Wildermyth – A story within a story – First Sip Review
Wildermyth is self typified as a myth-making tactical RPG by its creators. Developed and published by Worldwalker Games LLC.
Wildermyth is a unique game heavily inspired by tabletop games. Set in a world known as The Yondering Lands. The player is given a choice of campaigns to run, which can also be customized much like the Dungeons and Dragon’s role-playing tabletop experience.
The stories are based on the campaign you choose but even the same campaign will end up drastically changed by your actions. The game is heavily weighted by choice. Everything from your character’s romantic interests to where they choose to explore is decided by the player.
The basics of the campaign I played was an introduction to the heroes and the gameplay mechanics. It began in a small village with childhood friends fighting a fire in the village. From there my two heroes met up with their other friend but not before she had her own side story explaining her mechanics. Inside this third character’s story was a magical book she could enter more stories into, which ends up a quite meta-story in a story.
As I continued I ended up with another hero, exploring the lands around my village. And two of my heroes ended up with life-altering changes that would develop into further game-changing ideas.
The art style in Wildermyth is a mixture of cartoon drawings and papercraft. Papercraft is used for the battle sections and essentially means that the characters are 2D but move on a 3D plane. The bounce of the characters as they move is a very simple idea but nonetheless, it works in giving the game a personality that is instantly identifiable.
Character designs are fun and vibrant. They are also customizable at just about any stage of your story. In between battles you are able to read your character bio and change their appearance. Changes can include, height, width, face and hairstyles and colors. For such a basic art style there are a fair few options and they look quite nice.
Enemy designs are even more vibrant than the heroes. Enemies are varied, everything from monstrous deer to skeletons to Lovecraftian eldritch horrors.
Music in Wildermyth is typically an organic-sounding fantasy score. A lot of sweeping orchestral music or more plaintive piano. It fits well and most of the time you probably won’t even notice it. At the same token though you’d notice if it were missing which is a sign of a good score.
Sound effects are similarly fitting and standard for the genre. Probably the most common effect you will hear is the page-turning noise. This plays when you move through a dialogue choice, of which there are plenty.
Gameplay in Wildermyth is split between two main phases, battle and exploration/dialogue.
Battles in Wildermyth take place in a turn-based tactical RPG style. The level is split into a grid in which your characters can move based on their movement stats. Attacks can be launched at your enemies in an effort to destroy them before they destroy you. Each character will get two actions each turn which can be used to move and attack or you can spend both to move further. As your characters gain experience and skills there will be some changes such as additional attack options and passive skills that allow for two attacks in a turn.
The mage class in the game has a unique skill where they can connect with inanimate objects. Connecting to these objects will open up new attacks based on the item you have tethered with. Tactically you can also use this option to launch attacks from further away instead of entering an attackable distance. Later on, new skills with also allow for further ways to use this magic.
The game also uses an interesting death system for your characters. If a hero takes enough damage to fall in battle you are instead provided a choice. You can have your hero fall back, generally incur a wound that will impact them for the rest of the game. Or alternatively, you can have them die in a blaze of glory, helping you win the fight but lose the hero completely.
Wildermyth also makes use of a lot of tactical RPG genre staples. Such as cover, flanking and bolstering your characters when they are in proximity of one another.
Exploration and Dialogue
The other gameplay aspect of Wildermyth is the outside of battle elements. As the story progresses you will receive fairly consistent dialogue options. These options will have major impacts on how the story progresses so you really have to think about which option to select. These can be anything from working out character relationships (friends, romantic or rivals). To deciding whether or not to touch a weird glowing orb in front of you.
In between battles you are also able to send your heroes out on tasks. You can have them explore a previously uncharted area. Train a new fighter. Claim an area liberated in battle and many more. Each hero is able to independently perform their task and the game urges you to have all available heroes find something to do. Tasks can also be performed by groups of heroes and it is advisable to bring as many into battle as you think you’ll need.
Wildermyth is deceptively simple. From the look of the game and the papercraft art, you might expect to be mostly reading a story and fighting in tactical RPG battles. What you’ll find when playing though is that the game mechanics are far deeper than just equipping the strongest equipment for battle. Making proper use of your heroes’ time. Choosing when and who participates in battle. Selecting where your hero goes next. These are just a few of the features you need to be aware of and master to really succeed in Wildermyth.
The writing in the game is incredibly complex, the number of dialogue trees and situational events must be staggering. As is the customizable nature of the game.
Beyond all this, the game also has a certain cute playfulness that I enjoyed. This playfulness is typified by the difficulty selection, each option being an author, rather than “easy” or “hard” they have C.S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia) leading all the way up to H.P. Lovecraft (supernatural horror literary icon and creator of the Cthulhu Mythos).
In Coffee Terms
In coffee terms, Wildermyth is like a straight black. But then you take a sip and realize there is something else there. Something more complex under the surface. There are flavors intermingling within the drink that you didn’t expect but they work and that’s the main thing.
Thoroughly satisfying in little sips and brewing a whole pot to enjoy.
Wildermyth Review Summary
One half of the YouTube brother duo, The Game Bros with Sirhc and Ar0n, Chris is a lover of games, movies and other great things you can do from home.
Coffee of choice: I like the sweeter kinds, mixed with chocolate, coconut, caramel etc. but I won’t turn down a flat white or a straight black either.