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05 January, 2014

The ABCs of iPad RPGs - KRPGs

The RPG, or role-playing game, is one of gaming’s foundation genres. A broad category of playing experience, it approaches other genres with open arms, welcoming them in and sharing its addictive gameplay loops liberally. Most modern game experiences pay respect to the mechanics of the RPG in some capacity, while the entire gamification movement has seen life imitate art, bringing RPG staples to the real-world. Some might say this diffusion of the RPG across the industry has diluted its roots, but traditional RPGs still exist with all their flavour and fun intact. 

Ahead of our full review of The Shadow Sun, which will appear in Issue 1 of Grab It Magazine (on sale January 24), we thought it timely to examine and define the most notable families within the RPG genus. The App Store is thriving with quality RPGs and The Shadow Sun is already available for purchase, so you can jump straight in by grabbing it here.

** Spoiler Alert ** It’s fantastic!

As with many things that humans attempt to categorise, definitions are not black and white, with lines that blur and grey frequently as elements of one type bleed into another. So keeping this in mind, let’s start out by looking today at KRPGs. 

KRPGs are Korean RPGs, and are typified mainly by grinding and fetch-quests. Grinding is mostly defined as repetitive fighting in order to increase your character’s stats and loot. Often in KRPGs areas will be locked off until your character reaches a certain level, and so quests must be completed and monsters fought in your level-appropriate area, eventually earning your permission to move on, continuing the story.

A fetch-quest, on the other hand, involves collecting a certain amount of a particular item and returning it to the quest giver, therefore completing a set task and helping you level-up. For example, the town baker might require ten "magic grains" to be able to make a magic loaf of bread to heal his sick son. Collecting them may require finding and defeating ten monsters that drop these grains. 

KRPGs seem to suit the obsessive-compulsives amongst us. Whilst the description of grinding and fetch-quests may sound dull to some, to others it can be a strangely satisfying pursuit, offering a constant sense of progression and worth to your activities.

The App Store has some great KRPGs on offer. Gamevil’s Zenonia series is a great place to start for those keen to explore the genre, and you can enjoy this rapidly expanding series from the very beginning by grabbing them here:

Zenonia2: The Lost Memories
Zenonia3: The Midgard Story
Zenonia4: Return of the Legend
Zenonia5: Wheel of Destiny

In Part 2 we move to the land of the rising sun, while in Part 3 we look at The West, in Part 4 we look online and in Part 5, it's all about action.

Garry Balogh

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