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2007 RPG of the Year

2007 Role Playing Game of the YearRole-playing games seem to be the most commonly undertaken independent games project. However, for being so commonly started, in the past they have rarely been completed.

This year, however, we saw many RPG games at Game Tunnel and were impressed with most all of them. It was a hard category to pick a winner from, but an easy category for everyone to enjoy.

5th Place - Loonyland II: Winter Woods

Developer: Hamumu Software

Players: 1

System Requirements: Windows 35+, 300 mhz Processor, DirectX 3+

The amulet! Though it may not be the Poisoned Axe of Shatter, it is nevertheless the item I have been seeking. My enemies cry the death howl in my wake as I walk buy. I now have the ultimate power in my hands. From my amulet electric shocks stream out, destroying lowly creatures with a single zap.

If you mix the mass audience appeal of Mario with Diablo and added a pinch of dumb humor, you might end up with something like Loonyland 2. The game is friendly and fun, almost enough to lull you into thinking that it will be simple and easy, but in fact it is not. The game's deep leveling system allows players to greatly customize their character's skill set, and the wide-open world sets you up to randomly wander around Loonyland opening up new quests and discovering even more silliness (like the quest entitled "Unchain Melody"). It's good action-oriented RPG fun that is as deep as any RPG, but a lot less stuffy.

4th Place - Nethergate: Resurrection

Developer: Spiderweb Software

Players: 1

System Requirements: Windows 2000+ or Mac 10.3.9+, 64 mb RAM

Though I've been through intense and rigorous training, nothing has prepared me for the sight I've just seen. In searching through an old mine, my group has come face to face with something out of the hideous shadow. Half-man-half-monster creatures have attacked us. Twisted and acting by some magic power, they killed one in our party before we could move on. Trained in a Roman military academy to become a Centurion, my background has made me among the most feared fighting force in the world, but today, it is I who fear.

Nethergate: Resurrection is the rebirth of Jeff Vogel's Nethergate, updated with new quests, items and visuals, the game has been redesigned from the ground up. Unlike Spiderweb's other great RPGs, Nethergate focuses on a historical setting. Players take on the role of either the Celts fighting for their freedom, or the Romans, who are struggling to maintain their oppressive dominion. Each of the two separate storylines is fantastic and gripping, and Nethergate's dungeon exploration has few equals, with thousands of items scattered about in chests and pots just waiting to be discovered. Excellent and enjoyable, Nethergate's unique setting for role-playing makes it a memorable journey worth taking.

3rd Place - Aveyond 2: Ean's Quest

Developer: Amaranth Games

Players: 1

System Requirements: Windows 98+, 256 mb RAM, 600 mhz
Website Download

Two Wyvern are blocking my path. My small party has fought its way past two of the creatures while descending this treacherous slope, but we have been left weak and weary. Though we are well armed, it seems that only magic power will hurt the beasts. I fear that two Wyvern attacking us at once is more than we will be able to bear. However, there is no other path. Lashing out with raw magic power we discover that both beasts are harmed when the spell is cast. A fortunate turn of events that will keep us alive. For now.

Aveyond 2 continues in the spirit of Aveyond, with an engrossing storyline and rich music that brings the world to vivid life. Playing as a young elf you set out to find the missing Iya. Unlike most RPGs, instead of the typical tale where your amnesia-afflicted character sets out on a journey of discovery, Aveyond 2 reverses the roles. Everyone, including her parents, have forgotten Iya exists. Tracking her down is just the first step in a grand adventure that is tremendously enjoyable and very easy to pick up and play for hours at a time. Aveyond 2 sticks close to the standard RPG approach in game play, and wraps a storied world of magic and mystery around it, creating a brilliant tapestry of life that hard to put down.

2nd Place - Mr. Robot

Developer: Moonpod

Players: 1

System Requirements: Windows 98+, 600 mhz, DirectX 7+, 128 mb RAM
Website Download

HEL-9000 has been acting a little strange. First there were those weird job requests and then the shutting down of vital programs and robots. Finally came the death of a crew member while in stasis. Though there are many questions as to what is happening, one question has been answered, HEL-9000, the master computer running the ship, has become our enemy. Teaming up with other Robots who have been disconnected from the mainframe, we're setting out to save what is left of the colonists. Time is ticking and HEL has been alerted of our efforts. Our only hope is to fight our way through and break down the defense that HEL is creating.

Mr. Robot is a strange mix of a pseudo sokoban played isometricly and a super-cool RPG that feels futuristic and retro all at the same time. It's all glued together with an immediately engaging storyline, cool upgrades, unique items and innovative weapons that make the typical RPG "grind" of combat and leveling feel anything but repetitive. The space theme is complemented by lots of sci-fi geek references that will surprise you and bring a smile to your face. The game has been called one of the best Indie games ever, and it's a title well-suited to Mr. Robot.

2007 Role-Playing Game of the Year - Depths of Peril

Developer: Soldak Entertainment, Inc.

Players: 1

System Requirements: Windows 98+, 128MB RAM, 1.2GHZ CPU
Website Download

2007 RPG of the YearDepths of Peril is a hard game to describe. The first sensation that you are playing something amazing and different comes when instead of destroying the computer you find yourself competing against it. As you try to recruit players to your faction ("covenant") you quickly find that the computer AI is leading the other covenants, trying to complete the same quests and recruit the same people before you do. Racing, you must out-compete the computer to survive. However, you must also work to improve relations with the other factions to trade for weaponry and find the allies you will need to fight off some of the threats to the city of Jorvik that you all call home.

Speaking of threats, the second sensation of how amazing the game comes as you realize the dynamic world around you. Delay to take out an enemy threat and that threat will grow, with some enemies of the group becoming leaders who will recruit their own henchmen and grow further in power. Small uprisings can become huge threats requiring covenants to work cooperatively to take down the bosses and sub-bosses that were created by your delay.

Each moment of the game you must strategize what you will do next, ensuring the safety of your city, racing to get the best recruits, and carefully working the intricate web of relations with other covenants, thus avoiding inter-covenant wars that can lead to disastrous results as you must take your eye off of the rising threats outside the city and fight for survival. If that doesn't get you excited to play the game, downloading it and playing it for a couple of hours will. Depths of Peril is a spectacular game that is as engrossing as any title you'll play anywhere this year.

Role-Playing Game of the Year Award History

2007 - Depths of Peril
2006 - FastCrawl
2005 - Cute Knight (Kishi Kawaii)
2004 - Anito: Defend a Land Enraged
2003 - Geneforge 2

By: Russell Carroll
Posted: Wednesday December 26, 2007
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