Guardian Saga by 9th Bit Games icon

Guardian Saga ($1.99) by 9th Bit Games is a retro, turn-based role playing game (RPG) for the iPhone. Play the hero in this 2D adventure to find and save the Guardians and restore peace to all of the land.

Guardian Saga by 9th Bit Games screenshot

Do you remember Secret of Mana, Dragon Quest, and the old Zelda games for Nintendo and Super Nintendo? Well this is fully reminiscent of these games with the 8-bit graphics, music, and sound effects. And let me tell you, the graphics and music are great and absolutely make this game.

My biggest problem was not being able to skip quickly through the introduction text. It’s fine and dandy to get the story the first time around — in fact, for games like this, it’s a must in my mind — but if you create a new game or new character, you have to sit through it all over again.

Speaking of being incredibly impatient, let’s move on to the combat system. It may take a while to fight your enemies, but this is true to turn-based RPG form. You can adjust the combat speed (along with music and sound volume) in the options menu. Setting the combat speed on the highest most setting makes it much quicker, but you still go through a bit of back and forth. If you don’t have the patience for turn-based games, this is not for you.

You will run into many enemies while out in the game world, but there are also friendly non-player characters (NPCs). These characters are typical and generic: bar wenches, old men, barkeeps, and bards. You can chat with everyone, and barter with those who own businesses for goods and wares (e.g. torches, potions, weaponry).

To save your game, talk to a bartender — because, you know, alcohol saves lives. However, if you are playing on the go, as most of us iPhone gamers are, there is a “quick save” option in your settings.

If you feel weary or were just owned by multiple enemy mobs, you can rest at an inn to restore all of your health and mana points. This costs 10 gold.

Guardian Saga by 9th Bit Games screenshot

Overall, this game is fun and really brings me back to, what I consider to be, the better days of console gaming. If you enjoy the retro turn-based RPGs of yore, you’ll love Guardian Saga. It’s currently in the App Store for only $1.99 which, in my opinion, is a great price for this adventure game.