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11 February, 2014

The ABCs of RPGs - Part 6 - SRPGs

In our series exploring the various sub-genres of role playing games, we’ve had a look at KRPGs, JRPGs, WRPGs, ARPGs and MMORPGs, and hopefully you’ve been enjoying the journey. Issue #1 of Grab It Magazine is available now in the App Store (and for the price it’s the best cup of coffee you’ll never have). Amongst its fifteen hours of entertainment you'll find reviews for the time travelling JRPG Across Age 2, and the triple A, top-shelf, made for iOS WRPG The Shadow Sun, from developer Ossian Studios. The Shadow Sun is a home-run with hours of deep adventuring to be had. Read on now as we continue our exploration into the role playing world, with Part 6, looking at SRPGs - Strategy role playing games.

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Fantasy Chess. If I had to describe Strategy Role Playing Games in two words, those are the two I would choose. 

Combining many of the elements found in RPGs with movement akin to that of a board game - using grid-based movement - SRPGs appeal to those wanting a more cerebral adventure. 

Improving your character's stats, buying and selling loot from in-game shops, or earning it through battles are all still there to be enjoyed in the SRPG. The adventure is still also tied together with an RPG flavoured story as well, which will unfold as you advance through the game. 

The board game element surfaces through the mechanics of the gameplay. You will take turns against the AI, moving your "pieces" along the grid, following preset rules for different classes similar to chess. Some may move faster or further in a turn, and attacks may vary in range and strength, again depending on class, such as mages or warriors. Could it be said then that chess is the original, ancient form of the SRPG?

It could also be argued that SRPGs are a direct descendant of table-top gaming. Does anyone remember that? I remember friends at school coming in with their carefully painted miniatures and trading with their lunch money. Whilst not as prevalent as it once was, there is still a vibrant table-top gaming community out there. So much so that popular PC franchise The Witcher will see a physical table top iteration later in 2014. 

A classic franchise starting its life as a table-top game is Warhammer, which was brought to iOS last year in the form of Warhammer Quest, by developer Rodeo Games, and greatly enjoyed by players and critics alike.

Possibly the most well-known of all SRPGs is Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, from Square Enix. FF Tactics alone has possibly as fervent a following as the whole Final Fantasy series put together. Combining all the elements outlined above, and carrying the classic Final Fantasy name, it is an essential stopping point on your SRPG journey.

Another example of the genre carrying a big franchise name is successful Facebook hit Game of Thrones: Ascent. It has recently been announced that it is coming to iOS in the not too distant future, so between it, Final Fantasy Tactics and Warhammer Quest, your SRPG needs should be sated for quite some time.

You can lose hundreds of hours to these games, and if that sounds good to you, then click on the links below to grab any games that sound like your flavour of poison. 

Which RPGs have you enjoyed the most on iOS? Are there any hidden gems we should know about? Any upcoming RPGs you are looking forward to that you think we should be covering?

Let us know by sharing through our social networks!

Writer:
Garry Balogh

References:
  - Across Age 2
  - The Shadow Sun
  - Warhammer Quest
  - Final Fantasy Tactics

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