Galaxy of Pen and Paper is a love letter to science fiction and table top roleplaying games. And it hits its nostalgic notes so perfectly it's almost impossible not to be wooed by it.
Retro and modern in equal measure, it builds on the success of Knights of Pen and Paper to create something imbued with the majesty of space and the charm of the basement.
It's slick, it's superbly polished, and the new ideas it throws into the mix will have you enthralled from the first digital dice-roll to the last.
Beam me up
If you've played Knights then you're going to understand what's going on here straight away. Essentially this is a game within a game. You're playing a pen and paper RPG, but the action unfolds like a digital game.
You build up your cast of characters, make your decisions, and fly around a distant galaxy righting wrongs. Or wronging rights if that's the sort of thing that you're into.
The game is split into a number of different parts. There's plenty of dialogue to read through, world maps to explore, and fights to be had. Everything you choose to do is played out with behind-the-scenes dice rolls.
So every attack is calculated, every time you move from one destination to the next the game figures out whether you get through unscathed or have to deal with an event. It's smart, and it doesn't hide its influences.
One of the interesting additions here comes in the shape of space-based combat. Your ship has a probability drive - a polyhedral die you can upgrade - and you roll this to see how many action points you can use each turn.
It breaks up the space sections, and gives you another avenue of upgrades to explore. There's always something to do here, and that's one of the reasons you're going to get stuck into the game's innards.
The other reason you're going to enjoy your time in the space-ment is the heart the game wears on its sleeve. It's warm and funny, and clearly deeply understands what makes table top gaming tick.
Plus it's an awful lot of fun. Even without the meta-ness of the setting, there's a rich and engaging RPG here that offers much and delivers on pretty much all of it.
Die-ing to roll
There's so much to like in Galaxy of Pen and Paper that it's difficult to condense everything it has to offer into a review. I've not even touched on the way the game lets you build your own adventure, or the cast of characters you're going to bump into.
Part of that though, is because I want you to discover the game for yourself. This is a brilliant, entertaining, wonderfully balanced smooshing together of some wonderful ideas. Seriously, just go and get it.