Turn-Based Battle System

The gist: build a combat system for a turn-based RPG.

My favorite game series is Dragon Quest. I absolutely love it. The art, the chilled out gameplay of exploring and fighting monsters, the music. I also go back to wanting to make a game just as fun as the Dragon Quest series.

Building a turn-based combat system like those found in classic JRPGs like Final Fantasy, Pokémon, and Dragon Quest is a great way to build a focused system of a game that can be expanded upon incrementally.

Once you've got combat working, you can add a map field to explore and enter combat. You're pretty close to a playable game at that point!

I think of this game idea as... what if you had an RPG where you just fought the final boss right at the beginning? It'd be a fun exercise in learning.


Game screenshot showing a menu with the options of Attack, Defend, and Flee, with a character's avatar named Kino with 13/16 health, fighting against a smiling blue slime monster with a hilly background


  • Player chooses to attack or defend
  • Player action plays out
  • Enemy randomly chooses to attack or defend
  • Enemy action plays out
  • Keep track of player and enemy health
  • Whoever reaches 0 health first loses


Here are assets from the screenshot above that you can use if you don't find or make your own:


rolling hills background

Player character avatar:

avatar of person

Enemy sprite with simple animation:

two frames of slime animation

Cursor for use in menu (tough to see on white backgrounds):

cursor with two frames of animation


  • Turn-based battle system
  • Basic enemy AI
  • Menus

Extra Credit

  • Add items
  • Add spells
  • Add multiple characters in the player's party
  • Add multiple enemies
  • Make the combat more challenging but not impossible
  • String together a series of battles


📺 Battle gameplay in Dragon Quest XI

  • Games to play with turn-based battle systems:
    • Pokémon
    • Final Fantasy
    • Dragon Quest