Indie Corner: Armello
September 15, 2015 \ Uncategorized \ 0 Comments
League of Geeks, a newly formed Indie studio based in Australia, brings their debut game to PC and PlayStation 4. Armello is a very special game since it’s a four player board game that can be played both offline and online. The board game genre doesn’t get a lot of new entries so Armello is more than a welcome change.
Game of Disney
The plot of Armello can best be described as a mix between Disney and Game of Thrones. You play the game in a land of a crazy but dying king. This king is a lion of course and you play as one of the animals that want to claim the throne. There are a total of eight playable characters based in the Wolf, Rabbit, Rat and Bear clans. Picking your character is important since each character has its own strengths and bonuses along the way. You unlock certain bonuses and special abilities while playing but it’s important to read all about your characters before you start, switching once you’re playing is impossible.
The plot isn’t that spectacular but it offers a great art style and fun characters, you don’t play the game for its story however, the gameplay is what’s most important.
This isn’t Monopoly
The big difference between Armello and other digital board games is that Armello isn’t based on an existing game but was built from zero. This means that everything in Armello feels and looks fresh. It’s definitely something else than a digital Monopoly for example. The game simulates dices and cards and even has some kind of set hexagon-shaped board but that’s about it. The game doesn’t follow set rules but made its own. The time is limited on the board since the king is dying. When the king dies, the game ends, crowning the best player of the session king.
This means that you’re never forced to spend a crazy amount of your hours in the game, this is especially good for the online players, they’ll never need to spend a lot more than one hour in a session. Offline has the same time limited and rules. For some the time limited blocks some long-term strategies and it’s definitely one of the flaws in Armello. Since there’s so much to do, you have to select the missions you want to play, you really have to see what offers the best rewards since getting to certain side-missions takes a lot of steps on your map. Looking for the best mission and reward is key of the game and even key to win certain rounds.
A lot of ways to win
The best thing about Armello is that there isn’t just one way to win. The most obvious way of winning is taking down the castle of the king and the king himself. If you manage this, you’ll be crowned as the new king automatically. If you can’t defeat the king however, there are several ways of winning. Another way is to collect the four Spirit Stones that are hidden on the map, if you manage to gather those and take them back to your own castle, you’ll also win. The last way of winning is to gather most prestige points. These can be gathered by defeating monsters on the map or in the dungeons or by killing the other players. Prestige points can be gathered on other means as well so it’s really important to keep a close look at who has most Prestige Points before you make the wrong decisions.
Great style, lot of waiting
It must be said, Armello looks and sounds great, it even looks like one of those games the big studios made. It’s really impressive to see the colorful and detailed graphics. The problem in Armello is the waiting. In online multiplayer sessions we simply had to wait too long between turns. Since the game hands you random cards while playing, you can’t completely plan your moves. This also means your enemy will take his time to look for the best strategy. While the enemy is figuring out the best way to attack, there’s nothing left to do than just look around on the map. This works but is incredibly boring when the enemy is in stealth, a mode where you can’t see the forces of your enemies.
It would have been great if we got something to do while the enemy is planning his attack. That being said, it’s great the AI takes over once a player drops out when he knows he can’t win the session. This way you’ll never lose a session.
|The good:||The bad:|
|+ Great visuals||– Slow online sessions|
|+ New board game, new rules||– Sessions are rather short sometimes|
|+ Lot of variation||– Waiting|
Armello is a great new board game that came up with some new rules and strategies to win. It’s interesting to see how such a small team made a game of this quality. If you’re looking for an interesting board game on PC or PlayStation 4, be sure to check this one out. It’s time to claim your crown.
4 out of 5: