Knights Of Pen & Paper 2 Review

Playing Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is like painting a painter as they paint, like visiting the arcades in Shenmue to have Ryo play a game of Hang On. You’re one step removed from the characters within the game, in a way, as you control a group of up to five players who have immersed themselves within this tabletop RPG world, replete with hats, dwarf beards and elf ears.

It’s a quite unique point of view, but allows the game a lot of freedom to poke fun and have a bit of a laugh. The world is laced with all manner of references, from a Fallout-like Vault to wireframe 3D rooms in the game’s 16-bit styled world, fairy tales and more than a handful of Game of Thrones gags. The world is called Paperos, for one thing, and looking at the world map, you will soon spot the gigantic wall of ice to the north.

It’s all quite pleasingly silly, and gets sillier still thanks to the main thrust of the plot. This first edition world has been invaded by the malevolent force that is the Paper Knight – a kid in a paper hat who you meet at the very start of the game – who uses and abuses the added powers of the second edition ruleset to break the game world and bend it to his will. Your band of adventurers gives chase through the world to try and put a stop to his mischief, which will naturally be very difficulty while using the original rules.

You can quite easily let it wash over you, with all the story’s little twists and all the jokes and references. You might spot a little figure running from rooftop to rooftop in the background of one scene, chuckle at how you have to defeat mousetraps in order to preserve Spawn Point Village’s rat infested attraction for would be adventurers, and so on. It’s the kind of humour that will occasionally elicit a chuckle and put a smile on your face.


The same could easily be said of the original, but KOPP2 deftly takes the foundations of the first game’s mechanics and expands upon them. The player creation has more options within, the classes have been tweaked and rebalanced to remove the most overpowered abilities, the occasional if decision point pops up and the combat has also been refined.

Going from one battle to the next, it can quickly descend into quick fire tapping to have your players simply attack the enemies, but it’s better to look at their layout and plan. With the second of the two potential rows of enemies out of reach, I often use the Thief’s Grappling Hook to pull them to the fore and line them up so that my Mage can cast Chain Lightning and damage them all together. Meanwhile, my Hunter’s Decoy and Paladin’s high threat level allow them to soak up the damage, with the Cleric lending support.

It’s relatively simplistic combat that’s an ideal fit to playing for 5-10 minutes at a time on your phone or tablet – and would be a good fit for PS Vita, I might add – and although there is a degree of nuance to succeeding in battle, my plan of attack is generally very similar. It can start to be a bit of a grind at times, going from one battle straight into the next, even as the enemies change and take more effort to defeat.


Of course, to get to that point, you need to first earn enough coins with your original two characters to put bums in the three empty seats. Cash can be quite scarce early on, so it can be a little tricky to add to your roster, especially with the final slot costing a whopping 250 coins. There’s the dangling carrot of a couple of microtransactions to buy coins, but they are far from essential and you’re soon bringing in cash hand over fist that lets you kit out your characters and add buffs to the party with furniture for the game room.

One highlight has been the randomised dungeons system, where you move from room to room, never knowing if it’s going to just be empty, feature a chest to unlock or see you attacked by enemies. There’s an extra layer of tension and difficulty, as you can’t camp out and restore your HP and MP, unless you leave the dungeon and enter anew with a freshly randomised layout.

What’s Good:

  • A whimsically self aware story set in a jumbled up fantasy world.
  • Rebalances and improves upon the gameplay of the original.
  • More nuanced battle mechanics.
  • 16-bit graphics style is easier on the eye than 8-bit.

What’s Bad:

  • The endless fighting can start to grind.
  • Eventually lack a feeling of real advancement to the players.
  • Some of the jokes and plot points are a bit too surreal.
  • Landscape mode on phone is very small.

Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is a fully formed sequel, that takes and improves upon the original in almost every way. There’s more depth to the game with more nuanced battles and more player creation options, and a very self aware plot and sense of humour. Though the fighting can start to feel repetitive, it’s a great fit for bite sized gaming on the go.

Score 7/10

Version tested: iOS


  1. Loved the first one. I rarely play games on my phone but will definitely pick this up.

    Thanks for the review as I wouldn’t have been aware otherwise!

    • I went to buy this just now but it’s not on the App Store. Do you have a release date?

      • The game’s out tomorrow!

        Just so you know where to look in future, we’ve 99% of the time got a little box off to the right hand side of the article on PC or if you scroll down below the comment box in the mobile view with the game’s vitals, so just keep an eye out for those if you’re wanting a date.

      • Thanks Stefan!

        I knew there was a box but couldn’t find it. Being blind!

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