Role playing games (RPG) have become an integral part of the childhood and teen years of most children growing up in the present era. But, this genre of games has been around for a long time and it was also very much part of growing up process also.

But there is a big difference between the RPG games that I was relishing and playing and the ones that kids of today are engrossed in. In my day, the RPG games were mainly of non-electronic type played with dices and boards. It was only in the tail-end of my adolescent years that electronic RPG games started to make a mark in the market.

While I have enjoyed playing some of them like Super Mario, the emotional connect I had with the non-electronic games of my youth remains intact and I will like to share with you some of my favorite classic, non-electronic RPG games.

Dungeons And Dragons

This might be the most iconic RPG game in history and its cultural importance is reflected by the fact that the four male protagonists of The Big Bang Theory are also big fans of it. This game first came out in 1974 and is regarded as the first RPG of modern era and is supposed to have given a big start to the industry of modern role-playing games.

All you need to play this game is a table on top of which the basic accessories of the game have to be placed and around which the group of players would sit, polyhedral dice and a character sheet for each participant. You can add to the experience by having miniatures of characters as well as a dungeon diorama.

To conduct the game, one of the group of people involved has to become the Dungeon Master. His responsibilities include determining the storyline according to which the game would proceed, identify the results of the moves that different players make and also interpret the rules found in the rulebook. He also chooses the setting of the game, the non-player characters as well as the result of the interactions between the latter and the player characters.

Each participant is represented by a character in the game and the group of players act as a team, described in the game parlance as a “party.” Each player character has its own unique set of qualities and abilities that he can use through the game while their capabilities do increase during the course of the game.

The player characters have to interact with each other and work as a team to achieve success in their ‘adventures.’ The challenges they face mainly consist of fighting the ‘monsters.’ These characters are the villains and could be animals or supernatural creatures.

Bunnies And Burrows

This RPG was based on a novel titled Watership Down and came out in 1976. As the title provides a clue, this game features rabbits and that too, intelligent ones. In fact, this was the first game of its type that allowed players to take on characters which were non-humanoid.

The participants take on the role of rabbits and have to deal with various dangers. The game emphasizes tactics and strategies over sheer strength and fighting. It also has its own version of martial arts embedded in it with defined rules and skills.


Released in 1980, DragonQuest was another very successful RPG. What distinguished this game from others was the great flexibility given to users in determining the traits and skills of their characters.

The game has various interesting aspects that a player has to deal with. It includes the concept of magic colleges which endow players with a certain set of skills. The game also lets players learn skills along the way based on the vocation they choose. The combat system in the game also has unique features.

The Fantasy Trip

Lastly, I have to mention The Fantasy Trip as another very enjoyable game from the good old days. It had a very exciting system of character creation as well as space for interesting tactics. Various adventures which could be embarked upon in solitary play were also released over time making this game a great option both for groups and individuals.