July 3, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome
To say that using RPG Maker (well, RPG Maker VX Ace to be precise) is fun would be a gross understatement. It's an elating and most addictive experience that makes forgetting the fact you are actually creating a game so incredibly easy. I've wasted, you see, the better part of two days designing worlds within worlds with dungeons within dungeons and even a world within a dungeon. But, well, I digress.
What you really need to know is that RPG Maker is a fantastic tool for creating JRPG adventures reminiscent of the 16-bit era. It's easy and intuitive to use (you can start designing maps without even going through the first tutorial), seems powerful enough to handle anything a top-down RPG might require, sports a very straightforward scripting language and comes with a ton of content such as tiles, UI elements and monsters to let you immediately start designing your game.
Mind you, I did use the latest RPG Maker version, but I'm pretty sure that the tool's central ideas are to be found in all of its iterations.
All versions of RPG Maker are sold for prices from $29.99 to $89.99 and come with a 30 day trial, which should be more than enough time to actually create your first, small-ish RPG. RPG Maker will only run under Windows.