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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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J2ME (2006)

Dungeons of Despair is an isometric RPG game where the player can explore a multitude of levels with many different...

Dungeons of Dredmor Linux Front Cover

Linux (2011), Windows (2011) and Macintosh (2011)

Dungeons of Dredmor is a role-playing dungeon hack game in the tradition of classic Roguelike games, but fully graphical with...

Dungeons of Dredmor: Conquest of the Wizardlands Linux Front Cover

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

Conquest of the Wizardlands is the second standalone expansion of Dungeons of Dredmor, which features: New skill trees: Banksterism, Communism,...

Dungeons of Dredmor: Realm of the Diggle Gods Linux Front Cover

Linux (2011), Windows (2011) and Macintosh (2011)

Realm of the Diggle Gods is the first standalone expansion to Dungeons of Dredmor, which features: Six new skill trees:...

DOS (1989)

Save the kingdom of Hamnlin from the Mad Mage Inshanis, by setting out to recover Artifacts hidden throughout the vast...

Dungeon Solitaire iPhone Front Cover

iPhone (2010)

Dungeon Solitaire is an original fantasy card game. Monsters are flooding up through the Castle Wolfcairn's tunnels after a prison...

Windows (2012)

Dungeon Tactics is an open source tactical turn-based RPG set in a fantasy world and it is based on series...

Dunjonquest: Curse of Ra DOS Front Cover

DOS (1982), Commodore 64 (1983), Apple II (1982), Atari 8-bit (1982) and TRS-80 (1982)

The second in a series of expansion modules for Temple of Apshai (you must have Temple of Apshai to play...

Apple II (1980), Atari 8-bit (1982), TRS-80 (1980) and Commodore PET/CBM (1980)

Dunjonquest: Hellfire Warrior is a true sequel to Temple of Apshai. The player resumes his role as Brian Hammerhand and...

Dunjonquest: Morloc's Tower Apple II Front Cover

PC Booter (1983), Apple II (1979), Atari 8-bit (1980), TRS-80 (1979) and Commodore PET/CBM (1979)

As the adventurer Brian Hammerhand you have to defeat the Wizard Morloc the Mad in his Tower. The towers stairways...

Dunjonquest: Temple of Apshai DOS Front Cover

DOS (1982), Commodore 64 (1983), Apple II (1980), Atari 8-bit (1981), VIC-20 (1983), TRS-80 (1979) and Commodore PET/CBM (1979)

Temple of Apshai is the first in Automated Simulations' Dunjonquest series of role-playing games series and one of the first...

Dunjonquest: The Datestones of Ryn Apple II Front Cover

Apple II (1979), Atari 8-bit (1981), TRS-80 (1979) and Commodore PET/CBM (1979)

You, Brian Hammerhand, mercenary at large, presently least senior officer of the cavalry troop, and drawer of the shortest straw,...

Dunjonquest: Upper Reaches of Apshai DOS Front Cover

DOS (1982), Commodore 64 (1983), Apple II (1981), Atari 8-bit (1982) and TRS-80 (1981)

Upper Reaches of Apshai is an expansion module for Temple of Apshai, featuring a new dungeon (four levels with 150...

Dunzhin Atari 8-bit Front Cover

PC Booter (1982), Commodore 64 (1983), Apple II (1982) and Atari 8-bit (1983)

Dunzhin is a simple role-playing game that is similar to Rogue. Your goal is to enter a dangerous, multi level...

Dusk of the Gods DOS Front Cover

DOS (1991)

The time of Ragnarok draws near. In the final battle between Gods and Giants, the dead will rise from Hela's...

Dwarf Quest iPad Front Cover

iPhone (2012) and iPad (2012)

Dwarf Quest is a third-person, isometric dungeon crawler reminiscent of games like HeroQuest or Cadaver. The game takes place in...

Dynasty Tactics PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2002)

A tactical strategy game set in feudal China, Dynasty Tactics is an offshoot of the Dynasty Warrior series. The game...

Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PSP (2010), Xbox 360 (2009) and PlayStation 3 (2009)

Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires is an expansion to Dynasty Warrior 6.The goal of the game is to unify all Ancient...

Windows (2010)

Eador: Genesis is a medieval fantasy turn-based strategy/role-playing game inspired by Master of Magic, Civilization, Warlords, Heroes of Might and...

DOS (1988), Atari ST (1987) and Apple II (1980)

Eamon was one of the earliest role-playing games available for the Apple II. It was also perhaps the first ever...

PC-98 (1992)

A group of adventurers, led by the young mercenary named Guy, arrives at the Port City, looking for job. The...

Earth & Beyond Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002)

Earth & Beyond is the first online role-playing galaxy. This galaxy is filled with monsters and strange new worlds, but...

EarthBound SNES Front Cover

SNES (1994) and Wii U (2013)

In the year 199X, in the village of Onett, on the continent of Eagleland...Young Ness was asleep one night when...

Earthrise Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011)

Earthrise is a science fiction MMORPG set in a distant, post-apocalyptic future. Mankind has managed to survive a Third World...

Eerie Estate Agent iPad Front Cover

Browser (2012), iPhone (2012), Android (2012) and iPad (2012)

Taking an unusual setting and theme for a game, this one puts the player in the old town of Edinburgh,...

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