KOTOR remains a sprawling epic even a decade after its debut, offering phenomenal RPG mechanics and touchscreen controls that still manage to belie the game’s awkward movement and outdated visuals. It’s engulfing, with questions of morality and character at the ready.
100 Rogues ($3)
The unforgiving 100 Rogues isn’t just a dungeon crawler. The unique player classes perfectly compliment the arcade-style action, as does the robust collection of enemies, items, and original artwork.
Beautiful, clever, and unique, Bastion is a knockout. You traverse a crumbling world as “the Kid,” leveling your character through hack-n-slash gameplay as an excellent narrator lays down the story’s foundation.
Final Fantasy IV ($16)
A tale of legendary crystals and swordplay, FFIV pioneered the active battle system and refined RPG drama. Moreover, the latest release sports overhauled visuals and audio, along with a wealth of great features.
Banner Saga ($10)
Banner Saga shatters modern conventions with its Norse-inspired art and audio, only to further back it up with challenging combat where every choice matters. The element of permanent death is rarely as enticing.
Mage Gauntlet ($3)
With Mage Gauntlet, the golden age of 16-bit gaming is never far off. The eccentric title is lined with a quick leveling system and a staggering 84 levels, all of which offer responsive controls and trove of secrets.
A Dark Room ($1)
The text-based A Dark Room is the Cormac McCarthy of iPhone games. It’s dark and troublesome, built with patience in mind, and relies on your ability to acquire simple goods. Just remember to stoke that fire.
Dark Meadow ($2)
Dark Meadow begins when you awake in a decrepit sanitarium with no clue how you got there. You spend the rest of the game traversing the surrounding area, bombastically hacking away at monsters that materialize before your eyes. Thankfully, the well-written dialogue and voice acting belies the tedious combat.
Castle of Illusion ($10)
So, this game is essentially a reboot of the Sega Genesis version from the early ’90s. The goal of the delightful, kid-friendly platformer is to save Minnie from an evil witch, and as such, the short title catapults you through a world of magic in mysteries. The boss battles are infuriating, sure, but the nostalgia is sublime.
Infinity Blade III ($7)
Infinity Blade III is a captivating end to the franchise, one that expands upon the story and skills of past installments with updated visuals to match. It’s a touch-sensitive brawler of the highest caliber, and though exploration is hindered, the complex leveling and simple nav drive it home.