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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Browser (2006)

The player controls a heterosexual male visitor to some future planet inhabited by nubile catgirls. Over the course of his...

Game Boy (1991)

Cave Noire is a roguelike. The game evolves around four quests (killing monsters, freeing fairies or collecting gold/orbs) with ten...

DOS (1985)

Cavequest is an action-oriented fantasy role-playing game. Zeus has chosen you to leave the Land of the Gods and become...

Apple II (1982)

The evil dragon Freitag has taken refuge in a large system of caverns on the Enchanted Islands. A Thechu warrior...

DOS (1995) and Windows (2005)

A one player hack and slash role-playing game, this one depicts an adventurers struggle through thirty levels of randomly generated...

DOS (1984)

Caverns of Zoarre is a dungeon crawl role-playing game similar to Telengard. You may choose to be either a fighter...

Celtic Kings: Rage of War Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002) and Macintosh (2004)

In the game you control the great soldiers of Gauls, who want to defend their independence. After the Teutons destroyed...

Celtic Tales: Balor of the Evil Eye DOS Front Cover

DOS (1995)

Finally the champion long awaited by the Goddess Danu, has arrived. The people of the island of Eire (Ireland) have...

Centauri Alliance Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1990) and Apple II (1990)

Describing Centauri Alliance as "The Bard’s Tale in Space" would be fitting since it was designed by Michael Cranford, the...

Challenge of the Five Realms Linux Front Cover

Linux (2014), DOS (1992), Windows (2014) and Macintosh (2014)

Subtitled Spellbound in the World of Nhagardia, this Microprose title came out the same year as their more popular work,...

Champion of the Gods Linux Front Cover

Linux (2015), Windows (2015), Macintosh (2015), Browser (2015), iPhone (2015), Android (2015) and iPad (2015)

This game casts the player in the sandals of a mythical hero of superhuman proportions, adventuring through the Ancient Greek...

Amiga (1996)

The year is 2469. Six months ago the Earth was plunged into thermonuclear war and 96% of its population was...

Champions of Krynn DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990), Amiga (1990), Commodore 64 (1990), Apple II (1990) and PC-98 (1992)

The War of the Lance is over, the dragon armies have been defeated. But evil has not left Krynn. In...

Champions of Norrath PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004)

Champions of Norrath is a third-person dungeon crawler based on the EverQuest universe. There are five character classes to choose...

Champions Online Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

Champions Online is a Massively Multiplayer Online game based on the pen & paper role-playing universe of Champions. As such,...

Champions: Return to Arms PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005)

The sequel to Champions of Norrath, Champions: Return to Arms is an action RPG that puts players in the EverQuest...

MSX (1989) and PC-98 (1989)

One day, a lone traveler came from the desert to a small camp. There, he sat down, weary from his...

Amiga (1991) and CDTV (1992)

Chaos in Andromeda: Eyes of the Eagle is set in the 22. century. The player has an important mission, named...

Chaos Rings Android Front Cover

iPhone (2010), Android (2012), iPad (2010) and Windows Phone (2013)

Chaos Rings is an RPG detailing the fates of five couples who are summoned against their wills to the mysterious...

SNES (1996) and SEGA Saturn (1998)

In this action-strategy-RPG hybrid you play the role of a young member of a cave-dwelling race of warriors. As the...

NES (1991)

The king's daughter is seriously ill, and the kingdom is plagued by monsters. The king needs you, the offspring of...

Charlie Murder Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2013)

Charlie Murder is a beat 'em up first revealed as a Xbox Live Indie Game and eventually released as part...

Chartbusters 14 Windows Front Cover

Windows (1997)

Chartbusters 14 is an unofficial add-on compilation for Diablo and requires the original game to play. It includes a toolkit,...

Linux (2005) and Windows (2005)

ChessRogue is an unusual combination of Chess and Rogue.You play the part of the White King, entering a multi-level dungeon...

Chester Field: Ankoku Shin e no Chōsen NES Front Cover

NES (1987) and Commodore 64 (1988)

The Kingdom of Guldred has been invaded by General Guemon and his dark forces, who have killed their king. A...

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