Armello – Strategy Fusion Board Gaming

Apr 9, 2018
Board

Armello is a turn-based combination board-game and strategy RPG that is itself a mobile port of the popular PC game.

Armello seeks to do something very interesting as a mobile game by blending the dual concepts of board gaming with the turn-based, RPG style endemic to mobile games of this type.

In Armello, the story campaign follows the King’s recent development of Rot, and the kingdom’s quest to remove it, discover a cure or somehow make yourself King in his place.

Each player chooses a character from one of the four animal clans, including rat, rabbit, bear or wolf. Each clan has unique, particular powers; for example, wolves are more powerful at night, whereas rabbits are very skilled at finding underground treasure. Their strengths are tied thematically to their race, so it feels satisfying to utilise abilities that reward you for your thematic choice.

The entire game is rather expertly animated, with nice visual and audio effects to accompany movement and card playing.

The entire game is rather expertly animated, with nice visual and audio effects to accompany movement and card playing.

The gameplay itself revolves around the use of action points – each turn, you have action points to spend to either complete quests, capture settlements to gain gold, or defeat enemies.

All throughout the game, you’ll be building your prestige score to gain more fame and overall get stronger. This prestige gives you access to better quests and makes the entire game easier as you go, so it ends up being just as valuable a resource as gold.

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The primary method of both prestige and gold gain is quests. Quests in Armello are usually focused on testing different skills your hero’s possess: Strength, Wits and Health. Generally, each quest has a percentage chance of victory, depending on your total stats.

For each quest, you get the option to choose either the risky, or the safe option. The safe option will generally give you a mild reward, whereas the risky option has the possibility of punishing you for failure. This gives the player some control of their decision making, but it can also create the possibility of frustration – if everything is decided based on random chance, only able to be influenced by bringing more stats to the table, then the player is left crossing their fingers and hoping for luck every time.

This gives the player some control of their decision making, but it can also create the possibility of frustration – if everything is decided based on random chance, only able to be influenced by bringing more stats to the table, then the player is left crossing their fingers and hoping for luck every time.

Completed quests award gold and prestige, allowing use of unique cards that award different statistics, items and effects on other players and the terrain. Correct combination of these items, such as items that improve fighting capabilities or allow you to enter stealth, are crucial to victory in Armello.

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Armello itself is something rather peculiar – it is both a strategy board game and an old school PC strategy game, all blended together and condensed down into mobile form. The gameplay makes sense, is backed up with excellent animation and design, as well as offering genuinely good replayability through the different options for player characters.

Considering it’s such a strange mix of different genres, Armello already feels like a classic that you’ve played for ages, and will play even more in the future.

Our Rating

ProsCons
Armello is both strategic and RPG-like, feeling like the best of both. The blend of genres works surprisingly well.The randomness of quests can lead to frustration.
Rating
8/10
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Sam Eskenazi

Sam is a YouTuber, Streamer & Games Journalist. He loves to cook and listen to the sound of his own voice, ideally at the same time.

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