A game that released on Steam in November 2019 by a smaller independent studio, Wildermyth is a game you may not have heard of. That’s okay, because I’m here to tell you that it’s fantastic, and deserves a look and your time.
The game takes you through variable-length campaigns, during which your characters will face tough choices, suffer grievous injuries, and some may even perish forever. Their sacrifice will not be in vain, though, as you’ll be able to recruit other companions to take their place and hopefully carry on their legacy. Battles take place over a series of turns, where the player is able to choose varied actions for their characters to perform, all-the-while attempting to defeat a myriad of magical and mystical creatures. The end of battles tallies the enemies defeated, distributing experience to each character that may level them up. When that happens, players are able to choose a new active or passive skill for that character, shaping how they play. I was always excited when this happened, and you notice impactful differences in that character’s abilities, damage output, or accuracy the very next battle.
Players engage those battles by taking back sections of the world map, where they can build stations to provide additional resources, or race through to the finish. Though that takes less time, it is unwise to rush to a final battle without being properly equipped, since the enemies and game A.I. aren’t pushovers. Before, and even sometimes during battles, players will have to make character-based decisions. Should we rush into battle head-first, or should we wait for the enemy and attempt to ambush them? Some of these will have percentages of success, while others might not be as apparent. Regardless, they are interesting, and help give the characters a personality of their own and help the game feel unique to that campaign. Occasionally, there will be a side quest available for a character. I highly recommend pursuing these, even if it means you might encounter tougher enemies because of it. It adds even more variety to the gameplay, and could result in permanent changes (see the wings on Kai Stormbringer as a tangible example).
Enemies will receive buffs depending on what choices you make during battle. These normally occur after a battle is completed, but can be initiated once a timer on the world map reaches zero. The enemy upgrades after battles can be as simple as adding 25% more health to a particular enemy, to introducing completely new and deadly abilities. The ones initiated on the world map may be negated by spending Legacy Points (which you earn from side quests and some options during battle). If you do not negate the upgrade or don’t have enough Legacy Points at that time, the upgrades are applied and the enemies grow stronger. This adds a risk/reward factor to exploring everything in the world map. Traveling takes time in the game, so trying to search every area and build up defenses will also expose the characters to stronger enemies as the campaigns progress. It’s your choices as the player, so choose wisely. Your characters’ lives are always on the line.
Upon completing all objectives on the world map, you’ll complete the chapter, and move to the next one. I was able to complete the first campaign, going through three chapters and taking around three hours to complete. At the end, the choices character’s made influence the story you are giving, with some characters going on more grand adventures, settling down with a character they grew feelings for during the story, or any one of a number of other outcomes. Better yet, you are able to bring their legacy and character into subsequent playthroughs of other campaigns. You can also take a look at the characters you’ve completed a campaign with from the main menu by visiting your legacy option. I couldn’t help but click on them and reminisce about the adventure we had just completed, and look forward to seeing them pop up again to aid weary warriors fighting to save their land.
Overall, Wildermyth was a massively pleasant surprise. I love the stories you are presented, the way you are able to shape the story into somethin unique, and the engaging battle system. I’m currently knees-deep in my second campaign, and am going to jump right back in after this article to see what shenanigans my rural heroes will find themselves in. According to Worldwalker Games’ official site, Wildermyth is also available on itch.io.