"Pen and Paper Role-Playing for Gamers"
As a gamer, the RPG is a genre I'm quite familiar with. Outside of gaming, however, the RPG (mainly the tabletop variety) is bit of a foreign concept to me, something that never really caught my attention, what with its dice and gamemasters and other such elements that are rather difficult for one such as myself to easily grasp.
That's what I like about Knights of Pen & Paper. It speaks my language. It takes that foreign concept that is tabletop role-playing and translates it into something I can instinctually understand as a gamer. By taking a somewhat typical video game RPG and wrapping it in the trappings typical of tabletop games, it becomes something you can quickly understand and enjoy.
The tabletop elements in KoPP are apparent from the moment you start the game up. Upon starting, you are taken to a table with a gamemaster on one side and a bunch of empty chairs on the other. These chairs are filled by selecting from a group of random characters ranging from a hipster, a business man, an alien, and more, and then pairing them with a time-honored RPG class (warrior, mage, cleric, etc.).
Once you have your virtual role-players assembled, you are free to begin your virtual adventure. One nice touch in Knights of Pen & Paper, presentation-wise, is that the table and all the characters are always on-screen, with only the changing backgrounds indicating where you are in the quest. It really helps you feel like you're actually role-playing, even though it's all a video game.
Other nice tabletop touches are present as well. The most prominent of these is the freedom to do what you want. Go anywhere, fight any monster, go on any available quest, the decision is yours. The only restrictions are the travel costs to get from place to place and the fact that some monsters and quests are too strong for your party to handle at first. However, as you go and level up your team into a mighty group of role-players, those restrictions disappear, and you are then free to shape your adventure however you so choose.
No matter which way you choose to go about questing, you're going to have to fight monsters. Combat is the main element of Knights of Pen & Paper, and like the game as a whole, you're free to shape the action however you like (with the exception of the boss battles you come across in certain quests and during enemy ambushes while traveling). The game allows you to start a battle at any time, but not only that, it gives you the option to pick the type and number of enemies you fight. Want to test yourself against a new type of powerful monster? You can. How about a group of said monsters? You can do that too. For a genre where random encounters usually catch players unaware, KoPP gives you a surprising amount of control over the combat.
The action itself is typical RPG fare, consisting of turn-based battles where the virtual role-players make use of attacks and special abilities to wipe out the enemies. Like I said, typical stuff, and while it's no Final Fantasy, the combat still provides plenty of action and challenge. It lacks great depth, though, and by itself it makes for a pretty barebones experience. Luckily, it does not have to carry the weight of gameplay alone, as it is boosted by the quests, of which there are many. They are quite a few types of quests to be found, ranging from escort missions to fetch-and-deliver quests to monster hunts, all of which can be accepted or abandoned whenever you want.
The quests are also where most of Knights of Pen & Paper's personality becomes apparent, as they slowly unveil a grand tale of your virtual role-players' quest to put a stop to a dark mage's evil schemes. While that could make for a pseudo-grandiose adventure (since it is supposed to be role-play, after all), the game plays it lightheartedly, with plenty of funny dialogue and pop culture nods. My personal favorite was a village where the folk resemble the Traveler from Journey.
In conclusion, if you're a gamer and were ever curious or baffled by tabletop role-playing games, then you'd do well to give Knights of Pen & Paper a try. It's far from the deepest experience to be had in the genre, but it offers plenty to make up for it. With plenty of quests, the ability to control the way battles are set up, and the freedom to pretty much shape your own adventure, it has plenty for fans of RPGs, be they game fans or tabletop fans, to enjoy.
GameDynamo's Score for Knights of Pen & Paper (Mobile)
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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