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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

Nintendo DS (2008)

An alternative reality dating sim in which the princess of another world switches places with a girl from our times....

Princess Maker TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

TurboGrafx CD (1995), MSX (1992), PC-98 (1991) and Sharp X68000 (1997)

Princess Maker is the first of Gainax' "princess-raising simulation" game series.You are a noble warrior who has just saved your...

Princess Maker 2 SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1995), 3DO (1995), TurboGrafx CD (1995), Macintosh (2000), PC-98 (1993), FM Towns (1994) and GP32 (2002)

A hero saved the human race from utter annihilation by the gods. This same hero then was charged by the...

SNES (1995)

"Legend of Another World" one of Gainax' popular "princess-breeding simulation" games, similar to Princess Maker 2, but more medieval and...

PlayStation (1997) and SEGA Saturn (1998)

The fourth in Gainax' Princess Maker simulation series. A young fairy wants to become a human princess. The fairy Queen...

Princess Minerva TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

SNES (1995), TurboGrafx CD (1994) and PC-98 (1994)

Princess Minerva is based on an anime of the same name. In the kingdom of Whistler, the best fighters are...

Linux (2007), Windows (2002), Browser (2010) and Android (2014)

In what some might dub the logical conclusion of the statbuilding RPG genre, Progress Quest is a game that plays...

Project Entropia Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

Project Entropia is a "semi-free" Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG), set in the far future on the distant...

Project X Zone Nintendo 3DS Front Cover

Nintendo 3DS (2013)

Project X Zone is the successor to Namco x Capcom, including new and returning characters from Namco Bandai Games and...

Project Zomboid Linux Front Cover

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

Project Zomboid is a post-apocalyptic zombie survival game, where the player controls a survivor in a small town, surrounded by...

Prologue: A Guardian Story Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014)

Prologue is a turn-based fantasy roleplaying game takes place in an old university but the story is in a modern...

Prom Queen Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

In Prom Queen you play a teenage girl who has just moved to Queensport, struggling to become the Queen of...

Prophecy DOS Front Cover

DOS (1989)

You have just left the peaceful town of CrissCross to defeat the evil Krellane and his powerful Empire. The residents...

Prophecy of the Shadow DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992)

A long foretold prophecy is about to be fulfilled. The Shadow Lords are on the verge of entering our world....

PC-98 (1991) and FM Towns (1991)

The Kingdom of Faladia has been enjoying an era of peace and prosperity for a long while. However, it all...

DOS (1993)

After a long trip you've finally arrived at the Nexus space lab, where curious scientists were to examine your uncanny...

Purumui Purumui PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1999)

One day in the peaceful village of Puru in the world of Fillip Side, Mui and Popuri were playing in...

Puzzle Chronicles PSP Front Cover

Windows (2010), Nintendo DS (2010), PSP (2010), Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2010)

Puzzle Chronicles is a casual game that combines item-matching puzzling with RPG elements, including character progression and a fantasy story...

Puzzle Hero Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

Puzzle Hero is a game very similar, and probably inspired by Puzzle Quest, a RPG with match-three mechanics. As in...

Puzzle Kingdoms Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009), Nintendo DS (2009) and Wii (2009)

Puzzle Kingdoms is a RPG game using tile matching mini-games as the combat system of the battles, in a similar...

Puzzle Quest 2 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010), Nintendo DS (2010), BREW (2010), Xbox 360 (2010), iPhone (2010), Android (2011), iPad (2010) and Windows Phone (2010)

Puzzle Quest 2 is the third in the Puzzle Quest franchise, and the "2" in the title shows a return...

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007), PlayStation 2 (2007), Nintendo DS (2007), PSP (2007), Xbox 360 (2007), Macintosh (2008), Wii (2007) and iPad (2010)

As a citizen of the kingdom of Bartonia, it's your job to discover why the Undead have begun swarming all...

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009), Nintendo DS (2009), Xbox 360 (2009) and PlayStation 3 (2009)

Puzzle Quest: Galactrix is, just like its predecessor, a mix of many different genres. At its core there is a...

Puzzle Trooper iPad Front Cover

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

Puzzle Trooper is a puzzle RPG game where the player assembles a team of characters and level them up much...

Windows (2002)

Prelude to Darkness is a classic single-player, turn-based RPG with dark overtones. It takes place in a dying River valley...

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