Aside from a single adventure game release in 1982 by Sierra, the unique world setting of Jim Henson’s film ‘The Dark Crystal’ has been curiously unexplored in video game form. Though it’s always been a cult classic, a recent resurgence in interest led by a series of young adult novels and comics cumulated in Netflix commissioning a prequel series subtitled ‘Age of Resistance’ that also came with its own Tactics RPG tie-in.
At one time the name Langrisser was a serious competitor with Fire Emblem and Shining Force in Japan. Five solid entries spanning from the Mega Drive (where it was renamed as ‘Warsong’ for western release) to the Sega Saturn era abruptly ended for the series to go dormant only to make an unexpected appearance on mobile devices in 2019.
Galaxy of Pen and Paper sees a return to the series by its original development team, Paradox North after briefly handing over the reins of the franchise to Paradox Interactive (who recently made the original free to play) while they made their Power Rangers tribute Tactical RPG ‘Chroma Squad’. You’ll learn that the developers liked Chroma Squad quite a lot throughout Galaxy of Pen and Paper, largely because the characters in the game keep talking about it.
If there was ever a poster-child for the table top wargaming experience on mobile devices it would be the original Demon’s Rise, a game that saw a slew of post-release content that quickly fleshed it out into one of the more satisfying and varied tactical experiences of its generation. Now, Wave Light Games Inc. are seeking to better it with a sequel.
As if sensing the gap in the mobile market left by the tragic loss of ‘Avengers Alliance’ and its sequel, DC Legends springs onto the scene offering bite-sized super-heroics set within an alternate take on the DC Universe.
Warlords is in many ways a good example of how far mobile games have come. A hex-based Strategy game with RPG elements that would once have been small a sprite-based 2D title that in the modern market is a huge, sprawling 3D feast for the eyes.
It’s hard to put ‘The First Tactics’ into perspective, one the one hand it offers some fun tactical combat across a number of different scenarios, but on the other it may be the worst case of ‘Engrish’ I’ve ever encountered.
Essentially a remastering of the unreleased ‘Shining Force: Gaiden’ and the Game Gear exclusive ‘Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya’, Shining Force CD manages to bring two relatively light experiences together into a more meaty package.
The sole product of development studio 4Hands Games, Swords of Anima entered the crowded arena of mobile Tactical RPGs with a unique look and gameplay inspired by a mixture of different titles including ‘Fire Emblem’. Darker and more mature in tone than ‘Shining Force’ but less adult in nature than ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’, it is very much its own beast.
Knights of Pen and Paper is a hard game to tag a genre onto, it’s turn based but the real drive of the game is the opportunity to tailor the campaign to suit your own play style, deciding the difficulty of any event. Because of this we’re going to go along the Steam and call it a ‘Strategy’ RPG (which shouldn’t be confused with a Tactical RPG) since your strategy decides how you experience the game.