Review: Galaxy of Pen & Paper for Mac and iOS
The game may be called Galaxy of Pen and Paper, but it’s really a computer game (shhh – don’t tell anyone…). As such, you get a two-fer with this article. The nice folks at Behold Studios provided us with both the Mac and iOS platform versions of the game so here’s the review and comparison.
The game is basically an homage to table-top RPGs: nerds in a room, the DM still living at home with the ‘rents, etc. Non-spoiler spoiler; there are plenty of nerd culture references—everything from Star Trek to Hitchhiker’s Guide—some of which are actually funny on purpose.
You start with a DM and two players (more players are added later), and the in-game story opens on an alien planet on which you have to fight your way to freedom.
Once that’s done, you can explore the galaxy…or at least a few planets and space stations. The combat is like a standard RPG, complete with initiative order, turn based action, dice roll for to-hit, the works. You don’t actually see the “dice” rolling for your to-hit, but that’s OK because the turn based portion is a bit slow anyway. Gameplay is pretty standard fare: survive combat, accumulate XP, level up, buy new gear, beat more baddies, lather-rinse-repeat.
As far as the platform is concerned, the iOS version works well enough on the iPhone as there is not enough fine detail to make screen size a problem. On the larger screen of your Mac the pixilated look of the game is tolerable and you can read the dialogue much more easily. Neither version is too much of a battery hog, so good on that point. Most of the action is point and click (tap on the iPhone) and the game uses big icon buttons to select the action you want to take. Since the action is all 2D and turn-based, this works well enough.
Galaxy of Pen and Paper is meant to be a bit of fun and a friendly poke in the ribs; the puns are pretty corny and the story is not deep. It takes a while before the simplicity at the beginning gets deep enough to become much fun, but if you stick with it you’ll be rewarded. Just be aware you’ll have to do some grinding to level up and get the new toys and abilities that are needed to defeat the bosses you come across.
If you like to shake things up a bit, the game does have three save slots. This allows you to create new teams with various character types to see which combinations fare best against the bad guys. Playing this way provides longevity, but it may be a bit wearisome to have to slog through all the boring training/starting level stuff repeatedly.
So Here It Is:
Galaxy of Pen and Paper doesn’t give you a whole galaxy to explore—and it doesn’t really need a pen or paper—but it’s not all bad. You get to battle aliens and robot horses, team up with interstellar law enforcement, fly around in a spaceship, and be the heroes who save the day. Fun, right? Besides, for $14.99 it has play time enough to check it out. There are some aspects of your characters you can customize, plenty of corny humor, and some blatant references for the nerd crowd. It may not be a very in-depth game, but worthwhile as a light-hearted time-waster.
Developer/iOS Seller: Behold Studios
iOS Requirements: iOS 10 or later
iOS Compatibility: iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
Minimum Mac Requirements: OS X v10.9, 2 GHz processor, 2 GB RAM, 700 MB available disk space, video card with Shader Model 3.0 support
Price: $4.99 – iPhone, iPad; $14.99 – macOS
Availability: Now for iOS in iTunes or macOS on Steam and GOG.com