My monthly entertainment budget is just enough for me to buy a single game, expansion, or season of TV. So whenever the first of the month rolls around, I deliberate a whole lot on what my one purchase will be. However, come this past October 1st, I already knew what I wanted: Wildermyth. I’d simply heard too many great things about it and knew that it’d be a perfect “lunchtime game” for me. Easiest purchase I ever made.
The best way to describe Wildermyth is a game that seeks to replicate tabletop RPGs, down to the visual style (including cutouts on a grid), branching storytelling, and evolving characters. In fact, it’s this last part that’s the most exciting, because your party grows into veritable legends that have good and bad things happen to them, develop relationships, grow old, and establish themselves as legends that can affect future campaigns.
My first adventure began with a trio of friends: street urchin Courette (fighter), troubled Geeve (hunter), and cowardly Walshae (mystic). During the opening chapter, strange monsters started attacking settlements while Welshae discovered both a mysterious book and the ability to do magic. In Wildermyth, the magic system is pretty cool — it’s called “infusion,” which allows you to bond with an object on the playfield and then transform that into a magical attack of some sort. Fire becomes fireballs, cloth can constrict windpipes, chests can explode in wooden shards, and so on.
Anyway, after a good battle, the three decide to form a company of heroes called The Bringers of the Things We Lost to go and help other regions. Their battles take place on a visually striking grid system where you move your party around, take actions, and then see how the enemy responds. It’s slick and straight-forward, which I appreciated, while also taking advantage of the layout and landscape for battle decisions.
There are a lot of these little events, kind of choose-your-own-adventure decisions where you make choices that impact your party. For example, I sent greedy Geeve to pry out a gem that promptly stuck itself right into his eye socket. His girlfriend Walshae is not amused.
They also find a little monster, whom Courette (now sporting a shiny rapier) argues that they care for. The company spends the night tending it, but it dies anyway. Bummer, I would’ve loved a monster pet.
After liberating a couple more zones from pests, the company returns to town and recruits a new warrior, Fala, who leaves her fields to see where the open road will take her.
I like their mid-adventure chatter. Gives them personality and keeps me going for the story alone.
Getting gear upgrades after a fight is a heady thing, and I definitely did a manly squee when Courette stumbled upon an artifact shield from a previous adventuring company. Unfortunately, she promptly got kidnapped by some crazy villagers who tried to offer her up as a sacrifice to a “Great One,” whatever that is. I love that Courette mocks them as they try to do this.
Ah. That’s a Great One. Cute!
Anyway, the company finally gets to the center of the conflict in this area, which is a gorgon that’s turned a whole village worth of people to stone. The crew slays the gorgon, but not before it implants something in Courette’s ear and hints at a greater gorgon master out there.
With Chapter One over, the game goes into an intermission during which it tells you what happens during the subsequent 10 years of peace. Courette’s stony mark grows, Walshae and Geeve get married (yay), the crew crafts some better gear, and enough knowledge is learned to start hunting down the gorgon threat.