There is no shortage to role playing video games out in the world. So what makes Worldwalker Games LLC’s Wildermyth really stand out? I initially began to play the game because it reminded me a lot of Dungeons and Dragons, but with a more guided play through. It does a great job of crafting a story that takes the characters from small time no bodies to heroes of legacy. It definitely has created a game where fans of XCOM can get their fantasy adventure on.
The first thing I noticed in Wildermyth when starting my first campaign, is that you have a lot of customization when it comes to the difficulty level. Everything can be adjusted to one level or you can pick a combat level that is different from the campaign level. Players can really mix and match to find what best fits their style of play. Not to mention they have cute names like CS Lewis and JK Rowling difficulties.
Similar to other tactical games, Wildermyth, has you moving your team around the map, uncovering new settlements, scouting for enemies and going up against them. Once a settlement has been saved, they can then spend time building up defenses. As the time in the world passes, enemy forces move about and grow stronger. It took me a bit to get comfortable with the flow of the game, but after the first few turns it felt like second nature.
The battle is what I felt was the games strongest point. The turn based combat still allows the player to jump between which character they want to move first. Moving about the field is easy, however I felt that the color difference between a single move and a double move were too close. The game also helps guide you by showing the percentage to hit as well as how much damage can be done.
What Wildermyth really gets right is the art style. The world, map, characters, enemies, everything is made from hand painted 2D art. The paper art style never falls flat and the player can even twist the board around and it still feels full. The music also helps build on the adventure with whimsical tunes that seem to fit every mood. What really stood out to me was the character and enemy designs. While not every one looks different, they still all have a feel of their own.
Each new campaign in Wildermyth plays the exact same way. The difference comes in the randomly generated characters that can interact and form relationships with everyone. While your characters can only become one of the three classes (hunter, mystic, warrior) the abilities they learn as they go can really help to change things up. The randomly generated enemies all have different motives in the smaller campaigns and the larger ones have villains with an overarching story.
The stories also vary from play through to play through. This is what really had me wanting to play the game, but I felt that after my third or forth campaign that I had replayed several of the same smaller stories. The characters were also different, but once you had read through the text a few times it really starts to become a bit boring. I found myself skipping through quickly to get to the combat phase.
Wildermyth definitely has it’s pluses that can be seen in over the 450 positive reviews on Steam. Operationally for me, the game feels good. Combat, moving about the map, and how the story progresses feels natural and works well within the game. However, this just isn’t my type of game and nothing stuck out enough to really draw me in. It felt almost like a job to play and that just doesn’t make for fun gameplay. Do I think it is worth getting? Totally, if you are a fan of tactical type games or really interested in giving this a try.
Wildermyth is available through Steam early access on PC.
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