dungeon crawls with a high degree of randomization, ADOM, Angband,...

Windows (1998) and Macintosh (1998)

Welcome to Shadowvale, where the last remnants of magic remain in this world and where fantastic creatures thrive and the...

Neuro Hunter Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

Neuro Hunter is an action RPG set in a dark future where private corporations rule the world. The player is...

Neverend Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

Neverend is a fantasy turn-based RPG. Play as Agavaen, a fallen fairy with magical powers, on a quest to discover...

Neverwinter Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013)

Neverwinter is a MMORPG set in and around the Dungeons & Dragons city Neverwinter. It is a dark time and...

Neverwinter Nights Windows Front Cover

Linux (2003), Windows (2002) and Macintosh (2003)

A plague known as the Wailing Death is terrorizing the city of Neverwinter. Lady Aribeth summons an adventurer, who teams...

Neverwinter Nights DOS Front Cover

DOS (1991)

The original Neverwinter Nights was the first Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) Role Playing Game to go online (pay to...

Neverwinter Nights 2 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006) and Macintosh (2008)

The tiny village West Harbor, located not far from the thriving city of Neverwinter in the Sword Coast region, served...

Neverwinter Nights 2 (Chaotic Evil Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

The Chaotic Evil Edition is one of two limited editions only released in Europe and it contains:Neverwinter Nights 2 Neverwinter...

Neverwinter Nights 2 (Lawful Good Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

The Lawful Good Edition is one of two limited editions only released in Europe and it contains:Neverwinter Nights 2 Neverwinter...

Neverwinter Nights 2 (Limited Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

This Limited Edition, only released in the United States, includes:Neverwinter Nights 2 Cloth map displaying in-game locations Neverwinter Nights 2...

Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

After having defeated the final adversary in Neverwinter Nights 2 , the protagonist wakes up in an underground cavern in...

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