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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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...

Quarterstaff Macintosh Front Cover

Macintosh (1987)

You are Titus. You must build a lead a party of adventurers into the Tree Druid colony to discover the...

Quarterstaff: The Tomb of Setmoth Macintosh Front Cover

Macintosh (1988), PC-98 (1990) and Sharp X68000 (1991)

Infocom picked up this title as the first in their RPG line. Originally self-published by Simulated Environment Systems as Quarterstaff...

DOS (1995)

Quest ][ is a somewhat unusual game, replete with a kind of celebratory strangeness that only the young or confirmedly...

Quest 64 Nintendo 64 Front Cover

Nintendo 64 (1998)

You play the young hero Brian in his quest to save the land of Celtland. Brian's father, Lord Bartholomy, has...

Game Boy Color (2000)

Quest RPG: Brian's Journey is simple RPG game, related with Quest 64. Game's action takes place in Celtland, a fantastic...

Quest for Glory 1-5 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012)

This pack from GOG.com includes: Hero's Quest: So You Want To Be A Hero Quest for Glory II: Trial by...

Quest for Glory III: Wages of War DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992)

Wages of War is the third game in the Quest for Glory series. It is set in the Africa-like world...

Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990) and Amiga (1990)

Trial by Fire is the sequel to Hero's Quest: So You Want To Be A Hero. It takes place in...

Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire is a remake of the earlier game game of the same name. It...

Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992) and Macintosh (1994)

Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero is a remake of Hero's Quest: So You Want...

Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness DOS Front Cover

DOS (1993) and Windows 3.x (1993)

Shadows of Darkness is the fourth Quest for Glory game. It is a journey into the land of Mordavia -...

Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (1998) and Macintosh (1998)

After having survived the dangers he encountered on his previous journey, the hero travels with the wizard Erasmus to a...

Quest for Infamy Linux Front Cover

Linux (2014), Windows (2014) and Macintosh (2014)

Quest for Infamy is the first original game by Infamous Quests. The developers previously created the King's Quest III: To...

Atari ST (1991)

Quest for Tanda is a RPG based on Robert Asprins Myth-series written in GFA Basic.You are one of Aahz's knights...

Quest of Dungeons Linux Front Cover

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

Quest of Dungeons is a turned-based rogue variant, set in the ruins of old Omphar mansion in the land of...

Quest of the Space Beagle Atari 8-bit Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1985) and Atari 8-bit (1984)

A sequel to Jupiter Mission 1999, with the same basic gameplay elements - combining story telling, RPG and arcade action....

Questron Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1984), Apple II (1984) and Atari 8-bit (1984)

In this role-playing game, the player begins as a peasant whose land is under attack by monsters. After killing one,...

Questron II DOS Front Cover

DOS (1988), Amiga (1988), Atari ST (1988), Commodore 64 (1988), Apple II (1988) and Apple IIgs (1988)

As the second title in the Questron series, this game follows the same basic formula as the original. You start...

The Quest iPhone Front Cover

Windows (2007), Palm OS (2006), Windows Mobile (2006) and iPhone (2009)

The Quest is a traditional-style Role Playing Game, developed for a wide range of mobile devices and also for a...

DOS (1991)

Ostensibly the shareware version of a more robust, non-quick Majik Adventure, as with their later Dragon Hunt this is a...

TurboGrafx CD (1994)

Quiz Avenue III offers, like its two predecessors, a quest mode and a versus mode - the latter consists in...

Racing Lagoon PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1999)

Racing Lagoon is a racing RPG. Your earn experience for your various car parts and racing points by challenging other...

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