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Hit digital board game Armello finally gets physical version

With rules by ex-DnD designer Rob Heinsoo, the vibrant fantasy world of Armello is making the jump from PC to tabletop - where it belongs.

Armello board game - the logo for Armello, a lion's head with the word Armello in regal text, superimposed over heroic animal-people - two dice appear in the foreground

The legendary digital board game Armello is being adapted from screen to tabletop with the help of a crowdfunding campaign. A multiplayer strategy game with some light RPG elements, the physical edition has already passed its funding goal on Kickstarter.

Despite being a board game through and through, Armello has only ever existed digitally. Released back in 2015, it’s an online board game that pits up to four players against one another in a quest to claim the throne of a fantasy realm. There are multiple paths to victory, whether that’s defeating the lion king or becoming so prestigious through your deeds that you’re handed the crown by default.

The board game layout from the physical version of the Armello board game

The Kickstarter campaign for the new physical edition is running until 7pm PST / 10pm EST on April 4 (3am BST on April 5), and a basic pledge costs $79 (£62), plus shipping and taxes.

Armello’s whimsical art style, full of cartoony animal people, translates beautifully onto the physical board, cards, and stylised miniatures. The sheer number of components in the box suggests that the computer was doing a lot of heavy lifting in the digital edition: there’s 538 cards, divided between 11 decks, and two different flavors of custom dice.

Cards from the physical edition of the Armello board game

Wargamer hasn’t had a chance to test the physical version of Armello, but from what we’ve seen of the rules, the closest point of comparison might be Mage Knight – a complex semi-cooperative adventure game with deck building elements and a place on our guide to the best board games.

Turns alternate through a day and night cycle, in which different forces of the fantasy world are active on the board, from wandering bunnies to malicious banes. Each player controls a character with unique stats and a deck of unique cards which they will upgrade throughout the game, hoping to accrue the power necessary to take on the almighty king by completing quests and battling other players.

The Dice Tower has made a helpful preview video that goes through more of the systems:

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It’s in that rare class of adventure board games that sit halfway between a strategy board game and an RPG board game; a little more focused on a fixed win condition than Fantasy Flight Games’ Runebound or Fallout: The Board Game, and a lot more strategically interesting than Talisman.

If you love Armello’s combination of digital strategy board game with cuddly animals, read our Root digital edition review to discover another game that’s perfect for your highly specific tastes. And in the likely event that you’re interested in Armello because you already own the physical version of Root, we have a guide to the Root expansions that are worth picking up.