Each week, we send out early codes of selected games to members of our App Army and ask for their feedback. One top pick this week was Paradox Interactive's Knights of Pen & Paper 2, the hotly-anticipated sequel to Knights of Pen & Paper.
Let's see what our App Army had to say...
Danny Russell: Any moments stand out for you in particular Conor? Did you play the first one on Android, iOS, or PC?
Conor Smenner: I never played the first one. I thought it was very cool how you could choose how many enemies you wanted to fight at a time.
Andy: I couldn't get on board with this game. I didn't play the original, and even with an in-depth tutorial, I think the developers assume someone picking up the game for the first time knows about the character backstory and basic game controls.
I'm trying to stick with it but I feel like I'll have to go back to the original for a crash course...
Simon Potticary: Having really enjoyed the first game back in 2013 (wow, time flies), I've actually been really looking forward to Knights of Pen & Paper 2. Particularly since watching the trailer a few weeks back. Can't wait to play it when I get home.
Alex_Gol: Knights of Pen & Paper 2 feels like the SimTown of RPGs. You 'rule' this RPG but not in the serious sense all the way. It tries to get a 'LOL' out of you with its plot. Sometimes it's successful, sometimes it's not.
It's like a "My First RPG" (where Angry Birds Epic is a "Toddlers' First RPG") compared to the RPGs I've played in my time. It really tries to give that sense of a tabletop RPG with its cool, multifaceted dice.
The games starts energetically with humorous intro, but then it goes downwards for me. References to Adam and Eve, typical nerd noob stereotypes, Fallout, and even freaking MythBusters.
The whole gameplay feels a bit light but tolerable. It fits mobile. It's not easy to understand all the mechanics right away, but thankfully there's a built-in guide.
The character creation was pretty good for this sort of RPG (I could easily max out mana for some characters, if I wanted to). Some of the passive skills each person has don't give enough info for whether they will be useful or not.
For example, I wish I could have switched my Cleric's "Energy penalties for equipment removed" with my Paladin's "Automatic recover from any condition," so my Paladin could have worn armour with a mana penalty). It also feels a bit grindy from the moment you buy new characters in-game.
Overall this game is fine. It provides simple RPG mechanics and pretty much takes care of them well. I still wait for that day when RPGs on mobile will have solid plots.
Simon Potticary: I must say, I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with Knights of Pen & Paper 2 so far. I booted it up for the first time a shade after midnight last night and by the time I eventually put my iPad down it was nearly 2.30am. I was clearly having fun because boy did time fly!
The pixel art on offer here is wonderfully detailed and utterly gorgeous to boot. The retro vibe is absolutely my cup of tea, with a perfectly judged soundtrack to compliment those lovely pixels, developer Paradox Interactive has captured the essence of the era with aplomb.
Admittedly, the customisation options are a little too generic for my taste, and in terms of race (human, elf, and dwarf) and class (ranging from cleric to warrior) there isn't much in the way of variety either, but once your journey kicks off and you're out on the open road things get considerably better.
Based on a shade over two hours of game time so far, my overall impressions of Knights of Pen & Paper 2 are overwhelmingly positive.
I've had an absolute blast thus far and every minute has flown by. While the vast majority of App Store games consist of "beat and delete" titles, this is one that I'll come back to time and time again.
squarezero: You'd think that, as someone who (mis)spent much of his adolescence either in front or behind a dungeon master screen, I'd be the perfect audience for Knights of Pen & Paper 2.
I have to admit that at a surface level the game is very appealing. But under the table-top gimmick and the cute pixel graphics, what I see is a pretty shallow RPG with a few interesting mechanics.
The main thing it has going for it is the humour, most of which is drawn from standard geek tropes. Frankly, just like with the first one, once the novelty wore off I had little reason to go back to the game.
The App Army have spoken! If you'd like to sign up, please have a gander at our App Army application article.
Did you pick up Knights of Pen & Paper 2? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!