01
Apr
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Some of the more cynical game reviewers out there (looking at you, Croshaw) have described the standard RPG as a game where you ultimately push buttons to make the numbers go higher. As dismissive as that position is, we've found a game where it's literally true. Widget RPG is a full role-playing game, complete with non-player characters, equipment inventory, and a battle system. But the only way of interacting with the world around your character is by tapping on a homescreen widget like a maniac.

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Yeah, that's about it. Install the app, place the widget on your homescreen, then tap the Hell out of that button like it's F5 on Nexus release day. Your character will travel, fight (and sometimes lose), gain experience, and collect items in response to your taps. There's a certain lack of autonomy in Widget RPG's predestined actions, but at the core it technically has, um, progression. There's advancement... of a sort. You tap a button and stuff happens.

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When you open the app directly you get a bit more control. Your character picks up weapons and armor automatically, which you can choose to equip, unequip, or drop. You start off with a rake and an outfit from Old Navy, slowly working your way up to the pixelated equivalent of Daedric Armor and the Dawnbreaker sword. But the real meat of the game, if you can call it that, is in the statistics screen. Here you'll see a log of recent events and a super-simple narrative presented in a Facebook pastiche.

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Is Widget RPG really a game? Certainly. Is it one you want to play? Well, I can think of a few obsessive compulsive types who could get some real enjoyment out of it. Widget RPG is a free download, and it includes advertising but no in-app purchases. It is not an April Fool's joke, at least as far as I can tell.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Alex Hollins

    The reviewer is apparently unfamiliar with the rather popular idle and click genre of games, such as Idle RPG?

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      I suppose I am. I like games with gameplay in them.

      • mustbepbs

        Stay away from the indie scene, my friend. There are a lot of "games" with no gameplay.

    • Brian Desvignes

      what else

    • onreyguy

      Or the best one, progress quest. You make a character and just leave it running. Check back occassionally for some lol's.

      My Battle Finch, Tickle-Mimic is doing very well :P

  • Diolo

    They are called zpg (zero player game) you should try "godville", is very fun, theat game stealed lots of hours of my life :).

    • Brendan

      Man I played that game until my guy was like level 30 then I stopped caring. I wonder where he is now...

      • rahziel

        Lv 137 and counting.... WHERE IS THAT TIN FOIL HAT DAMMIT?!?!

  • Kean

    I thought at first it's an April's joke RPG..

  • realitysconcierge

    I think, this would actually be really well suited as a pedometer game.

    • Leonardo Farage Freitas

      It's a great idea!

  • Martin

    Not only the game concept is crazy but also the in-game content: NPCs, items, locations, famebook posts. You have not played any game like this... :)

  • OmniWrench

    "...then tap the Hell out of that button like it's F5 on Nexus release day"

    *me wipes tea off my monitor*

    Well played Mr Crider. Well played.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

    Am I the only one noticing how the app icon looks quite a lot like Flappy Bird's?
    I mean the background circle. Is it an app template or something?

    • Gabriel Hellsing

      Nah, it's part of the Android Icon Generator. You pick a picture, and can add a square, or a circle around it automagically. :3

    • Gabriel Hellsing

      Nah, it's part of the Android Icon Generator. You pick a picture, and can add a square, or a circle around it automagically. :3

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

        Woah, I never knew such software existed.
        I better use it too then, when I make my first Android application :D (which won't be happening before the end of this summer actually, since I'm only taught Java next year with my studies).

        • Gabriel Hellsing

          It's part of the standard ADT, as well as Android Studio. Hope you get inspired to make some great stuff!

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

            Oh, I have tons of ideas. But ideas only, so far.
            I'm that kind of guy who has great ideas but doesn't know how to make it practical :)

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

            Oh, I have tons of ideas. But ideas only, so far.
            I'm that kind of guy who has great ideas but doesn't know how to make it practical :)

  • Alex M

    I'm aware I'm probably being a prize moron here, but how do you actually access the facebook/gmaps/etc pages?

    /mug

  • Alex M

    I'm aware I'm probably being a prize moron here, but how do you actually access the facebook/gmaps/etc pages?

    /mug

  • Scrolling & Judging

    Is it possible to unlock the entire map? I can only visit certain parts of it.

    • Horcza

      You need certain items for certain parts of the map. Booze for bizarria, energy drink for the island, tin foil hat for district 99 and zombie survival guide for zombieland. These items can be randomly looted by the player. Be careful, though, because you might lose them on your way to your destination (unless you equip them).

    • Horcza

      You need certain items for certain parts of the map. Booze for bizarria, energy drink for the island, tin foil hat for district 99 and zombie survival guide for zombieland. These items can be randomly looted by the player. Be careful, though, because you might lose them on your way to your destination (unless you equip them).

      • http://AnimeChiby.com/ Rehayel

        You can hold and put them in the memory spaces that are down so you wont lose them.