Armello, the digital board game by League of Geeks, has finally come to Xbox One as well. Time to take a look.
When we reviewed Armello last year, we talked about how it fused conventions from the world of board games with the audiovisual opportunities that videogames offer. After its initial release on Steam early access, it went on to gather favorable reviews and it became a bit of a niche hit. The same thing happened with the PS4 release, but Xbox One fans were left wanting – until now.
Now that we’ve had a chance to play Armello on Xbox, it’s safe to say that the formula hasn’t changed, despite gamepad support now being the default mode to play the game as opposed to the mouse control we used for the PC version. One aspect that we didn’t touch on in our PC review are the game’s excellent tutorials. This is a way in which a digital board game can outshine a tabletop version – where a complicated rulebook might scare away newcomers. Armello doesn’t fall into that trap, and instead takes players by the hand as they familiarize themselves with the game’s rules and dynamics.
The game’s shortcoming still apply to the Xbox One version as well. The game is okay to play against an AI opponent, but you really need to play this game against some friends online if you get the chance. AI opponents tend to take a while with their moves, which can be a bit tiresome. When you’re playing and interacting with some real life players, some of the social elements of real board games kick in and that’s where Armello really starts to shine.
It’s still not a game for everyone – especially on consoles, where gamers are more used to action-filled titles – but its rich fantasy setting, interesting and deep ruleset and audiovisual presentation make Armello a game worth playing for anyone who is both a videogame and a boardgame enthusiast, or at least one of those with an interest in the other. If you were already playing Armello on Steam of PS4, then you’ll be happy to know that some brand new DLC was just released as well.