Galaxy of Pen and Paper

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Galaxy of Pen and Paper Game Poster Image
Retro adventure full of cheesy jokes, fun gameplay.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Recurring theme of teamwork, using diverse skills, personalities to overcome obstacles. Focus on creativity, storytelling, using your imagination to create unique adventures with friends.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Wide range of characters with diverse personalities. Some good, evil, some calm, annoying. Player's party generally heroic, but it's ultimately shaped by player's choices.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

Lots of combat, but game's style, humor take away impact. Encounters tend to be fun, unrealistic battles.

Sex
Language

Lots of humor, occasional crude joke, but no profanity or anything particularly offensive.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Galaxy of Pen and Paper is a comedic, sci-fi-themed downloadable role-playing game (RPG) for Windows and Mac. The game features themes of teamwork and strategy as the player controls the actions of a group of characters taking part in a classic pen-and-paper-style role-playing game. It has simple point-and-click controls and turn-based combat with the violent impact limited by the unrealistic battles. It does require a lot of reading on the part of the player, which may be difficult for younger gamers. Also, younger players may not understand many of the game's references to classic gaming and science fiction properties.

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What's it about?

GALAXY OF PEN AND PAPER isn't the epic sci-fi role-playing adventure it seems to be. Instead, this is a game about playing the epic sci-fi role-playing adventure it seems to be. It's 1999, and you and a group of friends have gotten together to try out that awesome new DURPS science fiction pen-and-paper game from Cosmo Publishing. Your Game Master (GM) has prepped an adventure worthy of the greatest space operas (at least that's what he'll tell you if you ask). Your party's been rolled up, your best D20 (20-sided dice) are primed and ready for a saving throw, and you're all set to put the GM's adventure to the test. It's time to head out to the far reaches of deep space and the edge of your imagination ... with a heaping helping of tongue-in-cheek humor and sci-fi references tossed in for good measure.

Is it any good?

This incredible space adventure manages to parody and honor tabletop games in an entertaining and fun way. In this digital age of fantasies that are never really final, young gamers forget that the RPG experience once relied solely on a game master's imagination and the lucky roll of a 20-sided die. Galaxy of Pen and Paper brings back that nostalgic feeling by taking all the best parts of tabletop gaming and wrapping it up in an old school, pixelated package filled with cheesy jokes and sci-fi references.  While this nostalgia-fueled road trip through the universe is an adventure that would do any game master proud, that doesn't mean there aren't still a few hiccups on the jump to hyperspace.

Galaxy of Pen and Paper does a great job of keeping players' interests. The game's script and dialogue are hilariously quirky, with the GM's tale including all manner of sci-fi pop culture influences, changed just enough to be completely original and totally not ripped-off ideas. The problem is that it takes a while to get the ball rolling. Early on, when your characters are just starting out, there aren't a lot of options available. This turns the game into a repetitive clickfest, with players just going through the motions. Once your party has a handful of quests under its belt, though, the game starts to open up a lot more. It has a surprisingly deep system, with all kinds of character skills, ship capabilities, and exploration at your disposal. Players can even play GM themselves, creating custom missions for their party to help move things along. It all makes for a crazy and sometimes disjointed story, but thanks to its "game within a game" premise, it all still somehow comes together in the end.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about different types of gaming. What are some of the different types outside of video games (pen and paper RPG, board games, card games, etc.)? What sort of benefits do these games have over their digital counterparts?

  • Talk about interaction and socialization. In what ways can gaming bring people together? What are some positive ways to interact with others in a social environment?

Game details

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