Knights of Pen and Paper 2 - An hour of fun!

QUICK GLANCE:

  • Platform: PC, iOS, Google Play, Amazon
  • Players – 1
  • Achievements – Yes
  • Steam Trading Cards - Yes
  • Controller Support - Yes
  • Retail Price - $7.99 ($2.99 on Amazon)

High Level Premise – Classic style RPG

Graphics/Style – A slightly prettier take on nostalgic old school RPGs

Music/Soundtrack – Delightful 8-bit adventure goodness. It's somewhere between Golden Axe and Final Fantasy 2.

Story – Lead the Knights of Pen and Paper on a journey through the land of increasingly boring RPG references and a maze of seemingly pointless quests!

Replay-ability – The way the game is set up there is no reason not to do any quest that comes your way and as far as I could tell there are no varying story choices so replay-ability is low. However, you'll probably have trouble slogging through the game once, making the lack of replay-ability a non-issue, so at least there’s that...

Time Commitment – You can save and quit anytime you aren't in the middle of a battle so it's easy to jump in at any point. I had the first one on the iphone and it was a nice game to play standing in line at Walmart.

Value – Even though $7.99 seems reasonable, I'd say you're still paying too much. If you can get it on sale for a buck or two the value improves to where I could recommend it.

Favorite Element – The game is overflowing with references and jokes about tabletop RPGs and geek humor in general (at one part of the game you have to fight Kappas and they're dressed like Ninja Turtles, at another area you face the legendary outlaw Robin HUD).

About a year ago I picked up Knights of Pen and Paper 1 on sale for a dollar in the Apple store. It was a fairly entertaining game with some promising elements but unfortunately there was no variety and the game quickly turned into dull button mashing. On top of this you could buy gold with real money so it felt like the game got to a point where it was actively trying to bore you into spending more money just to make something happen. Not a great experience.

So when I heard there was a sequel, I was not super stoked but I was curious as the original game had some interesting things going for it. It had a unique style that tried to emulate the feel of a table top RPG, even going as far as having your party sitting at a table facing a Gamesmaster at the bottom of the screen. If the creators could build on the promise from the first game and polish it up you could have something really great. Unfortunately, this was not to be.

Knights 2 does make some changes to the game to make things more interesting, such as adding dungeons, but it doesn't address the core problems of the first game. The biggest issue is that all you do is go to a location and complete a quest, which consists of either fighting something or sometimes being forced to travel somewhere else on the overworld map, and that's pretty much the whole game. There are no puzzles to solve, no exploration other then clicking on a spot on the map, and almost zero story outside of jokes and references. The endless grind wouldn't be too bad either if not for the game's second biggest issue, character progression.

Each party member has 4 skills that you can increase as they level up. The skills are mostly combat based with a few defensive powers such as healing and you have access to all of them from the start of the game. There are a number of different classes and character archetypes (Nerd, Jock, Hipster, etc) but every single character boils down to the same formula, pick the strongest skill and level it almost exclusively. Characters never unlock any other skills and there is very little reason to diversify a character’s abilities. You do unlock some new classes as the game goes on, but you can't change classes, you just have to abandon a character at the Inn and start from scratch with a new one. So instead I recommend to power level a skill and mash them buttons!

As mentioned above, the game is just a giant grind fest that quickly devolves into repeatedly clicking a button. The dialogue can be pretty amusing but it gets old fast. I'd say if you can find it for a dollar or so on your phone go for it. It's a better distraction then listening to the guy in front of you at Starbucks argue because they spelled his name wrong on the cup.

Knights of Pen & Paper 2
$2.99
Paradox interactive

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