The Dice Are Rolling in Armello's Favor - Armello - iOS - www.GameInformer.com
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Armello

The Dice Are Rolling in Armello's Favor

Armello is all about having a vision and seeing it through even when things seem impossible. Trent Kusters the director of League of Geeks, the team behind Armello, spent plenty of time deciding how to make the game he envisioned. He thought it would be impossible to fund even with a small team and almost let it remain a pipe dream. But then the indie boom came and Bastion made its mark on the industry. Kusters heard how Greg Kasavin tackled Bastion with such a small team and he was inspired. Kusters then set up a profit share and recruited people who were passionate about making a game and willing to devote their time into something that had no guarantees. 

The process has worked out better than Kusters could have dreamed. All people in the profit share get points for tasks that they complete and the points relate to the profit. Since founding the company, Kusters has brought on an illustrator, Adam Duncan, who has 20 years of experience, and introduced a score to the game by Michael Allen, who was once in his own band Things of Stone & Wood and has since ventured on to writing music for Australian films and even games like Rise of the Guardians. People really believe in the project, which I can tell is comforting for Kusters.

Today I saw an early build of the Armello on iPad. It combines Kusters and his team's passion for board games and great stories. Four heroes were options (rat, rabbit, bear, or wolf), but Kusters says they plan to launch with eight. The characters don't have specific classes, but instead have vague play styles that lend better to fighting or stealth. Once you choose a character, you fight for one goal: to become the king or queen of Armello. 

You traverse across a board of 3D hex-tiles to earn enough power to take the throne, but it's so much more than that. This map is inviting with birds floating around, NPCs are animated, and different terrains such as swamps, forests, and dungeons add variety. Every match you play should be unique; the map is procedurally generated every time you load a match, so it's unpredictable where anything will end up. The whole game revolves around action points that you spend for movement and in battles. Battles play out by the luck of the dice, which you roll using the touchscreen. Your roll determines whether you have offensive or defensive attributes...you can even flat out roll misses. The game also has day and night shifts, which grant some characters an extra roll, depending which one they are better suited for. Also in the mix are a deck of cards. The deck consists of boosts like +1 sword. You can equip these cards, or if you encounter an enemy and feel at a disadvantage you can "burn" a card for an edge in the battle, like guaranteeing yourself a desired die.  

So just how will you overtake the palace? That strategy is entirely up to you. Each character has a unique quest line that changes each game. Taking part in these quests not only provide small stories along the way, but also can grant you the power you need to storm the palace. You could also battle the other three players you're against, but this strategy is risky because dying penalizes you, transporting you back to the start of the board. You can even sacrifice yourself  to a demon to earn dark powers and win that way.

During my time with Armello, what surprised me the most was its complexity. How and if I won was entirely in my hands and the options seemed aplenty. For instance, I could hide in forests for the advantage of making stealthy kills. In Armello, the world is yours to conquer and different angles you can take to succeed give it plenty of promise on the replayability front. Also, with local and online multiplayer included, it opens the door for some stiff competition. At the end of my demo, one thing was clear: the dice are currently rolling in Armello's favor.

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Comments
  • 1 word for that trailer...........BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!! ABSOLUTELY FREAKING BEAUTIFUL!!!! I am gonna play this no matter what.
  • Looks awsome , i would have liked it more if the charecters didnt have eyes !!!
  • I hope it will be on PC someday.

  • Please just shut up and take my money!

  • Looks good

  • Well they got my attention. The concept sounds pretty intriguing.

  • This looks pretty cool! Too bad I don't have an iPad.

  • game looks good, now please release it on a real platform.

  • Interesting... It looks nice.

  • This looks really cool. Kudos to Trent Kusters for not giving up on his dream!

  • really interested.  aesthetically pleasing. apple product only?

  • There is something wrong with games today when the only place some games can find to be put on is a place like the fricking ipad and crap over priced apple products that is not even a real game machine.

    touch screen controls are a joke and horrible and connecting a controler to it for some games and having the thing sit in proped up on something in front of you on a tiny 10 inch screen is even more stupid.

    Oh well at least its s over head RTS thing so it might not control too horrible on a touch screen. this should have been a full PC RTS though.
  • When I watched the trailer all I could think about was Game Of Thrones just with animals

  • I confused this with the Armadillo rolling game coming to WiiU, Armillo.

  • iOS and full of animals? Not sure how I feel about this one...

  • Really liking the visuals.