Galaxy of Pen & Paper shuttles you into the imagination of a group of role-players as they take on harrowing adventures in space. With a few clicks of a mouse, you can travel between galaxies to earn prestige and currency by completing various quests.
As the name suggests, turn-based RPG for PC or mobile phone is a whimsical take on the pen and paper games of your childhood, but without the chance of losing your game pieces. The newest release from Behold Studios seems to follow the themes established in Knights of Pen & Paper series, but with a new story, better graphics, and a funky, intergalactic soundtrack.
Title: Galaxy of Pen & Paper
Developer & Publisher: Behold Studios
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Game Version: Final
Review Copy: Provided by Developer
Interface: Keyboard & Mouse
Available on Steam, Google Play Store, Apple App Store
Galaxy of Pen & Paper is a turn-based meta RPG about a group of players rolling dice in the year 1999! Create your own game master and RPG party as they roleplay, explore distant planets in their imagination, fight weird aliens and save the galaxy in the era of dial-up internet and floppy disks!
Having never played Knights of Pen & Paper, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this game. I felt that the trailer undersold how entertaining the game actually is. Still, the colorful graphics and quirky dialogue drew me in––I was definitely intrigued. From the start, I thought this game was absolutely delightful. Its lighthearted appearance hides a really challenging strategy game. At its core, it’s a true pen and paper game like Dungeons and Dragons, only it’s not on pen and paper.
One of the things I loved about this game is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Despite its lack of dark graphics and ominous musical scores, it is very much a “real game” that requires critical thinking and strategy (while featuring names of planets like “Jyyjaafjalajukijulliey”). I also appreciated the simplicity of the game play, it is very no-nonsense, no-fuss. It is visually stimulating and user friendly, while still being straightforward. By traveling through different systems using interstellar gates, it makes it easy to navigate a large universe without having to scroll too far on either side of your screen and getting lost. It is a deceptively large game, which translates to more content, more quests, and more of a return on investments for the player.
Before you embark on your journey into space, you create your Game Master and create two characters to start your party. You have two passive and one active skill for each of your characters. You have three races to choose from: Human, Simian, and Green, each with its own traits. The other passive skill has more to do with personality, this includes options such as Storyteller, Achiever, Showoff, Buddy, etc. Additionally, you can add an active skill to further customize your character to suit the needs of your team, like the Trooper, who “uses heavy guns to force enemies into submission” or the Engineer, who works well in a supporting role. After I got comfortable with my first party, I enjoyed creating new save files to play around with team dynamics.
The characters you create will influence your journey as the game progresses, each character has their own specialties and will respond differently to each situation. Throughout your campaign, you encounter new individuals and face the possibility of random ambushes from potential enemies. Depending on what type of characters are in your party, you’re able to respond in different ways, which leads to different outcomes. There’s a lot of player choice in this game. Much like the pen and paper RPG games Galaxy of Pen & Paper is based on, each action relies on probability and uses dice for outcomes. The number you roll determines everything from whether or not you are ambushed while traveling or what kind of attacks you’re allowed to use when battling in your spaceship.
After you complete an initial Campaign Quest, you have the option to create new missions. As your prestige increases and your party levels up, you become an independent contractor of sorts, taking on missions that range from hunting down strange new aliens or clearing a fleet of hostile ships to allow your client safe passage.
The hunt quests were a great way for me to level up, as you can choose how many enemies you engage at a given time, and you’re able to stop off at the Medbay to heal in between battles. I started off fighting one enemy at a time when I was in the beginning stages, and as I got more ambitious, I opted to increase the difficulty by adding more enemies for increased rewards such as credits, XP, or items. As the player, you have the option to make the game a simple, easy journey or a more challenging strategy game.Everything in this game translates to great replayability: the different character options, the size of the universe, and the fact that there are so many outcomes based on probability. The items you get are based on the planet and type of mission you complete, which means that you can keep re-playing missions on different planets if you want to improve your chances of getting specific items. Value is important, and you’re getting a lot of game for the price with Galaxy of Pen & Paper. (Also, for mobile players, there are no in-app purchases in this game, so once you’ve bought it, that’s it.)
Overall, I felt like this was a polished game with solid mechanics, fun art, and a great soundtrack. In the first few hours, I became thoroughly addicted. I recommend it to anyone with a sense of nostalgia who appreciates a good strategy game.