The best iPad RPGs are the kind of top iPad apps that will make you forget you ever had a games console at all. There may not be the 10 years of gameplay that an Elder Scrolls adventure can provide but, trust us, these things will suck your spare time dry.
So, buckle up, equip your kit and take a good rest at your local inn - it's time for the best iPad RPG games that you'll find.
There’s something a little odd and a little wonderful at the same time about Dungeon Village. It’s like being on the wrong end of one of your favourite games. It’s like being the asteroids in Asteroid. It’s like being the ghosts in Pac-Man (or more accurately, the maze). Specifically, in the case of this RPG/god game, your role is to be the destination where heroes come and go on their way to adventure, glory and increasing amounts of XP, and it’s all rather fun.
The presentation of Dungeon Village is all cutsey in Nintendo NES style. It looks like something out of an early Zelda adventure. You start with a patch of grass with a few buildings surrounded by a palisade and, with the guidance of a good deal of on-screen help, it’s your job to grow the town by adding facilities, hosting events and stocking the shops with the kind of things travelling warriors need. At the same time, there’s a very useful and steady flow of monsters and dungeons popping up in the nearby countryside to keep interest high.
Space Miner HD
It’s surprising that someone had the balls even to think that the classic arcade game Asteroids could do with a revamp. As it turns out, they were absolutely right. So, how does one build upon the simplest of rotation-based space shooters? By tossing it inside a bunker with Elite, Shine Runner and a stick of dynamite, shutting the door and running for cover.
What comes out smouldering and hissing is the fantastic Space Miner (Space Ore Bust) HD or otherwise, depending on which iGadget you’re playing it upon. At its core, the game is the same. You fly a spaceship, spinning, thrusting and shooting up big rocks into smaller rocks and eventually dust, as per usual. The trick is that sometimes in Space Miner they release sparkly ore which you can trade for cash back at the spaceport. With the cash you can upgrade your ship in all sorts of ways and eventually visit more faraway destination with rarer minerals as you level. Read more
If you haven’t heard of the fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering, then you either died in 1995 or this really isn’t the app for you. Magic has now moved on a step, by taking the FIFA approach of future dating the year of release with Magic 2013. What’s new? Well, a few things. First, of course, it looks better. Black is the new green or brown or whatever the main background hue used to be and it’s generally a bit swisher looking than it was.
There’s also a couple of new game modes apart from just the duals. With the main campaign there’s something called Encounters which are fights - with cards, of course - against specific set AI tactics. In practice, we couldn’t really see the difference between them and normal games but we appreciate the effort. For the full experience, though, you’ll need to fork out for an iPad-sized payment of £6.99 for the Premium Content Package which is probably a necessity if you’re going to get more out of Magic 2013 than a passing fantasy fix. Read more
Infinity Blade II
The original Infinity Blade set the standard for iPad gaming graphics but it's come back bigger than before. In a lot of ways, it's actually not as good as the original. We don't like the protagonist having a voice this time, we're not particularly interested in the story and we seriously resent the developers trying to rinse us at every step of the way to buy the T-shirt, CD and even the book.
That said, it's the same excellent gaming system with even trickier bad guys to beat. There are a few amusing comedy weapons, more items to play with and collect and even a gem socketing system -something that's becoming de rigueur in sword-slashing RPGs these days. Hard to so no to really. Just a shame it ain't cheap.
ORC: Vengeance is not particularly original. It’s a dungeon crawler. You pick up swords, you pick up armour, you smash open barrels to scrape up a pittance towards upgrades - which are normally better found than bought, anyway - and you level and you level and you level. But if that’s your cup of mead - and it’s a lot of people’s cups of mead - then there’s absolutely no reason not to buy this game.
You play the part of a - yes, you guessed it - an orc. Not just any orc, of course. You happen to be sharing a prison cell, within a castle of the undead, with one of a handful of orc chieftains who were gritty enough to fight back against the evil scourge let in from another dimension by Man and his greedy and arrogant ways. With a quick change of armour here and a weapon or two there, you take on the persona of such a chieftain and head off on an adventure to banish the evil back to whence it came. Read more
As much puzzle game as RPG, 10000000 is probably more suited to iPhone than an iPad if truth be told, but it's a great game however you choose to play it and, frankly, addictive just ain't the word. You play the role of some 8-bit-looking guy trapped in the ruins of a castle with a dungeon and midi soundtrack for company. In order to escape you need to continually run the gauntlet of monsters and locked doors to plunder the caverns for all its worth.
The gameplay is where it gets both interesting and very, very tricky. Essentially, it's all about time. Any monsters you meet, any chests or doors you need to unlock, all hold you back until you've mastered them. And the way you best each obstacle is by performing a grid puzzle game which actually takes up the bottom four-fifths of the screen. The idea of the whole thing is to perform run after run to level yourself up and score as many points as you can each time. Oh, and the reason it's called 10000000 - because that's the number of points you need to score before you finally escape the castle. Read more
Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
Back in 1982, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain hit bookstores and created a huge sensation. Keeping true to the original, the heart of the application, on both iPhone and iPad formats, is an ebook. The text is identical to the original paperback, as are the pics, albeit tarted up and coloured in. However, the dice rolling is integrated (shake the device and they spin across the screen), as is character management. And the choices at the end or during the chapter, including fight or flee, are hot links.
That’s really all there is to it. If you’re not a big reader, you won’t get on very well with TWOFM, if you are, there’s plenty of entertainment therein. One criticism would be that there’s no auto-mapping function, but then it does get a bit more enjoyable once you take the time to get the pencil and paper out. It's an excellent app to rekindle the love for traditional role-playing games, and with another two books in the series already available too, Citadel of Chaos and Deathtrap Dungeon, let’s hope it continues to build. Read more
Arguably the best of the bunch is Infinity Blade on the iPad. It’s an action/RPG, but more than anything a one-on-one fighting game complete with special moves, magic attacks, combos and all weapon, skill and armour upgrades. The aim of the game is to take on and defeat the God-King who’s a bit tasty with a sword and likes to show that fact off again and again as he runs your through with it.
Each time he does for you, you come back as another member of your family bloodline to test him again until you finally conquer him. Fortunately, it takes a while and there’s plenty of entertaining gameplay out of this purchase. Best of all, the graphics on Infinity Blade are as close to perfect as we've ever seen on the iPad. They wouldn’t look amiss on a full games console - all the more reason to play this on the iPad 2 with its brand new, suped up insides. Enjoy.