Wildermyth - Stripped
Wildermyth, released on June 15th of 2021 by Worldwalker Games, is self described as a “party-based procedural storytelling RPG.” This is an accurate description of the game from my experience. The game has a unique papercraft art style, turn based RPG combat, a unique take on magic, and fun stories that change depending on your choices. This is Wildermyth, Stripped.
The art style of Wildermyth, anecdotally, is divisive. Among my peers they either enjoy the art quite a bit, or are completely turned off by the papercraft. The art is unique, distinct, and in my personal opinion a strong point of the game.
The style of Wildermyth helps with the procedural generated stories. With papercraft all characters, enemies, and objects just look like paper layered on one another no matter the cutscene. This keeps the player from being “taken out” of the experience due to character or object models not fitting together properly when put into different scenes together.
Whether you love it, or hate it, the art style is consistent throughout the game. If you enjoy the stills and screenshots you’ve seen you will continue to enjoy the art of the rest of the game. If you hate it, you’ll continue to hate it.
The Music and Sound
The music is another strong addition to the game. Even while being procedural, the game is able to create the right combination of scene and sound to provide tension, calm, or excitement depending on what the narrative calls for.
The music is good enough that I never had to think of it, and just enjoyed the experience it provided.
General sounds are not quite as strong as the music, especially in combat. They do fit the theme that the game creates, but it does leave the player wanting. Attacks don’t feel as weighty as they should be, and enemy attacks can sound a little goofy.
While combat sounds aren’t a huge draw, they don’t seriously detract from the experience. The important bit is that the sounds are just as consistent as the artwork, reminiscent of playing the game with actual paper and making the sounds with your mouth.
The game offers several set narratives. At the time of writing there are 6 set narratives where the events revolve around a main villain and the events he causes, and 2 narratives where all the events are procedural and there isn’t a main set story or villain.
These narratives give your characters goals and a reason to be going from place to place but are not the real focus of Wildermyth. These narratives are good direction for the characters, they are not stories that will wow and shock you. They are merely set events that you can have your characters respond to.
These smaller narrative events are where the story really gets fun. Different scenarios occur that require the player to make choices. These choices can determine the fate of your characters, and the world around them. Some choices can transform their personality, equipment, or even their body.
In the smaller events, characters become set up and often have recurring events throughout the campaign. Your characters remember them and what happened at their first meeting. Subsequent meetings can go well or poorly dependent upon your choices in the previous events.
The game utilizes a simple turn based combat system. There are three fighting archetypes: rogue, mage, and warrior. Each has their own set of skills to level up and your play-style is created through selecting skills every level and the gear you choose to equip your characters with.
Rogues in general utilize bows and one handed weapons. Their skills revolve around stealth, poison, and crippling. Warriors in general utilize two handed great weapons or sword and board. Mages use spoons, wands, or staffs and are the most unique. The mage's powers come from creating links (infusing) with items or terrain on the map and using spells based on what kind of item or terrain it is. The mage skills are the most varied but usually have something to do with magic or improving the infusion skills.
The Characters and Dialogue
The characters have certain personalities depending on their creation, choices, and events in the game. They can span from hot-headed braveheart to someone who meditates and waxes philosophically. The personalities work well together and when playing a campaign the characters always feel real. The changes that happen to their personality throughout make sense and feel good.
Evolving characters are the true draw of Wildermyth. Watching them go through wacky scenarios, grow older, and then eventually retire. These characters shape the world and references to their actions manifests in the campaign.
Wildermyth is a fun game by itself. If you enjoy the evolving narratives and molding characters as they save the world, you will enjoy playing this by yourself. But there is all kinds of fun to be had when playing with friends. The game has support for multiplayer over steam and if you have it on another platform they have a way of connecting that way as well.
Even if only one person has bought the game on steam, you can remote play together. Anecdotally, the game is best voice acted like a true tabletop RPG. The more you put into the game, the more it’ll give.
Overall, Wildermyth is an absolute blast of a game. There really isn’t anything I personally dislike about it. I recommend this game to any RPG fan, especially one whose friends are open minded and wanting something new to do. At a base price point of $25 the game is a steal. Go buy it.
BNG gives Wildermyth a 9/10