Game Over – Wildermyth (#JustOnePercent 52/100)

Developer: Worldwalker Games LLC
Release Date: June 15, 2021
MSRP: $24.99

This post is a little off the beaten path for me – normally, I play something, and if I’m going to write about it, I do it fairly soon afterwards. My credits roll on Wildermyth happened about 6 months ago – I meant to write about it at that time, but I kept pushing it back for one reason or another until it fell off my radar entirely. When I was making my list of games to talk about for the #JustOnePercent project, I realized that this would be the perfect excuse to revisit the game – even briefly.

Wildermyth is a party-based RPG, where the focus is on character and story more than on combat and gear. There are six story campaigns, each of which has a distinct over-arching story, but with random encounters in between the story beats, as well as four random story options. Upon completing a campaign of any type, you’re given the option to add characters from that campaign to your Legacy, where they can be selected for later playthroughs with better starting stats. The more times you play a certain character, and re-add them to your legacy, the stronger they become.

It’s a neat gimmick, and if you find yourself playing a lot, it won’t take too long for your legacy to get a bit unwieldy. However, if you don’t care for the base gameplay – and that includes a lot of reading and choice-based character progression – the legacy system probably won’t endear you overly much to the rest of the game.

There are only three classes – warrior, hunter, and mage, and rather than dithering over stats and equipment, the character creation process focuses mainly on the look of your character and their personality traits. In most campaigns, your would-be heroes start with frying pans and pitchforks, and class customization is limited to choosing from one of a handful randomly rolled abilities when you obtain enough experience to level up. There are also limited enemy types, and it can lead to the combat sections feeling repetitive and almost dull after awhile.

The main appeal of the game lies in the stories it tells. Initially, getting a new event is exciting; most of my game time was spent playing co-op with a friend, and we’d spend a significant amount of time debating our choices, when we could only guess where those choices would lead. However, despite the randomly generated maps, there are only a limited number of these carefully constructed encounters, and even if you just play through the story campaigns, you’ll likely have a handful that you encounter enough times that you’ll have learned the optimum choice to make, especially if you tend to choose similar personality traits for your heroes. Personally, I was partial to making character that were snarky and bookish, and since traits have an effect on what encounters you receive, it wasn’t long before I started seeing repeats.

Despite these weaknesses, I really enjoyed the more than fifty hours I spent playing Wildermyth. I really appreciated the need to manage how long you spent on each chapter; as enemies would get stronger with the passage of time, and if you weren’t clearing infested areas quickly enough, you could get an incursion of many powerful enemies to deal with. I liked feeling like every decision I made had some weight, and I’ll admit to getting attached to my characters. I was sad when they aged up and retired, and sadder still on the (very rare) occasions one ended up being permanently maimed or dying. I wanted success and happiness for these little paper people, and was charmed by the short summaries of how they filled their time during the years of peace between chapters.

SteamDB estimates that Wildermyth has sold somewhere between 249,500 and 686,100 copies on Steam. It’s been reviewed almost 12,000 times, and has an overall review score of Overwhelmingly Positive. It is ranked 73 out of 10,967 games released in 2021, a huge accomplishment for a first game from a indie developer.

One thought on “Game Over – Wildermyth (#JustOnePercent 52/100)

  1. Vidyala from the two late lamented blogs Manalicious and From Draenor with Love recommended this to me, and I fell in love with it almost from the get go. I learned the hard way to not attack an incursion at the beginning, as those monsters would wipe the floor with my party, and I also learned to upgrade as soon as I could to give my party better survivability. But the stories…. I had a pretty diverse bunch, personality-wise, so while I’d get some repeats, not that many or all at once, so I was happy about that. The Wildermyth team seem to have a steady amount of updates to the content, and I’m happy about that as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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