ZAPITALISM DELUXEReviewed By: Tim Emmerich, Shepherd's Staff
Genre: Family/Board Game
"Zapitalism Deluxe" will challenge you as you try to run a successful store. The game is set on the island of Zapinalia. Although you can travel to the neighboring islands that constitute the Archipelago of Mermadan, your store is located on Zapinalia. Running a store requires you to stock it with goods and sell them to the public. The goal is to beat out your five competing stores to be the Megastore! You have opportunities to make improvements to your store through expansions and advertising. There is a stock market to invest in. “Zapitalism Deluxe” is a unique strategy game set in a fantasy setting that will probably teach you some business basics as well. It offers more original artwork, sound effects, and characters from LavaMind.
G A M E P L A Y :
After you start and have your store, then the strategy sets in. You have complete freedom to buy the products you want stocked on your store. In order to bring in the customers, you may want to establish an effective advertising strategy. The details of running a store can keep you busy it seems. Just when you thought tons of profits were pouring in, a particular product may suffer from a high returns rate due to a design flaw or poor quality. Since you need employees, you have to deal with unions. But having employees can sometimes free you (the store owner) to go do some exploring. Since exploration to other islands requires a boat ride, this can take from one game week to several. Even more if bad weather hits. However, the risk is sometimes worth it. For instance, you could maybe discover an artifact that, when placed in your store's window, brings in droves of customers. If your employees are having difficulties and you need help in negotiating with the union, you may want to visit island of the Mystic Figs. These figs are rumored to help calm people down and allow them to work out their issues. Or if you spend your exploration time helping the poor mud dogglers, this can boost your reputation if word gets back to Zapinalia. If you don't want to be gone so long from your store, there are several places on the island to explore, like the Zubar Mines, Pirates Peak, and the Hungry Forest.
Other opportunities can arise from time to time. If a visit to the Grand Zubar goes well, he can maybe get you and appointment with Queen Keshi Keshi Gomu, the ruler of Zapinalia! That would be a boon for your store, unless you ruin the meeting. Also, a visit to the Zable Exchange could yield you an inside tip on the market or a profitable business deal. An aspect that makes the game more enjoyable is the outlandish places, characters and products! To demonstrate the zaniness of the game, here is a description of one of the products you can import to sell in your store…
Also, a place that you can adventure to is a lost city. Here is its description…
"The Lost City of Mermadan is thought to have once been the capital of the Archipelago of Mermadan. It was the center of an entire civilization that stretched from Outer Reboundrum to the Mystic Figs. Unfortunately, when a nearby volcano erupted, this glorious city was swallowed up by lava and sank into the ocean in one fiery explosion. Now, only the most adventurous explorers dare to visit the sunken island to see what they can find. A few have come back with amazing artifacts and relics from the past civilization."“Zap” Shines: “Zapitalism Deluxe” is easy to learn. LavaMind continues their brilliance in the tutorial that gradually introduces you to the game. This allows even computer novices to enjoy the game. Furthermore, it will be obvious to you the original effort that was put forth in designing “Zapitalism”! The graphics are an order magnitude more sophisticated than “Gazillionaire”! Gone are the 2-D graphics, get ready for 3-D animations! LavaMind has done an excellent job of scaling their games in a way not to leave people with slower machines wanting. Specifically, you can disable features of the games on slower machines like animation. You still get a nice graphic, it will just be a still shot instead of the animation sequence. The scaling does not detract from the core gameplay and allows older machines with slower processors and CD-ROM drives to enjoy the games.
S U M M A R Y :
From a Christian standpoint, there is nothing really offensive in "Zapitalism Deluxe". Remember that it is set in a fantasy world, so proper explanations may be in order for younger players. Since it is fantasy, there is such things as magic items (although hard to find) and streaks of good or bad luck. Sometimes, you may be presented with the option to sabotage your competitors. Obviously, this is an immoral option, but in the context of the game is fun as sometimes there can be negative consequences to your actions.
Year of Release—1997
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