Arboria – PAX East Impressions

Intense colors. Unique design. Trolls? I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw the banner for Arboria, but after a few seconds watching I knew I wanted to try it out. Selecting which “seed” you want the troll to come from requires some thought. This of course is where you can see the general attributes of what might make one “seed” better than another. This leads to an interesting mechanic later. Your troll is then oozed from the tree. Once your troll is generated (the face is the same, but body changes each time) you can navigate around a town at the top of a well.

The premise of the game is that you are sacrificing yourself for your tribe through a trial in a well, and all things lead downwards. Combat was entertaining and reminded me a bit of Kingdoms of Amalur. Each kill gives some kind of resource, and as you descend the challenge increases. Though there are checkpoints, the troll you enter with will never return to the surface whole. Instead you keep going until you die. When you die the navi esch fairy who, silent while I was playing, witnesses your sacrifice brings your head to the  top and puts it where? In a planter! There you can view it as a kind of trophy. I thought it an interesting way to mark past progress. The more resource you get while fighting then impacts the quality of “seed” you get when generating your next troll.

Who knows what the ultimate story of the game will be and what is at the bottom of the well, but it was certainly made clear to me that all is not what it seems.

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