Knights of Pen and Paper: Is it any good?

This is a turn-based RPG at a fairly basic level and requires players to duke it out in random battles, take part in linear quests with a set objective and listen to lots of reference-fuelled, tongue-in-cheek dialogue.

If that’s not for you, then this game probably won’t be either.

That said, there’s plenty of surprise fun to be had here.  Those born in the 80’s especially, will appreciate many of the hilarious digs at classic entertainment.

The game sets you off creating a small party of two, but gradually this can evolve into a party of five. There are a variety of character classes available, such as Clerics, Druids, Paladins and Warriors, each with varying levels of attack. As players defeat monsters, they earn experience and can develop those abilities, as well as their overall competency in battle.

The game can be played by clicking with one form of attack, but there are a variety of ways a player can take on an enemy. For instance, a Paladin can use a Heavenly strike which targets one enemy and uses a specific form of damage that an enemy may be more vulnerable to, or the Paladin can use a Flash Heal which uses up his turn to get back some health.

If a player dies, they can be brought back into the game by clicking on their chair, but it will eventually start costing more and more to revive them, so it’s in the player’s best interests to be smart about their tactics.

Players move between screens using a fairly large map and each area will have different quests for the player to perform. Some quests actually require the player to visit several different areas. Of course, this is dependant on quest choice and various different types are on offer, whether a player has to ‘kill x amount of enemies’ ‘find this item’ ‘escort an important NPC’ and more.

When a star is seen next to a quest that means its relevant to the story and is the next mission that needs to be completed in order to progress the campaign. Any other quest is a standard affair that can just be completed for gold and XP. As Game Master, quests can be changed and adapted as seen fit. When fighting monsters, players can fight one, or they can fight an army of 7. Collect several items or just one. It’s up to you how you play, but obviously the more that’s done in a mission, the more bonus experience and gold is given.

Players can also access a shop from the top left of the screen. This will take them to a ‘Home Dungeon’ which can be decorated and customised to their tastes. This is a pretty neat feature that shows how much the game can be made your own.

Disappointingly, the micro-transaction model has been retained from the mobile version. Having already paid a fair fee (larger than that of the original title, despite the deluxe content), this feels unwarranted. That said, it’s entirely optional and players can earn enough playing the game through normally without having to spend any extra cash.

Graphically, the game is well suited to it’s 80’s pen and paper, dungeon crawler origins, so its 16-bit nature is far from an issue, nor is its midi-styled soundtrack. The game does suffer just slightly from the monotony of mission-design, but all in all? This is an entertaining distraction from every other major release out there.

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