When one thinks of tabletop roleplaying games, they think of a bunch of nerds sitting around a table with pads and pens, rolling dice on the surface and having a game master read to you what happens next. However, with modern society put emphasis on technology and online gaming, it’s not really surprising that more of these games are becoming more technologically advanced. There are websites such as Roll20 which allows people to get together online and play a campaign complete with a detailed map and GM, and there are more classic styles with a new twist: boards games that have a digital map and features. I myself have very little experience with these type of games; many of the features are too complex for me to keep track of and while I enjoy the freedom and imagination of creating a character and leading their lives on an epic journey, I find myself rather nervous when playign with other people and prefer to play games by myself. That’s when I discovered Armello, a game crated by League of Geeks which has just been released on Early Access on Steam.
The game was originally released for the iPad in 2012 from an Australian indie game developers, but gained enough popularity that they were able to start up a Kickstarter campaign to help produce the game full-time for computers on the Steam service and include more content. The campaign was a success and the game was released for Early Access in January 2015. The game, according to a Kotaku review, is “like Game of Thrones but with animals” with other positive reviews about the colorful style, unique gameplay and interesting world. The game is a fantasy RPG which uses dice and cards to determine battles and how the player-character can win the throne by the end of the nine-day cycle.
I found myself becoming wrapped up in the colorful world and the mechanics were easy to understand after playing a few campaigns. I also enjoy the option to choose to play a single-player game or play with other people; it allows me play casually without becoming caught up in competitive people. It also offers a beginner’s guide to tabletop roleplaying and open doors to more complex campaigns.
Although the game is on the right track so far, it can become repetitive after a few times of playing it with the same four characters (the only ones so far are a wolf and rat both male, and a rabbit and bear both female) and the main story stays the same with the only random resets being the map, cards and quest options. I am frustrated that this is only an early access, because I would like to experience new content and character options, such as the Bandit Clan (which are the new species and classes) and gender-opposite hero characters that were only available for those that donated during the Kickstarter campaign. Hopefully more will become available for downloadable content once the game is officially released, which is set to be sometime this March, and that new features will also be introduced, such as new story content and the addition of NPCs.
Armello is available on Steam Early Access and more information can be found on the official website here as well as their Facebook page and Twitter.