Best iOS RPGs?
February 26, 2012 10:38 AM   Subscribe

Great non-action RPGs for iOS?

No interest in twitch games; mainly looking for RPGs with skill trees, open (or semi-open) worlds; I love Baldur's Gate, original 1980s Bard's Tale, and on the iOS 100 Rogues and Call of Cthulhu: Wasted Lands.

Absolutely NO apps that are focused on fakey low initial prices and then in-app purchases. I'd much rather pay up front for a real game than a low price/free for a hobbled one.

Since I'm on an iPad, HD is better than iPod graphics, but gameplay takes priority.

I like games where I can play, save and return rather than worry about save points.
posted by Shepherd to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you want to get your jRPG on, these are available from Square-Enix:
Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy II
Final Fantasy III
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
Crystal Defenders
Crystal Defenders: Vanguard Storm

You listed a lot of old school western RPGs so I do know that there's a Wizardry game out there.

And Bard's Tale has been ported as well: kotaku article

I linked you to articles because I haven't actually played these on iOS. Sorry.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:01 AM on February 26, 2012

Best answer: Chrono Trigger is available on iOS, and is absolutely worth playing if you haven't already. Classic gameplay and story, and it's pretty open-ended for a JRPG.

Also, if you like Baldur's Gate and you have a jailbroken iPad you might like to check out GemRB, which will let you import and play old Infinity Engine games. Admittedly I haven't personally used it on the iPad, so I can't comment on how good the user experience is.
posted by fearthehat at 11:27 AM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Avadon - the Black Fortress.

Also, King of Dragon Pass - it's not strictly an RPG but is monstrously good and comes in an iPad version.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:26 PM on February 26, 2012

King of Dragon Pass isn't out for iPad yet, but should be soon.
posted by backwards guitar at 1:36 PM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

FYI, GemRB only works if you have a jailbroken iOS device.
posted by ellF at 4:22 PM on February 26, 2012

Best answer: There are several ports of Nethack but most are terrible. I recently found this iPad specific one though and it's pretty nifty. I wish it supported BlueTooth keyboard input but it's still pretty good.
posted by chairface at 9:00 PM on February 26, 2012

And Bard's Tale has been ported as well:

Bard's Tale released in 2004 had little, if nothing, to do with Bard's Tale from the 1980s. There is a Windows/Linux implementation called Devil Whiskey and there is a poll in the forums in favour of getting it open sourced unfortunately no contribution from the game author in that topic that I've found. If it does get open sourced then it's possible it will get ported to iOS.
posted by robertc at 6:50 AM on February 27, 2012

Meant to add to the end of my answer: There was an iOS Amiga Emulator touted about 18 months ago, I can find no evidence it ever got released and made it into the App Store. No help to you I know, but there is an Android Amiga emulator available. Possibly there's a Nintendo emulator for iOS?

If you can find an emulator for a system which used to run these games then that might be the best solutionm but my understanding is these sort of things are incompatible with the App Store policies.
posted by robertc at 7:00 AM on February 27, 2012

Best answer: If you like 100 Rogues you might enjoy Sword of Fargoal. I have this on my iPhone and it's pretty fun.

Also, this may be a little out of left field, the 2004 update of Sid Meier's Pirates! was ported to's the full PC game and has an open world, very light skill trees (disguised as ship upgrades and combat modifiers). There are some annoying quick-time events but if you enjoy sailing the open waters and pillaging merchant cogs...well it's about the only game in town right now. I also have this and have sunk many hours into it.

Chrono Trigger is also a good game but the price is a bit steep for something that came out in 1997 on the SNES console. It does have like 13 different endings or something like that, so there's a lot of choice (a bit of a rarity in JRPGs), but you have zero influence on your skill trees as I recall.

Like you, I'm still looking for an awesome game like Fallout 2 or Baldur's Gate or Planescape: Torment to make it to the iPad. Anything in the vein of those games would make me immensely happy.
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:21 AM on February 27, 2012

Response by poster: Quick follow-ups:

I have Sword of Fargoal! Used to love it on my c64. On the iPad, not so much. I'm not sure why. It just feels muddy and not-fun. YMMV, obviously.

Downloaded and am playing Avadon, which seems to be the closest thing to scratching that Baldur's Gate/Planescape itch. Fun, and deep.

King of Dragon Pass looks awesome and I'm looking forward to getting it.

And -- surprise! -- it now looks like the original Bard's Tale games might be getting released as a free add-on to the port of the 2004 Bard's Tale game. I really, really didn't like the "new" BT, but if they re-release the original BTs, I'll happily reinstall it just to play those.

I'm surprised there aren't more RPG ports to iOS. I'd happily pay $2 or $3 just to play Wasteland again, for Pete's sake.
posted by Shepherd at 6:01 AM on February 28, 2012

I note with interest that the likely hardware specs for the iPad 3 will probably be up to running Neverwinter Nights 1. Although there's some question as to whether Bioware-as-is would want to resurrect such ancient code.
posted by cstross at 8:54 AM on February 29, 2012

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