There are many types of gamers that enjoy the merits of modern gaming, but if we have to point out one group which is having the best of it, that would be a board game enthusiasts. Not so long time ago, board games were all but dead, but thanks to the advancement of a technology, these games are having a real Renaissance, especially on mobile platforms. Armello is one of those games. It looks and feels like a board game, with some classic board game mechanics, but it also has beautiful graphics and takes care of all the statistics behind the scenes.
The plot of this game is a standard as it can be, with the King dying of rot and multiple factions fighting for the throne. There are four different ways to emerge victoriously at the end of the game, and each is equally fun on its own. You can try to speed up King’s passing or to find the cure for his illness. You can go even darker, and catch the rot yourself, ultimately becoming the Lord of Corruption. The final way to win is to earn more prestige than your competitors when the king finally kicks the bucket. These drastically different ways to Victory are opening a lot of possibilities for intrigue and scheming. Something like Game of Thrones, but with furries.
Why furries, you ask? At the beginning of the game, each player chooses a character from one of the four animal clans. To be exact, those are rat, rabbit, bear or wolf. Of course, each client has its own distinct powers. Wolves are more dangerous during the night, bears improve their health by visiting stone circles, rabbits are experts in finding underground treasure, and rats can recruit spies. All the heroes are beautifully animated and they have a lot of character imbued within their appearance. They also have the full range of distinctive powers to even emphasize their personality and adds the replay value of the game.
Players spend each turn traveling across the world, which is randomly generated, taking over the settlements, completing quests and defeating enemies. If your character gets defeated you will lose prestige points and you’ll be sent back to your homeland with tail between your legs. After the quest is completed, the player is given the choice to either accept the reward or to try their luck in order to win some bigger prizes.
The gamble usually includes rolling the dice and there is a risk of penalty if it’s unsuccessful. Another great item the players have in their inventory is a hand of beautifully designed cards which players can use to activate new powers, gain new equipment, magic or trickery. However, cards require certain resources, but they give a very welcomed advantage over the opponents.
Combat is solved with rolling a dice and comparing the results. There are some tweaks in this systems, like the sun and moon dice symbols, that give bonuses to certain players. There are also modifiers for different terrain types, but you can manage the luck factor by sacrificing a card from your deck in order to change a dice result.
This game plays like a classical American-style board game, with a lot of dice rolls and player conflicts. There are some new elements added into the mix, like asymmetric player power and multiple paths to victory. The biggest problem of this game is that it relies too much on a goodwill of the players, which is attainable when players who know each other meet, but online environment is that very welcome ground for such ethics.