In general, gaming on the iPhone is characterized for its countless casual offerings. Be it fun word games or lightning fast and challenging puzzles, most games for iPhone on the App Store require no more than just a few minutes of your time and can be picked up even after being months away from them.
However, the App Store is also home to games that are the exact opposite to these: Action RPGs, which are deep, engaging adventures that can last for entire weeks and that require all the attention and dedication of players. While you can have fun with most of these, here are two that not only are free, but also offer some of the best plots and game mechanics of any action RPG on the iPhone.
Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Perhaps the most popular action RPG on the iPhone, Zenonia was also one of the first ones to make its debut on Apple’s smartphone more than three years ago to much success. So much so that the game is on its fifth entry already, but taking a look at the first one is definitely the best way for RPG fans to get a feel for what it has to offer.
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The best thing that Zenonia has going for it is how much it resembles the famous NES and Super NES Zelda games while at the same time remaining original enough to not be called a copycat. In it, you take the role of Regret, a young hero with a lot of inner conflicts who at first (as is the case with most action RPGs) has to take on a few simple mini quests before his real adventure begins.
Additionally, contrary to what most might expect from iOS games though, Zenonia not only boasts an extremely well-written story. It also has simple controls, straightforward combat and an amazing level of depth that will keep most action RPG fans busy for entire weeks.
Considered by many action RPG fans as one of the most refreshing games to come along in the past few months for the iPhone, Wild Frontier states from the very beginning it is here to upset most of what we believe an RPG should be. For example, instead of casting a young guy as the hero, a young girl takes the lead, and no less than right after breaking up with her boyfriend.
The game’s visuals are sharp and clear, and are nicely complemented by its smooth controls. In addition to that, Wild frontier also offers some really neat game mechanics, ranging from more tactical combat that requires you to perform combos to a deep level of strategizing that requires you to think even about the best time to go out to explore and look for food (enemies are far more aggressive at night).
Underlying all that is a plundering system that will make fans of collecting go nuts. What it involves is defeating different kinds of enemies to take valuable components from them in order to be able to craft powerful items that will help you in your quest.
All in all, while both of these games are by no means the peak of action RPGs (for those, you would have to buy a dedicated gaming home or handheld console), they are great fun and offer surprisingly deep mechanics. Add to that that in-app purchases are not mandatory in any of them and you got yourself guaranteed more hours of free action RPG fun than you will be able to spare.