Portable Perks: Knights of Pen and Paper
Unfortunately, I never was able to get into that whole pen and paper RPG scene. I wish I could say I was able to throw a 12-sided dice (20-sided dice -D&D nerd ed) and hoped to roll a crit or listened to a Game Master (GM) describing the party’s journey in a strange but fascinating land. No, I never did any of that, but fortunately for me, a mobile game called Knights of Pen and Paper has come along and it’s both an homage and also a parody of experiencing a pen and paper RPG game.
Starting off the game, you get to form a party of 2, but you could gradually unlock more slots and have a maximum of 5 characters to your party. Your classes are pretty standard RPG classes (mage, barbarian, paladin, ranger). Asides from the class, you can also pick out certain characters that will be playing that class. It’s mostly stereotypes of different kinds of people, from “Mr. John” the businessman in his serious looking suit, a nerd (obviously), a jock (maybe he’s Vin Diesel?) and the list goes on. And depending on who you chose for your party, their dialogue and interaction in the game reflects that. Each character has their own passive skills that could either give you discounts in stores, give you extra XP or even modifiers to your stats. They’re all varied and pretty useful across the board which gives way to a lot of replayability since you can do a lot of mix and matching with characters and classes.The GM in-game is mostly there to set you up the scene of the game, then of course it is translated visually in the backdrop. He provides the narrative of the story and dialogue of the NPC (non-player characters), which is conveniently translated visually in the game. The GM is such a flexible guy that he can either be an old villager then can suddenly turn into a sexy young woman (who unfortunately has a boyfriend), at the request of your party.
The gameplay is pretty simple but deep. It’s your typical turn based style RPG, very reminiscent of the classics like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. You get to go on quests, do some battles by tapping on the enemies or casting spells which of course is also done by tapping on your spellbook. Combat is really strategic as you get to pick from a wide range of skills. As simple as the combat system sounds, the combat feels very satisfying and I would catch myself playing longer than I should have. In designing and creation of the look and feel of the game and hooking you into getting your characters leveled up and doing more quests, Knights of Pen and Paper really gets the formula down.
Admittedly, I haven’t put in too much time with this game yet, but I usually find myself playing this game in really quick bursts. Since the orientation of the game is portrait style a.k.a. your phone right side up, if you’re in situations when you can only play for really really short periods of time (i.e. your significant other is going to the bathroom while you’re on a dinner date), this game could easily satisfy that pang for gaming. Nevertheless, it is also deep enough to keep you playing for extended periods as well.
Knights of Pen and Paper, a charming 8-bit style filled with tongue-and-cheek humor of playing a pen and paper RPG, is available for your Android and iOS device for $2.99. It’s available on Steam for $9.99 if you’d rather play this on your desktop computer or laptop.