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Subject: Arkadia: The Role-Playing Review rss

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Not really Ryan Leaf
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Greetings! I would like to take a moment to introduce myself: my name is Bob the Baumeister. Here's a nice picture that my buddy, Bill, took of me outside the castle located in the center of town:



And just to answer your question before you ask it... I am indeed the German cousin of the more-popular (yet less attractive, if I do say so myself) Bob the Builder. And before you start making jokes about my appearance: no, neither one of my parents are a smurf.... that I know of.


Preliminary Info:

Anyway, back to my story.... I am Bob the Baumeister, and I want to tell you a little bit about my job, my town, and my life.


Arkadia is a flat, somewhat bland city. At first glance, the landscape is unappealing and the only noticeable feature would be the worker camps scattered across the landscape and the castle foundation at the center of town.

The landscape of Arkadia:


The castle foundation:


Most people say Arkadia is a pretty unattractive place at first, and I would have to agree. BUT! I, along with a select group of my esteemed colleagues, am here to change that very perception! In fact, my fellow baumeisters and I are upholding a long, proud tradition of.... well... buameistering. So, together we will baumeister the city of Arkadia. We have a vision to turn this bland landscape into a bustling city of beauty, and at the center, we shall erect a glorious castle to... well... I don't really know what the castle is for... but every time we add a section, I get two new friends, so it can't be that bad.

How will we do it, you ask? Well, I have a friend who has a friend who knows a guy that lives in this little quaint town called Florence, and he sent me little book called, "A Dummy's Guide to Building a City." Well, I quite like this book, and I think Florence is a nice place, so we will try to make our city look much like Florence:

Beautiful Florence in the Fall:


My buddy over in Alhambra was a bit upset we didn't use his city as a template, but seriously... who wants every building in the city to be square? Certainly not I! And furthermore, we baumeisters are far to skilled to piddle with square buildings... we prefer to make them Tetrisish to prove how skilled we are. Okay, so enough background.... let's talk about the gameplan.


The Gameplay Gameplan:

There are four rich families in the town of Arkadia (don't ask me where they live... I don't know... especially since there aren't really any houses in the town... anyway... let's just call them "our benefactors"). So, we have these four rich benefactors that send us blueprints, and we build the building to spec. And then, to signify who paid for it, we place a MASSIVE family seal on the building. The seals are somewhat ridiculous... they are so large that they cover my baumeistering masterpiece, but hey.... the benefactors are paying good, so I can't complain.

Look at the size of that seal!


Every day, myself and each of my colleagues will do one of two things: we will either erect a new building or deploy some supervisors into the field to oversee the building progress. If I have to destroy one of the indigenous worker camps when erecting a building, I get to keep one of the worker camp's members as my personal slave. Kinda twisted, I know.

The slaves don't make me any money because people have a negative connotation of using them instead of employed labor.



Anyway, whenever a building is complete, the benefactors let me keep their family seal as a token of their gratitude (although, I'd much prefer a date with the spice merchant's daughter... but, I'll take what I can get). Better yet, for each supervisor that oversaw the building at completion, I get another seal because of guaranteed quality! So, if I have 3 supervisors adjacent to the building upon completion, I get 4 seals! But, no reward comes without sacrifice. You see, when I send my supervisors out to the fields, they never come back. Don't ask me why... I'm not really sure. But I did hear a rumor that they refuse to come back because their theme is pasty or something.... whatever that means.

Oh... back to seals. Seals are shiny and pretty, but they are pretty much useless to me. BUT, depending on the black market demands, I can make a nice penny pawning them off to the slumlords (more on that later).

You may be asking yourself what actually constitutes a completed building... well, in Arkadia, we do things differently. You see, Arkadians are odd people... they love to be crammed together like sardines, and they always say, "life isn't complete unless your next door neighbor can hear you snore!" So, our benefactors don't pay me until I completely surround their buildings with other buildings or other contractors.

Now, here is where things get a bit tricky: I'm not the only skilled baumeister in town. In fact, my competitors are douchebags. If I'm not careful, they will enclose the buildings that I was working on and take the benefactor's seal for themselves! So, when I'm working, I've got to be very selective with where I place my supervisors and buildings.

And once a building is complete, I can then build a section on to the castle. Each castle section has a benefactor's seal on top (man, these guys are everywhere). The benefactors get pretty excited about seeing their seals pasted everywhere (it's almost like NASCAR.... for .... buildings or something). Anyway, the benefactors are some shady people... they manipulate the black market based on the number of their seals showing on the castle. Apparently, if the castle is displaying a lot of their seals, they will go to the black market and try to buy them all back at a higher price.

Arkadia under construction:


I don't really care about what goes on behind the scenes... all I know is that I can take the seals that I have collected (by completing the buildings) and sell them at a premium when the castle has a lot of seals of the same color showing. So, whenever I build a new castle section, I try to build a section with the color that maximizes my profit or reduces my competitors (I guess I'm a douche too). Better yet, the benefactors, grateful for my donation of seals, will give me two new supervisors every time I sell seals back to them! But I have to be careful, if I'm caught dealing with the black market TOO much, I'll lose my baumeister license... so it's pretty much an unspoken baumeister rule that we only cash in our seals 4 times throughout our entire career. Sure, that severely limits the amount of supervisors that I can use, but I'd say that it's better to make money semi-illegally and avoid repercussions than to make a lot of money and then be lambasted for dirty dealings like my cousin's brother's friend's uncle, Rod Blagojevich.

Beautiful seals make for superb profits on the black market:


Finally, once the castle is two stories high, we will all quit our jobs, retire, and admire our work. Why? Well, I don't know... 2 stories sounds just about right... I mean... who wants a big castle anyway?

Ah, living the dream:


I'll then compare my savings account against all my competitors, and if I have the most money, I win at life. Which is a good thing... because by then, I'll be ready to get out of Arkadia and head somewhere nice like Cuba.


Analysis:

Everyone that has watched me do my job has really enjoyed it. They say that my life resembles a stock market much more than a city building exercise... and I would agree. I mean, I try to accumulate as many seals as I can and then sell them at a premium, knowing that my actions (and those of my competitors) will always have an affect on the going prices. Competition is always pretty fierce, and placing my buildings and supervisors is much more strategic than one would think at first glance. I think that the best plan is to pick a few benefactors to work with and specialize in their business. Then, if I do well, I can accumulate a lot of their seals and hopefully manipulate the castle so the black market will ask top dollar for my seals. But, my competitors will try to prevent me from doing so by blocking my buildings and manipulating the castle and black market to help them.

The materials in Arkadia are nice and thick... I love building with them. The castle pieces look great, and I must unbiasedly admit that the buildings look fantastic. Our federal reserve prints decent looking money, but it's nothing really to write home about. However, I will say that the landscape of Arkadia is dull and unappealing. Still, once all the buildings are erected and the castle takes form, Arkadia is a pretty beautiful place to live.

I asked my famous football quarterback friend, Ryan Leaf, what the chances are that he would come visit me in Arkadia, and he told me a "solid 8/10".... as long as his wife doesn't make him perform some mundane farming chores over in Agricola. I can live with that!
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Roberta Taylor
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Love this review!
 
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David desJardins
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RobertaTaylor wrote:
Love this review!


It's well written, but unfortunately doesn't tell me anything about whether I would like the game.
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Not really Ryan Leaf
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Thanks for the kind words!


The review was written to light-heartedly describe the gameplay; the decision of whether or not you will like it is totally up to you and your tastes. This is meant to be more of a supplementary review -- not a standalone that is the de-facto resource. With well-established games like Arkadia, you can find a wealth of comprehensive reviews, so I decided to do something a bit different rather than beat a dead horse.
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Rick Baptist
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I love the game and I also enjoyed the read!
 
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I am glad that Johnny Jaws is my friend.
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Enumclaw
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I know who I am. I'm the ant playin' the ant, disguised as another ant!
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Someone that would take the time to write such a creative and entertaining review as this has to love the game. Arkadia is now on my wish list. Thanks. thumbsup
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Corin A. Friesen
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slate43 wrote:
Someone that would take the time to write such a creative and entertaining review as this has to love the game. Arkadia is now on my wish list. Thanks. thumbsup

Good for you! It truly is a fun game.
 
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Snowball
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Gender: pot*ato. My opinion is an opinion.
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DaviddesJ wrote:
RobertaTaylor wrote:
Love this review!


It's well written, but unfortunately doesn't tell me anything about whether I would like the game.

Exactly.
But I find Arkadia somehow dull yet the read was pleasant.
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M Waters
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Nice job mate, its always fun to read thematic reviews of games that i have played a bunch of times. A+++
 
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