April 25, 2007

Now Shipping: Arkadia

Hrmmm Where to put the brothel?Rio Grande Games has officially shipped their latest builder board game Arkadia, which is their English/International version of the well-received German board game Die Baumeister von Arkadia (The Master Builder of Arkadia) released in 2006.

Players of Arkadia[Funagain,Amazon] compete to become the most contributing builder of to-be castle city of Arkadia. Tthat pretty much describes every city building game, doesn’t it? Don't fret though, this isn't just another knock off. It's Arkadia scoring system is what separates it from the rest.

Players get colored Wax Seals for completing projects in the town’s construction, with the number of seals awarded dependent on the number of workers a player has placed around a constructed building. The seals can be exchanged for gold, but the amount of gold that a player gets depends on the current state of the construction of the castle. The multi layer foundation of the castle expands after every successful construction, with each piece added to the castle’s foundation has a color corresponding to the colors of the Wax Seals awarded for construction. If a player wants to exchange his/her seals for cold hard cash, then they look straight down on the castle’s foundation, count the visible colors that match their seals, and multiply it by the number of seals they wish to exchange.

Sounds complicated, but it’s really not. If you have 5 red seals, and there are 3 red castle pieces visible while looking down on the multilevel castle foundation, then you get 15 gold. The player with the most gold at the end wins the game. Easy Peasy.

There are other gaming elements to Arkadia, too, including card draws and a worker placement mechanic which reminds us of a less dynamic flavor of Aqua Roma. OK, maybe the familiarity is a stretch even while tightly squinting, but there’s more going on in a game of Arkadia than just cashing in Wax Seals for gold.

For more details check out a great review from Scott Tepper that he posted in the BGG forums, and another review by
Ian Scrivins
which complements Scott's rather well.

Here's Arkadia's official details from the Rio Grande Games website:

In a remote land there lies a region with undulating hills and fertile valleys. Widely-travelled settlers have laid the foundation stone for the city of Arkadia. In addition to several other buildings, they want to construct a magnificent castle on a hill. Four wealthy families – the cloth merchants, the spice merchants, the carpenters and the silversmiths – want to enhance prestige and augment their influence. For this reason, they compete for the major contribution to the castle’s construction. Players act as architects. The four families commission them to plan and realise the build-up of the town and the castle.

2-4 players aged 10+; 45-60 minutes, author: Rüdiger Dorn."

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at April 25, 2007 1:21 PM

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