Games of the Year

Armello

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Armello is a grand swashbuckling adventure that combines three styles of play The deep tactics of card games with the rich strategy of table top board games, combined with a character role-playing system. As a hero from one of the clans of Armello, you'll quest, scheme, hire agents, explore, vanquish monsters, cast spells and face off against other players, with one ultimate end goal in mind — storming the palace and becoming King or Queen of Armello. The Kingdom of Armello is as dangerous as it is beautiful, perils, banes and bandits hide around every corner and a spreading corruption known as the Rot is leaving no creature untouched.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Armello isn't necessarily a game where you have fun winning. It's a game where you have fun absolutely ruining another player before being ruined in turn. It's like a playable version of that Buddhist parable where a bunch of sinners all try to be the first to climb out of Hell and end up breaking the rope.

Review from Steam

I should've posted a review long ago, considering how long I've had Armello as my profile background, and one of my favorite heroes Scarlet as my avatar, but better late than never I guess.
Armello is a fun and thrilling hybrid dice/board/card/video game. There is definitely a bit of a learning curve, and playing through the prologue tutorial at least once is highly recommended, but once you get a feel for the rules, it is surprisingly intuitive gameplay. There is a complex board of message options that can be used, with everything from greetings & boasts, to truces & threats for specific rival players' heroes. This setup allows for basic communication across different languages.
Cards are dealt at start of turn, used during and even off-turn, depending on its tactic: items for instant use or boosting your equipment, spells to change stats or cause long-range damage, and Trickery to screw over heroes or setup perils on spaces, though all 3 card types can have more complex and specific effects. There are also rare and unique treasure and follower cards that grant much better passive boosts for a player's hero.
Dice are used during battles with other players or the NPCs (king's guards, banes, and the king himself), six-sided with special roll symbols that affect attack and defense. The movement and tactical locations are based on a hexagonal board-game, usually allowing up to 3 movements per turn.
It's one of the most creative and fascinating game of it's sort I've played, and it's impressive how every aspect works together fluidly. The goal of the game is to become the new king or queen of Armello, replacing the mad, corrupted lion lord in charge, who will either eventually die from the Rot, or be defeated directly by a challenging hero that manages to infiltrate the highly guarded palace walls.
Each turn goes through a day/night cycle, with changes to gameplay during each. Dawn brings gold for each settlement claimed, and the king's guards go out on patrol and pursue heroes with bounties. Night replenishes mana/magic points, and the corrupt bane birds arise from dungeons and go terrorize settlements.
There are four strategies to win, and which one is ideal can change as the game evolves: having the most prestige (aka status/honor) by time the king dies, defeating the king in a regular dice battle, finding 4 spirit stones and insta-killing the king, or most challenging but satisfying, becoming even more corrupt than the king and beating the shit out of him with the bonus dice that grants in battle.
It should be noted that this is not a quick instant-win type of game, not usually anyway. Most matches last at least 30 minutes, sometimes as long as 90, but usually somewhere inbetween, though single player games can be much faster if you enable 'quick AI' turns. New stylized dice and hero customization can be unlocked at the end of each game, even if you don't win the match. Patient strategy and scheming tactics can reward those who seek the throne, one way or another. But be prepared for agonizing humiliation sometimes, too.
Highly recommend for anyone who loves board games within video games, a unique and satisfying experience. And yes, if you like GoT-style dark fantasy &/or Redwall-style furries, that's always a plus, too.

Review from Steam

Furry warcrime simulator and top tier friendship destroyer!
9/10 with soon to be ex-friends
4/10 without ex-friends

Review from Steam

With the announcement of Armello's final update, I look back fondly on this title. One of the earliest games to prove that an adventure boardgame in the videogame space can work very well, and this is a titan of that genre. The art and music are fantastic, the characters are all vibrant and have a ton of personality (I'd love to see a cartoon series about them). A wonderful balance between strategy and RNG, multiple ways to win, and a good amount of unlockable cosmetics in the form of really cool dice. A treasure for any boardgame fan, especially of the furry persuasion.

Review from Steam

Armello presents itself beautifully with a dark medieval fantasy setting and lets you play as a wide variety of anthropomorphic animals (what you may call furries). It is in other words already predisposed to be of my liking..
It is at the core the very definition of a board game presented as a videogame and if there ever was a board game version of this I have a nagging feeling it wouldn’t be as good as this version.. Basically the uncanny alley of board games.. The gameplay is simply gathering the most influence or assassinate (or cure) the king, if you imagine Game of Thrones with a furry theme you are pretty close..
The artwork is phenomenal, the music great and the atmosphere is absolutely amazing. If you have any interest in a quite mellow yet highly addictive interactive board game, look no further. Armello delivers a great experience but is still after all these years a bit too pricey. Wait until sale then get it all!

Review from Steam

It has not one, not two, not three but FOUR playable rabbits and they come in different flavours:
Amber: The heroine of our story, likes to explore dungeons
Elyssia: Builds walls
Barnaby: A pack rat but bunny
Hargrave: Bun with the gun
So overall a great game if you like rabbits.

Review from Steam

Good clean fun, especially with long distance grandchildren!

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