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Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is upgrading your mom's basement to 16-bit

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Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Knights of Pen & Paper 2 was both announced and given a release date at this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. On May 14, senior mobile producer Florian Schwarzer said, players will be able to take up the next campaign of the tongue-in-cheek game on Android, iOS, Linux, Mac and PC devices.

In a hands-off demonstration on Monday, Polygon got a quick tour of the updated graphics on the genre-busting comedy game. Players take on the role of a party of high-school students sitting in a basement playing a tabletop role-playing game. Together they fight monsters, each other and the bullies from their high school in scenarios that range from Shire-like rolling plains to perilous dragon's dens. And also much more dangerous places like homeroom or gym class.


The sequel's graphics have twice as many bits, bringing the total up to 16 and flinging the meta game into the 2000s. The aforementioned basement is filled with all kinds of period gear, including a Rock Band controller next to a flatscreen television.

Polygon saw the game demo on an iPad, and the bite-sized appeal of the quests in the game was immediately apparent. The JRPG-style encounters could even be custom-made on the fly, allowing you to act as both the gamemaster and the members of the party at the table. Schwarzer said that playsessions had been tuned to around 15 minutes, making it a perfect game to kill time with while commuting. But he also said gametesters were just as satisfied sitting down to hour-long sessions regularly to advance the story.

Paradox is the publisher, and Kyy Games is Knights of Pen & Paper 2's developer. While not the original team behind the Knights of Pen & Paper series, the Finnish company not only designed the Haunted Fall expansion to the original game but has two Magic: The Gathering champions on staff. This makes them more than qualified, Schwarzer said, to make a Dungeons & Dragons spoof.

The next level of puzzles.

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