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Knights of Pen & Paper

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Rating: 4.5/5 (39 votes)
Comments (8) | Views (12,860)

Knights of Pen & Paper

JohnBKnights of Pen & Paper is an RPG. But it's an RPG that's about a bunch of adventurer people sitting down to play a pen and paper RPG. So... when you play the game, you're actually playing a game about a game, even though both games are basically the same game. Penandpaperception, anyone? While these folks sit and enjoy their Dungeons & Dragons-type adventure, you get to take care of everything else, from fighting battles to accepting quests, upgrading skills and hunting down better equipment. And if that isn't interesting enough, you can buy the players a snack, maybe while eating a similar snack of your own?

Knights of Pen & PaperWith your party seated at the table and the dungeon master across the way, your journey begins. Tap the DM to do just about everything, from setting up quests (which you mix and match on your own), choosing quick battles, buying/upgrading items, or camping out for the night. Tap party members to manage their skills or check out stats, something you'll pay more and more attention to as the game progresses. Battles are handled with a similarly pristine menu system that allows you to attack, guard, use items and spells, or run away like a chicken, all with one or two quick gestures. The latter icon really is a chicken, by the way. Just thought you'd like to know that.

Even though Knights of Pen & Paper is very meta in nature, the in-game game still features a story, one that slowly unfolds as you help old men clear the enemies from their basements and escort lost children back to their homes. Don't take it (or anything you come across) too seriously, though, as the quirky humor and emphasis on combat and item collection definitely take center stage in the game.

Knights of Pen & PaperAnalysis: Knights of Pen & Paper is set up for the grind. It's an open-ended, pick your own missions, wage your own battles, see how much gold you can gather sort of game that keeps you hooked because there's always something new to unlock. It's enormously satisfying to beef your adventurers up so they can handle bigger and badder quests, and even though their skills aren't exactly epic in nature, combat is more than just hitting "attack" over and over again. It never hurts that the game looks like every retro RPG we've ever loved rolled into one delicious pixellated package.

Here's the only real downside to Knights of Pen & Paper: its reliance on gold and nudging players to spend real world money to keep the coffers full. Just about everything you do in the game costs gold, from hiring new adventurers to buying items, upgrading equipment, and even traveling to new parts of the map. You gain gold through battle, of course, but the rate at which you earn is far slower than the rate at which you would need to spend to keep the game moving forwards. In other words, you either grind by fighting enemies over and over again, or you indulge in an IAP. Not a pleasant choice, if you ask us, and some balancing of this aspect could really use some addressing for the next update.

With its gold system tweaked just a bit, Knights of Pen & Paper could easily be one of the best, if not the most blindly entertaining casual RPG on the mobile market. It's got all the ingredients for a pick up and play game, but there's enough to explore to keep you coming back for days on end.

NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on an iPad. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.


trepiechick November 2, 2012 4:10 PM

My friend was considering getting this, but the whole pay2win aspect doesn't sit well with either of us, so thanks for letting people know about it.

mrmaxmrmax November 3, 2012 2:24 PM

I am enjoying the game for about forty-five minutes at a time until the iPod gets uncomfortably warm. I've never had this problem before with the 3GS.

It is also draining the heck out of my battery. I went from full charge to 19% playing from 9 AM to noon.

On TouchArcade, the developers say they have already started bug fixes. I'm going to assume these are some of the fixes.

ChaoSpectre November 4, 2012 5:02 PM

Android platform has already gotten some important character fixes while iOS users wait in the cold while their Paladins grow more irrelevant.

The biggest question for me (which can address some of your battery concerns) is why this game needs to run on Unity? A retro 2D RPG should not need to run on an engine primarily known for 3D. And so far, I've found no explanation for the choice.

kaylad8528 November 7, 2012 6:06 PM

I think this game is really really fun. Does eat my battery, but not any more than any other game I like to play. :)

Really cute and not very expensive either!

Great review.


There were a lot of complaints in the reviews about the in app purchases ruining the game. You need special currency for everything apparently, including crafting, rezzing dead dudes, etc.

Pay to win games just suck in my opinion and I avoid them like the plague. They are basically cheats and if you can consider them as such and not buy, then you can maybe enjoy the game.
BUT, they are specifically made and balanced to practically REQUIRE lots of IAPs, especially after they get you invested in the game.


To set the record straight... this is NOT a Pay2Win model.
Pay2Win models are multiplayer, encourage competition, and have a currency either VERY slowly accrued or not accrued at all that is purchased by real money, and then turn around and have premium items or services available with that currency that increase your ability to win.
This game uses a model in which you can use real money to purchase the game's NORMAL currency, although you are by far not required to do so. The currency is easily accrued by going out and killing monsters and doing quests. Further, it's not a competitive game, so you are not penalized for playing at your own pace.
This is by FAR a preferred method, as no one has any need to purchase gold, and instead can go and farm it for everything you need to do. YES, they offer the ability to purchase gold with money, as there are people who want to do this, and it's a revenue source.
If you don't want to pay money... DON'T. It's your choice, and you are not penalized for it. Paying money to buy gold in this game simply expedites the game which is already reasonably paced.
I'm enjoying the game myself, and haven't paid anything yet beyond the initial $2 purchase price, although I've been thinking I would buy $5 of gold simply to further support the developer, which is how I view these games' pricing models... an option to further support the devs and getting an optional in-game reward in return.


Everyone, the cash aspect is not so bad. It's basically an option if you want to cheat the game. It is very much possible to get enough gold to afford anything just by playing the game normally. Yes, at first you'll get very little, but once you're somewhat higher level, you'll get hundreds in just a couple battles. There are also trinkets you can buy to reduce costs. I wouldn't let this get in your way, it's a rather fun game.


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