[Beyond PlayStation] Armello Review
Armello by League of Geeks is available now on the Nintendo Switch! Learn more about this indie strategy game in our Armello review!
Armello is the result of a very successful Kickstarter campaign that ran back in 2015, a project from an indie studio determined on making a solid game that could stand up for itself in the vast sea of strategy games on the market. The title has found itself launching on many platforms, but now you can take it with you wherever you go with the Nintendo Switch version!
The plot goes like this: There is a kingdom conformed of many clans under the command of a king, but one day he seems to straight up go mad, and the race for the throne begins. Clans send representatives to try and grab the kingdom for themselves, as it is discovered that the king has been corrupted by evil magic that is rotting him from the inside out and onto his grave.
The gameplay relies heavily on dice rolls, card pulls and chance in general, as is usually the case for a board game, but it also offers plenty of strategic ways to crawl your way to the crown. There are two heroes from each clan, and each of them has different abilities, so you are bound to find one just to your liking! Even though all games follow the same set of rules in the same map, no two matches are alike!
You can win by different means. There’s the political strategy, which means keeping yourself close and trusted by the king up until he dies to ensure your win. You can also take the throne by force by defeating him in a one-on-one battle. You could also succumb to this mysterious evil rot and use it to ensure your victory. Or perhaps you would prefer to cleanse the king of this old magic and bring peace to the land on your own. All of these offer many ways to play and plenty of strategies to try.
But the game is far more than just winning, as the entire experience is dictated by cards drawn and dices rolled. At the start of every turn, you can have a certain amount of cards according to your stats, and you can choose to gather from either items, magic or trickery decks, to get weapons, armor, spells and mischievous doings to help your cause. There’s also the dice, which has six faces, all dictating an action to be taken during battles or perils. The tiles of the map also play a significant role, from villages, ruins, and temples to forests, mountains, and swamps, they each have a different effect of their own.
Another amazing part of Armello is its art style. While the map and characters may be 3D and wonderfully done, there are also 2D assets while in battle that offers a hint of fable stories that comes with the idea of anthropomorphic animals battling over a kingdom. There are also many beautifully illustrated cards that you can see and enjoy both in the game and in your gallery after you’ve drawn them for the first time. The music and sounds might not be particularly remarkable, but they fit the general aesthetic and feeling of the game very pleasantly.
Not everything is perfect for this version of Armello, though. A visible difference can be seen in performance between the Nintendo Switch version and, say, the PC one, which might cause some lagging in animations while on the map or while rolling those dice. This doesn’t make the game unplayable by any means, and you might not even notice it if you don’t have another version to compare it to.
This game, like most strategy games, might not be for everyone, especially for those who can get frustrated easily with a bad roll of the dice or a bad card draw, but the short “per game” length the high replay value make this one definitely worth a try… because if you like it the first time, you will keep loving it the next 40 times as well! Armello is perfect for people looking for an intermediate and customizable title to get into the genre; and people looking for little indie gems as well.
This Armello review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by League of Geeks.