Top 10 Best Free Open Source Role-Playing Games (RPGs)

There are surprisingly many open source role-playing
games that go beyond a tech demo or game engine re-implementation! In this video, we will look at the ten most
entertaining and complete ones. You will see the gameplay, learn of the in-world
story and hear details about the development. We start with the game called Ardentryst Ardentryst is a platformer role-playing game. A genre mix that is surprising, when you first
play it. Once you get used to it, it makes perfect
sense though. You fight magical fantasy monsters in castles,
grasslands and snowscapes, with the platforming challenges growing slowly in difficulty. Over time even rewards for speedruns appear,
once you cross a certain point of the game. Skill upgrades happen automatic upon level
up, JRPG style, customization happens mostly through choice of primary weapon and item
purchases. There are two characters to pick between at
the beginning and you can modify the initial skill distribution, as well as pick the starting
weapon. There are three weapon types per character
and one of them is a truly ranged one, which makes most of the gameplay completely different
from the other choices. Astoundingly, Ardentryst has some excellent
voice acting for the intro. The plot is a save the world against the evil
wizard type, where you chose one of two prodigies to do the world-saving. The game is quite short. A dedicated new player might finish the easiest
combination in an hour or less, however you can try to aim for completionist playthroughs,
which require you to finish levels without taking any damage. That ought to add an hour or two. Thanks to the customizing options at start
of the game, there very well is motivation to be found to re-play Ardentryst. By the way, the two characters start at different
locations and levels have slight differences depending on character as well. Unfortunately there is no Full HD option for
the strictly 4 by 3 aspect ratio game but you can always pick full screen mode. Ardentryst was a solo project started in 2007
with some help by artists. It was made with pygame but is not being developed
further. Yet it is complete and worthy of giving a
try! We continue with Erebus Erebus is a simple action RPG made for touchscreen
devices, which means that it has simplistic controls, which however work very well. The graphics are very low-resolution but the
blurry 3d render graphics with fog of war very much have a pleasant nostalgic feel of
baldur’s gate dungeon exploration with simple enough gameplay mechanics for a smartphone
or quick break gaming on pc. Erebus has three quests only but allows different
character classes for the player. Being a one-man project, it still receives
updates to this day. There are five classes, three difficulty settings
and a permadeath option. The quests range from clearing out a cave
of village-plundering goblins, over retrieving a powerful dead wizard’s skill to delivering
a life-saving potion Thankfully the UI scales nicely. The only smaller issue are item interaction
screens, which stretch to all displays, if your computer has multiple. I also encountered a few crashes but thankfully
there is a good-working autosave feature. The technology behind Erebus are Qt and SFML. Erebus makes massive use of content available
on OpenGameArt and even has three music tracks that are Attribution 3.0 licensed but apparently
custom-made or at least -provided for the game. One very nice usability feature is the time
speed up button, for when you need to backtrack within a level. If only there was a tool to easily make new
levels and quests… On the other hand, there is a random dungeon
quest option, which combined with the positively simple gameplay adds a lot of replay value. Next up is Freedroid RPG FreedroidRPG is THE open source Diablo clone. It is an isometric graphics slash and hack
with skill trees and many quests and heaps of writing, masses of items as well as a hacking
system. The setting is a science fiction cartoon-style
environment in which a recent cryogenic unfrozen tux (penguin) is doing all kinds of errands
to save what is left of the world. Surprisingly, there seem to be many influences
from the first Fallout, when it comes to being able to screw up and make everybody on the
planet try to kill you or blocking yourself from entire game features by making a wrong
comment to the wrong person at the wrong time. The volume of dialog surpasses Diablo for
sure and actual item description also deepen the lore. The hacking minigame and system truly distinguishes
Freedroid, allowing you to create an army of droids that follow you around and shoot
enemy robots. This resembles mechanics found in other games
which allow conjuring friendly monsters or tame beasts. Yet as entertaining as the system is, its
use appears to be limited, as experience is not given for kills made by allies. The first act of the game was recently finished
and a preview of the second act is in the game as well. Freedroid has had a huge amount of contributors
and is probably one of the most famous open source game projects. The main technologies used are SDL and Lua. Coming up: FreeDink Dink Smallwood is a low-resolution action
adventure with dark humor, a few upgrade-able stats, and a handful of items to find. Fights take place in real time and there a
numerous strange characters for the player to meet throughout the story line. Pretty much immediately at the start of the
game, Dink loses his only parent, brutally. Some of the first missions involve feeding
animals but pressing the wrong button allows to accidentally attack them easily. The game feels like a parody of RPG tropes,
combined with pure silliness. The writing certainly is not everybody’s cup
of tea – with strange and gory humor. But if this description does not put you off,
you should absolutely give it a try. Once upon a time this was a commercial title
that eventually was open sourced and even the data is freely licensed now. Just some sounds are still missing. Besides desktop, FreeDink is playable in the
browser and the android version is available for free with no in-app purchases. The desktop version is still being maintained,
android version gets updates too. Next on the list: Valyria Tear Valyria Tear is a JRPG that takes a while
for battle to kick in. It eases into getting to know the village
(that eventually has to fall – as statistically do 66% of all RPG starting villages) and its
inhabitants. The story is yet another villager boy turned
chosen one but the writing is nice and characters’ development is interesting. Based on the Hero of Allacrost game engine,
Valyria Tear managed to reach much higher levels of completion. Many, many hours of gameplay can be found
here. The game can require much grinding and backtracking
at times and could be considered quite a hard challenge to survive. Saving is limited to certain locations, which
can lead to some frustration. Enemies home in on you in levels to trigger
battles that are somewhat Final Fantasy-like. The lion share of commits comes from the lead
developer, even though there are many contributors in total. Development is still ongoing – however at
a snail’s pace. The most important goal on the roadmap is
balancing. The soundtrack is very nice and suits the
game well. Game number 6 is Fall of Imiryn Another japanese role-playing game, Fall of
Imiryn is another one-man project. True pixel art isometric graphics give it
a genuine retro feel. The plot is delivered very effectively in
concise dialogue and the story is refreshingly different from the boy-saves-world standard. Most notably is the lack of stress generated
by the apparently low amount of grinding needed and the fair placement of restoration slash
savepoints. This also means that the game can be over
quite soon. Only a few items allow customization of stats,
while level up rewards happen automatically. Each of the three character has easy to discover
most efficient tactics for battle, but there are options to change the playstyle a little. There seems to be little replay value, except
perhaps for challenging yourself by limiting your use of certain skills. Fall of Imiryn is simple, short, complete,
well-written and – thanks to using pygame – relatively easy to get running. Number 7: Hale Hale is a single developer RPG project with
a complex skill tree that gives the feel of nearly playing a pen and paper type of RPG
but with kind mechanics – for example fast healing, quicksaving and automatic party member
movement – which make it playable in a near-casual way! The game takes place on a hex grid and the
action is quite fast. I highly recommend the “concealing fog” spell
for your mage in the party. There is one campaign with many battles and
interesting magic spells and skills. The tech used Java and LWJGL, a lot of resources
from Wesnoth and OpenGameArt are used. There were no updates in years, yet it is
available and playable, all you need is Java. Number 8: IVAN Bananas, people’s artificial nuts, explosive
mines. These are just three of the ingredients in
the… fascinating game called IVAN or Iter Vehemens ad Necem for short. IVAN is a roguelike, which usually has no
place on a list of modern role-playing games. Yet its consistent focus on a unique linear
storyline and especially its humor should make it interesting to players who prefer
modern RPGs as well. The main hurdle to overcome is getting used
to the many, many shortcut keys. There is one for making an offering to a god. There is one for vomiting. There is one for sitting down. But once you know the most important ones,
the game will be a blast. Because there are mines full of mines that
will blast your head off. Or your left arm, right arm, left leg, right
leg, torso, groin or puppy. Of course 99% of the time you will die, maybe
you will never win. But what a journey to that list of crazy deaths
it is. If you have played roguelikes before and disliked
them, IVAN is the game you should try, to see how different they can be! Protip: should your left arm fall off, pick
it up and wield it in your right hand. Next game: Summoning Wars Summoning Wars – also called Sumwars for short
– throws you right into the action. You play a character of one of many Diablo-style
classes that appears to be treated as a kind of anti-chosen one and find yourself in a
world full of goblins, zombies and soldiers. Also you are immortal and the first enemy
you meet annihilates you in the blink of an eye. There might have been some inspiration from
Planscape: Torment. The plot throws you into a dungeon that is
being attacked by a fire type monster, people call you “cursed one” and you are revealed
to be immortal, thus the ability to respawn. You meet the master of this dungeon, who tasks
you to travel to a village, the path to which is riddled with monsters. As you arrive in that village, you witness
an army leaving, leaving you to do chores around town. The dialogues leave you confused, which is
a normal feeling when starting to play a game that is part of some kind of epic saga, which
Sumwars appears to achieve, so good job on that. Sumwars was developed as a team project and
features a multiplayer game mode up to 8 players. It has not seen any updates for years but
at least it is easy to find a working Windows binary. It uses the OGRE engine as the main technology,
which is still under development. Number 10: FLARE FLARE is perhaps the most modern 2D open source
RPG as of today. With extremely close ties to the OpenGameArt
website community, its lead developer produced a lot of art that ended up being used in other
games as well . FLARE actually is a game engine and games
can be developed as mods. The official game mod is called Empyrean Campaign. The art is very consistent and gameplay feels
balanced. An official android version exists as well. It requires some manual file moving to get
running but the controls work well. This actually was ten games but I have a little
bonus for you: DNT Formerly called DccNiTghtmare, DNT is vastly
unknown, due to it being developed as a solo project and being a challenge to compile at
times. DNT is clearly inspired by Fallout, combined
with a large serving of nerd humor, playing in a post-apocalyptic landscape with turn-based
combat and crazy characters and very colorful writing. The combat is rather simple. Movement takes place within a certain range,
one attack per round. There are strong melee weapons and ammo-wasting
pistols. Dialogue has many options, intimidation and
bluffing being important skills. Admittedly, DNT is nowhere near completion
– and will probably never be – as it apparently started as an in-joke between university students. Yet the detail put into the content that exists
– the writing and complex skill system – provides a vertical slice worthy of exploring. Just as compiling DNT is a challenge, so is
finding a working windows binary these days. Leave a comment with your favorite game from
this list and if you think there are games missing, write a comment again. If you found out about a game you did not
know yet, press the thumbs up button, so we know these kind of videos are useful at all! Don’t forget to share your opinion in a comment!

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