Welcome Time Wasters!
At this point, the cat is out of the bag. Alia and I are leaving GiN at the end of the year. I’ve got loads to talk about, but I’ll be saving that up for next week’s Time Waster Finale. Until then, we need to talk about Wildermyth.
Wildermyth isn’t something I’ve ever heard of before. A code for the game was provided to us and it’s still in Early Access. Despite that, I’m incredibly impressed with what it brings to the table.
Wildermyth is an RPG adventure that goes further than most do. It features tactical combat, interesting characters, as well as loads of choices to make.
Starting out with the combat, the simplest thing I can say is it’s reminiscent of XCOM. Players move their characters along a grid and take different actions for combat. That can include setting up shields, preparing traps, sneaking by enemies for flanking and so much more.
One of the more interesting classes is the magic user. Rather than just cast spells, they infuse their essence into nearby objects. This gives them different attacks based on what they infuse. This can include shattering rocks into an enemy, pinning them with a nearby vine and more. They add loads of more strategy and a unique twist to the game.
The other classes in Wildermyth are also fun to play. There’s only three in total, with the other two being the basic warrior and archer classes. However, characters can specialize to gain different abilities, both active and passive, that can result in completely different options for the same classes.
While the combat in Wildermyth is great, it isn’t the best part of the game. That goes to the actual story and adventure. Instead of there just being one grand adventure, this game gives players multiples to tackle. I say that, but there’s only one complete right now. A second one is in progress and more are planned.
Players start out small with a three-man group of adventures. They fight off some basic enemies, form a clan, and then the fun begins. That’s because Wildermyth really lets each character grow on their own through special side quests called opportunities.
For example, my mage was experiencing strange dreams and couldn’t figure out why. His sidequest reveals that he’s a seer, which is rare. After some story shenanigans that I won’t spoil, he’s given the option to take over for an aging seer. Doing so would remove him from my party, but the region he inhabits will gain better defenses to fend off enemy attacks.
That’s just one of the various opportunities that I ran into in my time with Wildermyth. Other random events can also happen that may result in permanent changes to characters. Another interesting aspect of the game is the characters age. When entering the third chapter of the current campaign, I noticed that my characters were starting to get grey hair.
At the same time, my original archer came up and introduced his daughter. She had grown to adventuring age over the years and was ready to join the Comets of Crimson (the guild I formed at the start of the game) alongside her father. I let her join because why wouldn’t I?
The ability to extend the legacy of my characters with their future generations, as well as by other actions in the game is amazing. How players handle each chapter of the campaign also has interesting effects. That includes earning additional years of peace for doing well. During these in-between periods, Wildermyth makes sure to let the players know what their characters have been doing in their off time with some short comics.
Players can also use resources gathered during the adventure to upgrade armor and weapons as well during the lull. Each of these items can be named and given their own unique stories. That’s something I appreciate greatly as it lets me flesh out my characters a bit more.
One of the biggest draws for me in Wildermyth is the sheer randomness of the game. I can take the same journey over again, but so many things can change. Characters may get different side quests, or I might make different choices. It opens the game up to so much replay potential that I can’t help but gush about it.
There’s only one full campaign to play through right now, but I think Wildermyth carries the world over to new campaigns. If I’m right, that means players will get to continue with adventures in the same world as the first. If true, that means the legacy of their previous characters will be felt by these new ones. That also opens up loads of possibilities, which I’m completely down for.
To be clear, Wildermyth is still a bit rough around the edges. There are a few glitches I’ve run into during my playtime, but nothing game-breaking. One of these includes broken camera scrolling when putting the mouse at the edge of the screen. It was annoying, but nothing a simple restart can’t fix.
Visually, Wildermyth has a lot of charm going for it. The characters and world are still a bit unpolished, but I wouldn’t say it’s bad. Also, art style is one of those more subjective subjects. So don’t go thinking my word is the end-all here.
When it comes to audio, Wildermyth does well. What’s in the game matches well with the rest of the aesthetics. Not to sound like a broken record, but there is still a lack of polish here. Maybe that will change throughout development, maybe not.
Overall, Wildermyth is an amazing proof of concept. I’m still not quite sold on the $20 price tag, but I can see it easily being worth that if it’s able to be even half of what the developers are aiming for. The game will clearly appeal more to fans of RPGs and Dungeons & Dragons, but it isn’t so overly complex as to ward of the casual player. I would advise just about anyone to give this a try.
As is the rule with Early Access games, Wildermyth doesn’t get a review score. It feels a bit wrong for the final Time Waster to not have a score, but that’s how things happen sometimes. Honestly, I’m just happy to be going out on a positive note instead of ranting about a bad game.