There is a certain charm only found in Armello. This Indie title is something that gamers rarely come across and is one of those games that you either really love or really hate. Whether your case may be, this is one game you should definitely try to play. It’s hard to choose what Armello really is, as the game is literally a board game combined with RPG elements and a card battle system. Usually, games like these make us nervous as the complications and balance of the game is always off, but it all works harmoniously. There is a learning curve, but it’s not steep, and once conquered, you’ll master the game pretty quick.
It doesn’t look like it, but Armello boasts a really deep story. It’s kid-friendly looks is just a facade, start reading the text and the story is quite engaging. The king is infected with the Rot – a dark disease scattered throughout the land which makes the king do questionable decisions during his rule. You as the player get to choose one of the faction animals and complete the story the way you want to, based on four objectives. Will you take the Kings head and claim the kingdom for yourself, or will you cleanse the king of the Rot by collecting four spirit stones. The only gripe I have with the story is the fact that it is told through text. A little more time with the game and the developers could have something marvelous in their hand. It is a shame that a deep story is told through text. If the game only had some dialogue, the game would’ve felt like an epic tale.
If you so choose to get really into the wild story of Armello, you can treat your gameplay as a story in itself. You play as one of many factions in the game, with each faction being represented by a different animal. You can be the bear clan or the rabbit clan – you get the idea. From there, you’re taken to the board where you vie for control and ultimately complete your objective before the other players can. There are four objectives found in the game: as mentioned before, you can take the throne for yourself or cleanse the king. Another way to win is by having the most prestige by performing certain actions across the game ,like completing quests or eliminating other players on the board. Since the king is infected with the Rot, it’s only a matter of time before he succumbs and the player with the highest prestige wins the game.
When your prestige is high enough, you can win the favor of the king and influence which game-changing decree he plays as the game progresses. These decrees have a huge impact on game sessions, as they can change the state of the game in an instant. Do you choose the decree where you take gold from all players, or the one ordering to burn cities down so they don’t generate as much gold each turn.
As the game progresses, you’ll be using spells, items and tricks to maneuver your way to victory. Items mainly increases your health and attack, spells buffs or debuffs you and your opponents, and traps are used to, well, trap opponents across the board and slow their progress to victory. Prestige and Rot also play a vital role in the game. I already established how having the highest amount of prestige turns you into the king’s right hand, so lets talk Rot. Rot cards are a double-edged sword; they are powerful to play but come at the cost of gaining Rot, which slowly drains your health during the day. No matter what road of victory you choose, you’ll find yourself immersed in this RPG board game.
I did, however had some concerns throughout my playthrough. First off, there is no skip nor is there any way to fast forward, so you’ll be sitting there watching every move the pieces make. Furthermore, the enemy AI either scales to be very dumb, where they constantly go within your traps or spell range, or they are extremely brilliant tacticians that practically trap you and kill you at every space they can find. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I need to stress that the deep story of the game is hidden behind text and gameplay, it’s going to be up to the player to actively look for a grand adventure as the game unfolds.
Armello’s charm lies heavily on its presentation. At first glance you’ll be treated to a delightful intro. After that you choose your character and begin the game. Every character, elements and even effects have a strong attention to detail. There were moments where I was just mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the game. But as beautiful as Armello is, after a dozen games the visuals start to get dull. Even if the board is randomly generated, I kept seeing the same lush green environments over and over again. The sounds of the game have a very mellow tone, exhibiting a splendid world with a dark secret. Even as your character moves across the board, you can hear footsteps and even the rustle of grass. It’s a truly elegant game.
Armello tries a lot of things to keep players engaged in multiple sessions. It’s mixture of board, RPG, and card games make a rather harmonious combination that made me nervous at first, but then proved to be quite enjoyable. The tale behind Armello is a deep one if you choose to explore it, though it is the game’s fault for turning the storytelling into almost a chore. On the other hand, once you explore the vast elegance of the gameplay, you’ll find yourself mastering one of the most complicated games on paper. A stunning piece of work, Armello drives visual presentation to the maximum, and knowing this is a indie title makes you think of why other games can’t seem to capture such beauty. Altogether, the game is a wonderful and imaginative ride, just don’t expect to play it in long sessions.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.