Having never played any of the Pen and Paper series, I figured I'd check out this handy new bundle and I'm very glad that I did. If you're new to the franchise as well, allow me to describe each of the included games so you can decide if you'd enjoy them, too.
Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Deluxier Edition Switch ★★★★☆
First up, we have Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Deluxier Edition. The basic premise of this game as well as all of the games in this bundle is that you're playing a tabletop pen and paper RPG and the world around you changes to match the players' imaginations. Right away, that clever premise delighted me and really drew me in. The gameplay basically involves doing whatever you want whenever you want which may not sound structured enough but it does a fantastic job of gently guiding you while allowing you to grind or explore at your leisure. As you progress, you'll recruit more players to join your party, meet many hilarious NPCs, tackle tons of different quests, fight many ridiculous monsters in turn-based battles, and read oodles of humorous dialogue sequences. Needless to say, it's a great deal of fun.
Of course, since this is the first game in the series, it does have some rough edges and I found the biggest issue to be the fact that you can easily exploit situations and grind which makes tough challenges quite easy to overcome thus taking away from the overall sense of accomplishment. For example, I equipped my party with fairly cheap accessories early on that nearly tripled their HP and made conquering quests super-easy until things started getting tricky again. At that point, I merely upgraded their gear and things became easy breezy yet again. On top of all this, you can purchase items that provide permanent boosts which make things even easier. All of that being said, Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Deluxier Edition remains an incredibly imaginative and fun-filled RPG that's hard to put down.Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Deluxier Edition gameplay video →
Knights of Pen & Paper 2 Deluxiest Edition Switch ★★★★☆
Next, Knights of Pen & Paper 2 Deluxiest Edition is a surprising step up from the original. The most notable improvement is that customizing and progressing your party is much more streamlined thus making exploiting the challenge trickier to do. Another huge improvement is that there are many more pop culture references and most of them are cleverly presented and provide some genuine laughs. I also enjoyed the fact that there are more party member creation options which allows for additional variety as well as the ability to explore roguelike dungeons which is handled brilliantly. The art style is refined, too, with more detailed character sprites and environments and I love the soundtrack as well. It may follow the same formula that its predecessor introduced but Knights of Pen & Paper 2 Deluxiest Edition managed to refine everything to be much more streamlined, fulfilling, and even humorous, too.
Before moving on, I just wanted to mention that each of these 3 games features a huge amount of content and plenty of challenges and quests to master. You can play them for dozens of hours and still have more to do which is great. With that in mind, each game does wear thin after a while so they're best enjoyed in short bursts of about a couple hours here and there. Thankfully, if you get this bundle then you can bounce between the games which will definitely help break up any potential monotony.Knights of Pen & Paper 2 Deluxiest Edition gameplay video →
Galaxy of Pen & Paper +1 Edition Switch ★★★★☆
Finally, Galaxy of Pen & Paper +1 Edition not only applies a sci-fi setting to the formula, it also introduces many new elements. This time around, you fly your space ship to various space stations, planets, and such and as you do, you may have to fight enemies which is done via a completely new albeit simple battle system. Of course, the classic turn-based battle system is featured heavily as well so it's awesome that both are integrated so seamlessly. Anyway, the characters are fun to create and you can even make your own game master now. Plus, seeing your characters actually fight enemies instead of staying seated at their table is pretty cool. It's impressive how Galaxy of Pen & Paper +1 Edition feels like a completely different experience while offering a similar enjoyable formula.
With all of that being said, I personally found Galaxy of Pen & Paper +1 Edition to be much more challenging, especially because it's difficult to figure out how to grind and level up effectively considering the fact that you're flying around space and trying your hand at the many different locales. Some of them can be over-the-top difficult and it doesn't help that the menus take a lot of getting used to. Specifically, I found the other 2 games' menus to be much more intuitive and as a result, Galaxy of Pen & Paper has a much steeper learning curve. Obviously, if you enjoy challenging games that you try and figure out yourself, this game will be up your alley.Galaxy of Pen & Paper +1 Edition gameplay video →
The amount of content and fun to be had within the Pen and Paper Games Bundle is fantastic. So, if you enjoy silly humour, imaginative game worlds, and rewarding old-school RPG gameplay then you'll definitely want to pick this up.
- + Includes 3 distinct and fun RPGs
- + The amount of imagination and humour poured into these titles is just awesome
- + Loads of content to master
- - Knights of Pen & Paper is easy to exploit
- - Galaxy of Pen & Paper has a rather steep learning curve and unintuitive menus
- - Each game gets repetitive after a while