As interesting (and surprisingly tough) as it was to put together a list of RPGs that have nothing to do with fantasy stuff, that’s no reason to ignore more “typical” examples of the genre. So now we’re back to fantasy RPGs in all their kobold-bashing, dragon-taming, evil-conquering, zombie-slaughtering glory. I’ll admit that none of the games on this list is a real “traditional” role playing game, but they’re all still RPGs (of a sort) and all chock full of fantasy goodness.
Dragon Island Blue
If you’re ever in the mood to hunt down and capture dangerous monsters, delve through perilous dungeons, and create the ultimate team of badass creatures then Dragon Island is the place to be. Most if not all of the enemies (and by extension potential allies) are fairly typical fantasy archetypes, but they each manage to look so much cooler than the typical examples and feature a pretty diverse range of abilities. Constructing a well-balanced team with complementary skills is a must for higher level encounters.
An action RPG crossed with Snake. Who would've thought such a combination would work so well? Nimble Quest might feature plenty of typical fantasy baddies (i.e. bats, skeletons, evil wizards, etc), but its emphasis on a conga line procession of heroes with their own unique abilities really sets it apart. It's also one of the few action RPGs where I've found the super-frail magic wielders to be easier to use than the melee fighters.
Roguelikes are something of an acquired taste, but those who can learn to accept their brutal difficulty and typically steep learning curves will be able to enjoy virtually limitless hours of dungeon exploration and desperate fights for survival. So why Brogue and not any of the other fantastic examples of the genre that are also on the App Store? Well first off it manages to make use of its ASCII visuals to create some truly impressive-looking environments. Secondly it’s high fantasy to the core; filled with kobolds, goblins, wands, spell scrolls, and more.
Slayin might be the least traditional RPG on the list but it’s possibly the most fun by virtue of its addictive arcade style gameplay. All the expected baddies make an appearance here - slimes, bats, dragons, minotaurs, etc - and all are ready to fall before your sword in the name of the almighty High Score. Character levels are constantly climbing, and enemies are always getting more numerous and aggressive, equating to one crazy bite-sized action RPG.