Diablo. It’s one of the most popular, successful, and beloved gaming franchises in the world. The very first entry came out in 1996 and it and its two successors defined the huge hack-and-slash action-RPG genre that exists today. The franchise is known for its story-driven campaign, fast-paced combat, diverse class options, and deep skill trees. Diablo III is the very model of a comprehensive gear system that allows for some serious min-maxing along with ample end-game content for gamers who don’t mind the grind.
Want to look at mobile RPGS in general? This list might be of interest.
This list was originally mean’t to serve as a way to fill that Diablo hole in your life, but now it seems Diablo on iOS and Android is officially a thing. We don’t know much about it, however, and regardless it’s not even out yet (might not even be this year), so here’s what you can play in the meantime while you wait:
Developer: Kimmo Lahtinen
Platform: iOS Universal
2018 has seen the release of a couple games that have earned a place on this list and Barbearian is foremost among them. Barbearian features frenetic fights against death-defying odds, a combat style that is very reminiscent of Diablo III. You charge into and through huge hordes of enemies and send their lifeless bodies flying in every direction. These fast-paced battles are about where the similarities end. The game follows a story but is driven by its action and does not have the quest lines associated with standard RPGs. Nevertheless, it’s a heck-of-a-lot-of fun and I got over fifteen hours of entertainment out of completing all of the content. I gave it five stars in my review and recommend you check it out for a lot more on why Barbearian is great.
Battleheart 2 (Review)
Also new this year, Battleheart 2 picks up where the original Battleheart game left off seven years ago. It features real-time combat where you control up to four characters, chosen from a variety of options, in a series of battles to gain loot and experience. As you level up you unlock new skills and talents to enhance those skills. There’s also a variety of gear and four different slots in which to equip it. This creates some opportunity for Diablo-like min-maxing. Battleheart 2, unlike its predecessor, offers a co-operative mode for up to four players along with an Arena mode where you face down wave after wave of enemies to see how far you can get. This is simplified version of Diablo III‘s rift system. An unintentional game mode has also arisen: AFK (away from keyboard) Arena. Astute min-maxers have realized that Cyrus, the necromancer, raises skeletons from the dead that automatically lock onto and attack the nearest enemy without any player intervention. An optimized Cyrus can go deep into the Arena without any help from the player. If that doesn’t speak to the spirit of Diablo III, I’m not sure what does.
Crashlands is a survive/craft/explore game where you play as an intergalactic UPS driver who crashed on an alien world. You must figure out how to survive and get yourself, and your precious packages, off the planet and on your way. What does Crashlands have to do with Diablo? It’s the combat and gear. Pretty much everything you come across is looking to kill you and it is best to wheel around and shake and bake, all the while attacking with your homemade arsenal of weaponry. Even more similar is the game’s surprisingly expansive gear system. Flux, the game’s main character, rocks a primary weapon, four secondary devices (bombs, flamethrowers, freeze rays, that kind of thing), four trinkets that provide various bonuses, and four armor pieces. All of this equipment provides bonuses to damage, critical hits, move speed and more along with providing special abilities like life drain, stunning your target, and a whole lot more. She also has the power of Juicemancy at her disposal, which allows you to optimize your gear by upgrading it and rerolling stats until you get the stats you want. Crashlands is a fantastic game and merges the exploration and crafting of Minecraft with the combat and gear optimization of Diablo III.
Titan Quest (Review)
For those looking for the traditional RPG quests and storyline, Titan Quest is the most Diablo-like you can get on a tablet. It started on the PC as an attempt to replicate the success of Diablo II and was later ported to iOS and Android. Set in the ancient, pre-Roman world it also has solid loot acquisition—there are over 1200 items which can be enhanced with runes. 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. The mobile version of the game has had plenty of issues—including frame rate and saved game issues—but it is still one of the better Diablo-like titles.
Developer: Supergiant Games
Platform: iOS Universal
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 fuelled 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 perfect, and its graphics are still impressive after all these years. The action is fast-paced and chaotic very much like the Diablo games. There are various weapons from which to choose, though gear plays a smaller role in Bastion. 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 (Review)
Developer: Spellbind Studios
Platform: iOS Universal
Price: Free ($5 Gem Drops x 2 IAP recommended)
If you’re looking for dungeon-delving action and gear optimization of Diablo III without the real-time pressure, Rogue Wizards is the perfect game for you. It features a great deal of variation in gear and slots in which to equip it, a town with upgradeable shops from which to buy and sell, and even a Treasure Goblin. Rogue Wizards feature a strong storyline, but the turn-based combat is king. Once you’ve completed the quests, there’s still plenty to do in the game’s Gauntlet mode, a high-score chasing dungeon where you see just how far you can go. The game is free-to-play and the monetization is easy to ignore if so desired, though I recommend the “Gem Drops x 2” IAP which brings progression in line with the premium Steam version. I’ve already written quite a bit about the Rogue Wizards, and its monetization, and you can check out my five-star review and game guide for more.
One of the closest games to Diablo III on mobile is Eternium. 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 Blizzard’s series. That’s a high bar to clear, however, and Eternium will definitely scratch the itch on your mobile device.
What would your list of favourite Diablo-like games look like? Let us know in the comments!