PT Guides: Like... Diablo? You'll love these!13 Jul 2017 2
Diablo came out in 1996 and defined the hack-and-slash, action RPG genre. It featured real-time, fast-paced combat, a focus on gear, and lots of options to build and customize your characters capabilities. Diablo II upped the ante and is still considered by many gamers to be the pinnacle of the genre. Diablo III came along in 2012 and has been continuously updated ever since, most recently with a new necromancer class. The Diablo series has had plenty of company on the PC, most notably with the Torchlight franchise, but neither Diablo nor Torchlight has made the leap to mobile (yet). That doesn’t leave us without options, however, and what follows are some of the best Diablo-like games for your mobile device.
The closest game to Diablo III I’ve played on mobile is Eternium: Mage and Minions. You play as an adventurer—a mage, warrior, or bounty hunter—on a quest to stop Ragadam, an ancient evil, from bringing an apocalyptic plan to fruition. The adventure hops between multiple planets in the universe and you’ll face dragons, aliens and more deadly creatures. You collect companions as you go to help you face the increasingly dangerous foes in your path. Both you and your companions will gain new and varied powers as you level, which you cast by drawing symbols on the battlefield.
Gear is a huge consideration in Eternium, and there is a ton of it. As in Diablo, you can equip something on nearly every major body part and each piece of gear has several attributes that enhance your abilities. The game also features gems, which can be combined into even better gems and slotted into items for bonuses. Eternium even duplicates Diablo’s features that allow you to add sockets to equipment that doesn’t have it, collect sets of gear, and reroll an attribute for an item.
Eternium is a free-to-play game and uses gems as its primary currency. The game is well balanced, you don’t need to buy gems in order to play, but can do so to unlock certain quality-of-life options faster. I spent $5 to get an additional companion slot earlier and more character storage space, for example. You can watch optional ads for more gems and there is a setting to turn them off entirely for those who want to avoid the temptation.
The campaign is extensive and Eternium also includes a series of special “trials”, think rifts from Diablo. Gameplay is good but nowhere near as great as the Diablo series. That’s a high bar to clear, however, and Eternium will definitely scratch the itch on your mobile device.
An old but still good option, Battleheart is a great tactical RPG for those looking for party-based, real-time combat. You hire, equip, and level up a veritable army of heroes—any four of which you can bring to a combat encounter. There are a bunch of different characters and each has a power tree that unlocks as you level. Battleheart also features equipment, though not nearly as extensively as Diablo. It can still have a big effect on the performance of characters and outcome of the battle, however. Combat is fast, simple, and engaging with a lot of fun tactics in the interplay of character abilities. It can also be quite challenging. I’ve had to switch up my lineup or level up my crew to take down particular levels. Mika Mobile, the makers of the game, are currently working on Battleheart II which promising to bring a more modern take of the game to our mobile devices.
Action RPGs are frequently known less for story and ambiance than, well, the action. Bastion, the debut title from Supergiant Games, is different. Bastion’s story, set after the Calamity, a devastating event that shattered the city of Caelondia, is amazing. You play as the Kid; a survivor skilled in the ways of the new, violent world. The Kid meets a man named Rucks who directs efforts to collect the cores that once fueled Caelondia and rebuild a bit of what was lost. Rucks also serves as the game’s outstanding narrator, who gives both play-by-play and color commentary on the Kid’s every action and every mistake. Bastion’s soundtrack is pitch perfect and its graphics are still impressive after all these years. The action is fast-paced and frenetic, very much like the Diablo games. There are various weapons from which to choose, though gear has a much smaller role in Bastion than other games on this list. This is definitely the game for you if you value the action and production values of Diablo over its loot and min/maxability.
Rogue Wizards (iOS)
Are you a fan of the genre but not into real-time action? Rogue Wizards is a strong alternative to consider. It has a lot of the same elements as Diablo, especially Diablo III, including tons of gear and slots in which to equip it, a town with upgradeable shops from which to buy and sell, and even a Treasure Goblin. The big difference is that it features turn-based combat. I’ve already written quite a bit about the Rogue Wizards and you can check out my review and game guide for more.
Titan Quest is a Diablo-like on the PC that was then ported to iOS and Android, and might be the closest thing to Diablo II you can play on your tablet. Set in the ancient, pre-Roman world it too features loot acquisition—there are over 1200 items—and the use of runes to enhance your gear. There are also diverse skill trees, called masteries, from which you pick two. The masteries essentially decide your class and provide some great variation, customizability, and high replay value to the game. As a port the game has had its issues—including some frame rate problems—but it is still one of the better Diablo-like games in either mobile stores. You can check out Tof’s review for more on the good and bad of Titan Quest.