Impression: Armello

Armello: a wolf holding a sword
It’s a dog with a sword. Hilarious!

It finally happened. I was sure it would never happen to me. I told myself I was in control. I thought this only happened to other people. I was not going to fall into the trap. I was wrong. Last month I forgot to pause my Humble Monthly subscription and now I own a bunch of games I didn’t ask for. That of course is a problem you often encounter when buying bundles. It’s how you get a mountain instead of a pile.

The first game of this unintentional purchase I am going to talk about is ‘Armello’. It claims to be a board game with role playing game elements. I’d say it’s a board game in a fantasy setting with very (very) light touches of a RPG. I do understand why people like video game versions of their favorite board games. It’s easy to setup, you can play with friends all over the world and even better, you can play without friends against an AI. I’m not so sure about a board game that exists exclusively as a video game as ‘Armello’ does. I think it’s absurd, that I am playing a game that’s forcing me to watch (incredible slow, and sluggish) dice throws – again and again. Isn’t that the exact opposite reason of why they invented video games in the first place? You now have a machine that calculates the boring stuff in the background. It’s like magic!

I started with the tutorial, which just threw the rules of the game at me, leaving me no room to properly understand or practice any of the things I just learned. Also you can’t turn off the enemy’s turns in the tutorial. So besides shitty-physics-dice-rolls I also have to watch the incredible stupid AI doing things that make no sense and take A LOT of time. Such fun. I was going to start a regular game, but then the game kept hitting me with all the stuff that’s not in the game but I could buy now if I’d like to have more fun in the game I just payed for. Fuck off.

Armello: a character screen made of many cart symbols
It’s also a cart game…

I guess it looks nice. It has a colorful, cartoonish, World of Warcraft-like fantasy art design, which I don’t very much care for. I like my fantasy dark and gritty, leaning more towards the medieval experience and away from the I-think-I-just-stepped-in-candy Disneyland version. The few seconds of animation intro movies are well made, though.

If you like to play online board games against other humans ‘Armello’ might be an interesting choice (I really don’t know), but I’d say go look for something with a less shady business model. I admittedly didn’t care for it in the first place, but I really hate it when games are misused as advertisement for their own dlc. If I want to buy something I decide myself when I forget to cancel a subscription!

Armello: a character sheet
A character sheet! Such depth!

Info: ‘Armello’ was developed by League of Geeks, who like money, and released in 2015.

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