A known affiliate of the Dark Lord, Stephen takes only a passing interest in the affairs of mortals. A life of extreme slothfulness has fostered in him an obsession with gaming - one which he will spread to the world in a dark tide of game reviews and news blurbs.
I’ve lived my entire life as a human being. This shows no signs of changing, so it looks like I’m stuck with the classification of Homo sapiens for at least the foreseeable future. Fortunately for myself and those of us that do not possess powers of shamanism and shapeshifting, the advent of video game technology has provided a way to escape the biological chains that bind us.
Join me, brothers and sisters, as I venture into a world strange and mysterious – a world where the line between man and beast is blurred, erased, and defiled! Whether it be repulsive octopus-men trying to fit into patriarchal roles or noble animal-knights slaughtering one another in the name of throne and glory, the world of anthropomorphic gaming has much to offer for those who would become one with the creature inside them.
I invite you to discover your fate, faced with a grueling challenge and trapped beneath an unfamiliar hide. Will you stay true to your humanity? Will nothing change? Or will you embrace the primal – roll in the slop and filth, devour the sick and the weak, all in the name of the Circle of Life? The answer likely lies somewhere in the middle.
With that said, I’ll introduce you to a few of my favorite anthropomorphic games thus far. First on my list is the game that sent me down my road to the Animal Kingdom…
Behold a world where furry feudalists clash over a landscape populated by evil creatures of the night and servants of a corrupted king hunt down any and all that defy him. Have you read Redwall? A Song of Ice and Fire? If you took both series, placed them carefully in a blender, pureed thoroughly, and then boiled them for twenty minutes, the remaining viscous paste would be something very close to Armello.
This game takes a typical age-old conflict (a war of succession over the crown of a dying king) and revitalizes it by replacing human monarchs and heroes with armor-clad mammals of the four-legged persuasion. Be it wolf, rabbit, rat, or bear, the clan you choose will influence your playstyle. Hunt and howl your way to victory, or hop through dank dungeons in search of treasure. The decision is yours.
As far as gameplay goes, Armello takes obvious inspiration from physical dice and board games, with four players taking turns moving about the board using limited action points. You’ll gain power and find fearsome gear and weaponry in the form of game cards; for example, Heavy Plate Armor will turn aside the blows of your enemy while you pulp their face with Marauder Gauntlets. Spells and followers are also available on your path to righteous regicide, allowing you to melt the flesh of your foes with Immolation as your trusty Warlock funnels more magic into your reserves. It’s hex-based, too, and what kind of savage doesn’t love hexagons?
While you can play alone against the computer, Armello‘s best played with your amigos; a little friendly murder goes a long way in any relationship. Games take roughly an hour, so they’re not a huge time commitment, and there’s great satisfaction to be had bringing sweet death to your comrades as you pounce from the trees. Whether you intend to restore the king and his lands to their former glory or plunge them further into corrupt chaos is your choice. Just keep a wandering eye on the other clan as they’re sure to take advantage of these dark times.