There are a lot of things in the world that makes you a nerd; your love of video games, the comic book collection you started at age nine and still re-read with enthusiasm, and those television series you watch over and over, by yourself or with a friend because you love it that much.
Despite these actions that will title you a “Nerd”, by society or oneself, it should be said, by my opinion alone, that there is nothing nerdier (if that can be considered a word) than rolling a natural D20 in a game of Dungeons and Dragons and getting that critical hit.
Knights of Pen and Paper is game just about that but isn’t at the same time. Knights of Pen and Paper had been developed and originally released for Android and iOS but was released on PC and Mac by popular demand, dubbing its title as Knights of Pen and Paper +1. There is also a deluxe edition for a few extra quid and it does seem slightly worth its value, which consists of an extra character, three hundred in game gold and some starting items that help boost experience earned.
As stated Knights of Pen and Paper is based around the Dungeon & Dragons world or any other roleplaying board game consisting of dungeon master and five players. Each player has their own passive ability, think of these as racial traits if you are a true D&D player. Each one is different but just as useful. You can start off with three but have to pay for the rest (To what would feel like bribing them) using in-game gold and then select what class they are, by wearing adorable silly hats, some passives go well with some classes so you will need to think hard who would be good for what or you can just choose what you think looks cool, the choice is yours.
The story of game begins like an average D&D a session, a dungeon master weaving the environment around with such description that your imagination will see it with ease. In this case waking up inside a dungeon and trying to escape. The dungeon master in question is a stereotyped, round bellied, ponytailed comic store guy (seriously, that is his name) who comes off as an amateur Dungeon Master but gets the job done. Once out of the dungeon you end up at a village called “Default Village”, this is acts like your main safe area until you feel comfortable to explore other areas of the world.
Gameplay consists of the players and Dungeon Master across the table the entire world changes around you in retro bit fashion, everything is pixelated for that wonderful nostalgic feel and it truly suits the games style. Battle works in the same fashion the only difference is that the monsters are in front of you and works in a turn based fashion.
The dungeon master acts as your main menu, clicking on him will bring you different icons of options, ranging from quests, sleeping at the inn going to the shop and changing the settings. However, these options change from area to area. Knights of Pen and Paper isn’t a linear based story it’s very free, allowing you to travel to various areas of the world without having to do a main quest, although, there are many side quests that make you travel to areas to complete them. Knights of Pen and Paper also sport little extras to help improve your play experience from little decorations to snacks and even a new dungeon master, at a price of course.
So now it has come to the question that must be asked during any review “what is bad about this game?” if I have to be honest there isn’t anything really disappointing about this game the only little nit-pick I have is its references. Yes, the game has so many references you literally see them on the screen, and if you’re a fan you will recognise it straight away. But the question I ask is there such a thing as too many references? Or rather repeating that particular reference (or Meme), which happens quite often, over and over again? It’s nice to know I can spot it but to repeatedly spot the reference can get quite irksome.
Another nit-pick is the use of in game currency which is Gold and the D20 roll. Now, Gold or any other form of currency, has been known in video games to be used for the exchange of goods, services or weaponry and Knights of Pen and Paper do this well, however, it is used for almost everything; friends, reviving party members even traveling, which can be a pain if your low on health and want to travel to a safe area. Luckily you can earn it through fighting monsters or purchasing gold using Steam currency, if you have any at the time.
The D20 roll on the other hand in any D&D game controls every action you make, In Knights of Pen and Paper it is only used for three things: Monster encounters while traveling, creating a weapon from the blacksmith or monster encounters when you’re camping in a hostile area. Again, these aren’t bad signs they’re more or less little nit-picks at the game.
Overall, Knights of Pen and Paper give a wonderful insight into the roleplaying genre of board games and combines it with wonderful pixelated gameplay. It is both challenging and enjoyable that I’m sure to play again and again. I would highly recommend this and it is worth the money.