I’m about four hours into a campaign in tactical RPG Wildermyth and three of my party members are poking around the basement of an abandoned house. Ordinarily, they’d be hacking down mythological beasts or travelling across verdant fantasy landscapes, but in this side quest, they’re looking for a mysterious puzzle box. It’s an ostensibly unremarkable scene, delivered via the game’s unfussy comic book panels like the rest of its story, but this one lands with an emotional heft that catches me off guard. These three characters, Aforn, Nym, and Inneste, have been adventuring together for well over four in-game decades. They’re old—white hair, wrinkled faces, tired eyes—and in this quiet detour they’re tottering about and making cute small talk just as people their age should. I want this moment to last forever; the idea of thrusting them back into battle makes me feel actively shitty.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pkbz78/wildermyth-review