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Armello brings card and board gaming to the land of fairy tale and fable

Melbourne-based League of Geeks has been working on Armello, a tabletop experience in a folktale setting for PC, Mac, Linux and iPad.

Melbourne-based studio League of Geeks has been working on Armello, a tabletop experience in a folktale setting for PC, Mac, Linux and iPad.

(Credit: League of Geeks)

It was a long time ago that we first heard about League of Geeks' Armello, and at that time we knew little more than that it looked pretty and was going to be set in a fable setting with talking animals. Since late 2011, we've been waiting patiently, through a trailer that looked pretty spectacular but didn't give much away — and now the penny has dropped, and the game looks fantastic.

Currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, Armello describes itself as a game that "combines the adventure of role-playing games with the strategy of card and board games" — and it looks like quite a melange of styles, including card, dice, board and symbol-based gameplay. We imagine it would be difficult to do well, but Armello looks like it can pull it off — and pull it off with style.

(Credit: League of Geeks)

The game takes place in the eponymous kingdom of Armello, where the king is dying of a malady known as the Rot. You and up to three other players take the roles of the heroes of the four clans of Armello — Thane, the warrior wolf; Amber, the magic-user bunny; Mercurio, the assassin rat; and Sana, the druid bear — and must go head-to-head against each other to claim the throne and save the kingdom. Each character has an upgradeable skill tree and special ability.

The play system looks unique. You battle across the hex-board, completing quests, capturing land, exploring dungeons for treasure and battling foes and your fellow players alike. This takes the form of a dice-based combat system, and cards can be played to heal yourself, equip items, cast spells, trade, forge allegiances and lay traps for the other players.

"There's no boring down time in Armello," the campaign reads. "After you hit the 'End Turn' button, you'll be busy equipping items, recruiting followers and purchasing talents in your hero's unique talent tree. Maybe you're playing cards to the board as Perils for other heroes to stumble into or perhaps you're playing cards to strike up temporary allegiances... they're always temporary."

The game can be played as both local and online multiplayer, while a single-player mode lets you go it alone if you're not up for a battle. Each game the board will be randomly generated, meaning no two games will ever be exactly alike. And, if you're not quite into any of the characters who will be in the game at launch, more will be coming.

For those who fall in love with the world, the game isn't the end of it. A book series fills in the story, with more to come in the future, and the team has hopes for an animated series — although at this stage, that will be a long way down the line. It's certainly an impressive, sprawling project League of Geeks has created, and we can't wait to see it.

The game itself is being offered as a reward for PC, Mac and Linux for a minimum pledge of AU$15, with an estimated delivery date of March 2015. The iPad version isn't being offered as a reward, since Apple is strict about its gifting policy, but you can still back the project for a few bucks if you're really excited.

Head over to the Armello Kickstarter campaign for (a heck of a lot) more info, and to pledge your support.