Review: Akimi Village
Akimi village is Sim City meets Lemmings. You awaken a goofy avatar of a boy or girl, and are told to save the world from gloominess. You see, the floating island that you have mysteriously woken up on has been ravaged by gloom, and it’s up to you, the sweat of your brow, and a slave work force of oh let’s say around 70 to save the day.
Starting out, you’re instructed to build onto your village gate. It’s a shrine of some sort that you upgrade throughout the game. After that you can build your work bench and …meet the Akimi. The Akimi are wonky looking little blue guys that will do your bidding without question. Your Akimi can do 3 things, Harvest and or transport resources, man a shop or building, or clear debris. Programming them is repetitive yet simple. If you want one to harvest bamboo, pick him up, and place him on the bamboo. He’ll (It’ll?) change color and immediately start hacking away at bamboo. If you want him to transport the stuff, pick him up and walk him to where you want him to drop it. I found making one Akimi a harvester and another Akimi a transporter made things work seamless.
Your area of focus starts out small and with only 6 or so little workers for you to program into their mindless jobs. As you harvest more resources, the more components you can build from the workbench. The components are to be placed in specific patterns according to blueprints, eventually ending with a new building for you. Some buildings serve to make other components, some harvest or refine resources, some buff your workers, and some are just there for eye-candy and “culture-points.” Rinse and repeat this process and that is the entire game. It gets more complicated with more resources and Akimi to manage, but the process is damn rewarding for some reason. Watching your task-force out there doing as they’re told can get somewhat mystifying, and by the end game, it’s like watching an ant colony at work.
You’re constantly upgrading your area of influence and capabilities which make this one damn addictive process. The game knows its additive too, judging by the way it ends.
An Aside: I’m not kidding about this game being an allegory for slavery. You “save” these little critters and command them to do your bidding. They never stop, they never eat, and they never sleep. At one point I built a hut and a house that buffs the Akimi’s working ability. The flavor text on the house startled me in saying “Akimi love to work where they live. Akimi love to live where they work. They’ll work harder if you build lots of homes around where you make them work…or something to that effect. I shrugged it off until the game made me build a watchtower. I build it and it looks like a nice lighthouse you might see on Lake Erie. Then I read the flavor text again: Akimi love being watched over. Akimi work harder when someone is watching them. Eventually you have the option to school the Akimi and give them an education. Guess what I didn’t do unless absolutely necessary? Finally, I was kidding to Chris, what are they going to have to build a pyramid in my honor in the end game? No, but I did force them to construct me a giant stone statue of me so they can honor me “saving them.” I’m not sure if the dev’s were just having fun here or what, but there are far too many similarities for this to go unnoticed.
There is only one map, and nothing else to really bring you back to the playing field. I find the key to success in this title is playing about a quarter of it first to really get the hang of the mechanics and then starting over. I played the system completely differently once I knew that it is smart to put certain places close to one another. There is also limited online support, allowing you to buff friend’s villages, visit them, and send friends items. Unfortunately you couldn’t (A.) send your friends extra Akimi or (B.) grief them. I was able to give somebody a bunch of bamboo though…so there’s that. Slavery aside, you’re going to get about 8-10 hours out of this title. I didn’t think I would have this much fun with it, but I’m glad it’s over. Check it out.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Addicting qualities
- Constant progress
- Two-faced flavor text
What I Dislike:
- Slavery allegory
- Trolling ending
- My roommate screwing up the gold trophy