- Developer: League of Geeks
- Publisher: League of Geeks
- Genre: strategy RPG
- Release Date: 30/8/2016
- Platforms: PC Xbox one PS4
- Reviewed on: Xbox one X
- Game Supplied by: Microsoft
Armello is an enchanting little piece of art that sprouted out of nowhere backed by a very successful kickstarter campaign, and it’s not hard to see why.
Armello is something different, unique and truly special in my opinion. In the midst of all the Battle royale shooters and your run of the mill rpgs you have this little gem.
Armello is a cross between dungeons and dragons and civilisation revolution, just replace the building of cities and dungeon master with a xbox with a RING and stat management, The basics of the game will be very familiar to anyone who has played any of the popular role playing board games.
Armello starts with a beautifully animated watercolor cartoon into( Think kung fu panda 3 scenes) these straight away set the fantasy adventure tone, with its cast of humanoid animals.
The story runs along the basic lines of, the kingdom of armello was once a happy wonderful place until the king became corrupted by something called the rott, and it is your job to go on an adventure to become the next king or queen ( I love that they include both genders) of armello and thus save the kingdom/ win the game.
The story is pretty compelling, it had me hooked the second I got into it, and the fact that the game from the get go tells you, no two game will be the same due to the nature of gameplay.
You have two options when it come to playing, you can either play a single player campaign or be joined by 3 other players to compete against, You will be able to do either at will once you have completed the tutorial, which is presented to you in the form of a part by part prologue that consists of short games and story segments to teach you everything you need to know to fully enjoy a game in amello, and also to ease you into the story. I personally love the way they have done this, a game with so many mechanics and stats to manage could be a daunting task to master but in this form it splits up the tutorial parts with charming characters setting the scene for the rest of the game, making learning how to play and all the stages of turn feel almost natural to pick up on.
Just on the subject of multiplayer, it’s pretty straight forward, you are given victory conditions and you must be the first to achieve them.
Other players will try to stop you whilst trying to achieve their own goals, the multiplier can be very slow as with any online turn based game. The only other gripe I have is that the win conditions can be quite unbalanced at times making it a lot easier for one player compared to the rest.
On to the graphics, There are 2 parts to consider.
The main game board is a stunningly designed hex space board, picture a catan board filled with swamps, villages, mountains and forests. But in 3d, it looks awesome again very similar to civilisation revolutions board just with a fantasy vibe it looks good.
While we are on the subject of the board and its tiles i’d like to quickly mention that most of the tiles have status effects, mountains cost double movement points, swamps deal 1 damage, stone circles heal 1 life and forests give you a stealth buff.
Back to graphics, the second part to this are the combat graphics, They are not the same, combat is all rendered in 2d in the same fantastic style all the cutscenes are in, it sounds strange, and even to me it seemed like it would be annoying but it actually works really well with this style of game, due to the way combat plays out.
In the combat stage(when an enemy come in to a tile adjacent to to yours and choses to attack or vice versa) both characters stats come in to play, for example if I have an attack of 6 and the enemy has 4 I get 6 dice to roll and they only get 4, the dice will then determine depending on what symbols they land on how many attacks and blocks we will each do. So if I were to roll 4 blocks and 2 attacks out of my 6 dice and the enemy was to land 4 attacks, all of his attacks would be blocked as irolled 4 blocks and I would deal 2 damage. This can all be affected by stat effects and other effects throughout the game, but those are the basics.
Next I think it’s well worth talking about the choice system, through any campaign in armello you will have certain choices, an example could be that you either carry on through the swamp or go around it. It would display a card offering you each choice and usually something along the line of, you have a 50% chance of success if you succeed you will gain 1 health and 1 extra movement point, if you do not you will lose 2 health, than usual if you decide to not chance it it would cost you something like 2 movement points. That is just one scenario, there are honestly to many to list but quite a lot of the time the stat bonuses are well worth the risks.
You can also recruit party members along your quest that will give you various perks, So far I have only recruited a bard, except for the annoying little guy from the tutorial.
They come in pretty handy they are in short, a charming way of equipping passive skills.
And lastly the sound of armello, I have made you picture a lot of stuff here but now I would like you to imagine all of it, with a almost magical sounding background music, just a very light and wondrous sound that really does add to the fantasy feel of the world of armello, but everything in the game sounds great the clashing of swords during a battle even the little noise it makes when you make a choice
Armello is not for everyone, but I think the vast majority of people would enjoy playing through a campagne in armello, its enchanting, cute and very fun. The story alone for me was enough to play, I loved every second I have spent in armello, and best of all is that there is already a host of DLC that you ca get, adding new quests, characters and with that changing the whole meta of the game.
I would, and have recommended this to anyone who wants something to play that requires more than just rushing for the win.