Games remain plentiful for several age groups in existence, but how many have a tale full of spirit for kids, teens, parents and well, just about anyone who loves a beautiful blend of card games, board and storytelling? Australian indie game developer League of Geeks understands this and proved it has a place in gamers’ hearts by creating Armello. Words like artistic or charming don’t seem to do justice for this title. It’s an elegant, inventive product destined to find a keen audience old and young. Back in May of 2014 the title achieved successful crowdfunding of up to $305,000, and since completion has been shown at Gamescom, Pax Australia, E3 2015 and garnering outstanding positive feedback.
Set in a dazzling fantastical world (designed by the Unity engine) and glorified by colorful vibrancy and enchanting animal characters, Armello could almost be described as Mouse Guard and the RedWall series meets Game of Thrones with board game mechanics. Players assume the role of the “Hero” from one of four animal clans with a healthy mix of male and female characters bent on becoming king or queen of Armello.
For the time being there are four characters to choose from: Rat, Rabbit, Bear or Wolf. However, the developers are planning for a total of eight by the official launch. By starting on clan grounds, players navigate their 3D character across dynamic landscapes in the form of a digital board with hexagon-shaped tiles and a set number of action points to spend moving from tile to tile as they quest, scheme, wander, overcome monsters, perform the Mad King’s royal edicts, and face off against additional players. The ultimate question it comes down to is: how should a kingdom be run?
Technically there are no villains; everyone has their own agendas. However, they also remain vulnerable to corruption. Therefore, instead of focusing on black and white evil, it’s really all about how decisions are made and the outcomes that follow. Like a fairytale, the days are serene and the nights are grim. Still, every hero has its own character traits, powers, ability to remember grudges, have forgiveness raisings, and more. The game supports local and online multiplayer as well as distinctive AI for single player. The creative team is also working on making skins for players who want to decorate their hero. Other captivating assets already integrated in the game include: a journal system that allows players keep a record of where they are in the story, and more than 100 gorgeous cards, animated and illustrated with three completely different decks (item, spell, and trickery) available to use for casting enchantments, recruiting followers, discovering ancient treasures, and executing underhanded conspiracies.
There are four ways to win in Armello through:
Combat – slaying the king and surviving the conflict.
Prestige Victory – having the most stature when the king dies from his afflictions or through conflicts with an attacking player, and by completing heroic deeds such as defeating other players, vanquishing banes or accomplishing quests.
Spirit Stone Collection – collecting magical spirit stones scattered throughout Armello. Once four have been gathered they can be used to assist the King in passing in peace and restoring balance to the world.
Rot Victory – players who overpower the King in combat while having more Rot than him (and still survive to tell the tale) will when the game yet spread darkness to the realm instead of balance.
So who’s ready to take the throne?
Early access for Armello started last January for PC, Mac, and Linux. A release for PS4 is scheduled for September 2015.
Game Website: http://www.armello.com
Developer Website: http://www.leagueofgeeks.com