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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
Alien Fires: 2199 AD DOS Front Cover

DOS (1987), Amiga (1986) and Atari ST (1987)

Assume the role of a Time Lord, an immortal race of beings responsible for protecting the temporal balance of the...

Alien Logic DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994)

In the 21st century, human beings have all but destroyed their home planet Earth. Surviving humans found a shelter on...

Alien Shooter 2 (Zolotoe izdanie) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

This Alien Shooter games compilation includes: Alien Shooter (base game) Alien Shooter: Fight for Life (first expansion) Alien Shooter: The...

Alien Shooter: Vengeance Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006) and Macintosh (2009)

The year is 2161 and the aliens try once again to invade Earth. You are a mercenary of the M.A.G.M.A...

Aliens: Roguelike Windows Front Cover

Linux (2007), Windows (2007) and Macintosh (2012)

Aliens: The Roguelike is a tactical roguelike, inspired by the classic Aliens movie and the Alien Breed: Tower Assault computer...

DOS (2000)

AllegroHack is a graphical user interface for NetHack which is built with the Allegro software library to draw large (32x32...

Windows (2011)

Allods Online is an online RPG and the fourth title in the Rage of Mages series. The whole background story...

TurboGrafx CD (1994)

Kenbu is a young warrior who trains in the art of shape-shifting - his people possess the ability to turn...

PlayStation (1997)

50,000 years have passed since Kenbu and his friends defeated the ultimate evil. The world of Alnam needed a long...

Windows (2009)

Under the city there is an old ruin containing biological weapons from the old era. These weapons have been asleep...

DOS (1995)

AlphaMan is a roguelike game in a futuristic/post-apocalyptic setting. Like most other roguelike games it is a "light" RPG (few...

Alpha Protocol Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010), Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2010)

Michael Thorton. A name without a past. A person whose life before joining Alpha Protocol no longer exists. Alpha Protocol...

Alpha Protocol (Kollekzionnoe izdanie) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2010)

The collector's edition released in Russia. Includes these items: Alpha Protocol Manual. "Secret agent briefing" album. Flashlight-keyholder with Alpha Protocol...

Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994)

As the youngest son of a Noble Merchant, an easy life lay before you. But the call of adventure beckoned,...

Alshark TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

SEGA CD (1993), TurboGrafx CD (1994), PC-98 (1991), FM Towns (1993) and Sharp X68000 (1991)

Wisperad is a small universe that consists of only a few star systems. Hundreds of years ago, light-speed travel was...

Alternate Reality: The City Commodore 64 Front Cover

DOS (1988), Amiga (1988), Atari ST (1986), Commodore 64 (1986), Apple II (1986), Atari 8-bit (1985), Macintosh (1986), iPhone (2011) and iPad (2011)

In Alternate Reality: The City, you are one of many people who have been abducted from earth by aliens and...

Alternate Reality: The Dungeon Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1987), Apple II (1987), Atari 8-bit (1987), iPhone (2011) and iPad (2011)

Alternate Reality: The Dungeon directly follows its predecessor: The player is still captured by aliens and imprisoned in an alternate...

PC-98 (1993)

The land of Alvaleak is home to many explorers and adventures who hunt for rare treasures. Three such adventurers descended...

Always Sometimes Monsters Linux Front Cover

Linux (2015), Windows (2014) and Macintosh (2015)

Always Sometimes Monsters is a 2D top-down role-playing game. You control a failed writer for 30 days at the moment...

PC-98 (1995)

Amaranth IV continues the over-arching story of the series. The main heroine in this game is not Liann Fremdes, the...

PC-98 (1995)

Amaranth KH is a side-story in the Amaranth series, and can be considered a prequel to all the previous games;...

Ambermoon Amiga Front Cover

Amiga (1993)

Ambermoon is the second game in Thalion's never-finished Amber trilogy that was started out by Amberstar. The sequel is set...

Amberstar DOS Front Cover

DOS (1992), Amiga (1992) and Atari ST (1992)

A thousand years ago, a young Black Magician named Tar valiantly fought the demon lord Thornahuun, who was revealed to...

Windows (2012)

Double Fine has a prototyping session called Amnesia Fortnight where the team takes a break on whatever they were working...

DOS (1985)

This fantasy adventure has the player exploring a castle in search of treasures. The castle is an eight-by-eight-by-eight grid, with...

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