In the strategy, fantasy, business simulation Zapitalism from ionos players must build there business through the buying and selling of available commodities. The competition to build a commercial empire and dominate the market on the island of Zapinalina sets you against five other companies. These companies can either be computer controlled or up to five other people can try their hand at empire building in Zapitalism.
Empire building activities in the game include but are not limited to: investing in stocks and bonds, negotiating with unions, advertise products, acts of sabotage. You can also try your luck by searching for treasure, relics, and magic items to give you the competitive edge.
Zapitalism is playable by e-mail.
Zapitalism Deluxe is an excellent turn-based business/strategy simulation from the folks at Lavamind. A successor to their previous game Gazillionaire, this game places you in the position of managing an import business on the island of Zapinalia. Queen Keshi Keshi Gomu, the ruler of Zapinalia, has decided to open up the island's economy to foreign imports for the first time in a thousand years. Your job is to be the first company on the island to make 5 million zables by buying and selling imports, investing in stocks and bonds, advertising, etc. In the process you will have to pay taxes, negotiate with unions, expand your store, and basically anything else it takes to build the biggest, most successful commercial empire on Zapinalia.
The SVGA graphics in this game are just fantastic, the artwork is beautiful and the animation fluid and absolutely gorgeous. Sounds are also excellent, the effects just perfect and the theme music for the stores unique and distinctive. Gameplay itself is easy to learn, even considering the total lack of a printed manual. There is an excellent online tutorial that walks you through the game by introducing one new aspect of the game at every turn until you have learned them all. It really is done well, perhaps the best online tutorial/help information I have seen in a game. This is still no excuse for the lack of a manual, though. The game is easy enough to learn, but the practice of omitting a printed manual from a game at all is becoming much too commonplace these days.
Once you learn all the aspects of the game, you then need to strategically use and combine them to make the biggest profit possible in the shortest amount of time. You will learn which products have the largest profit margins, which ones are lemons (different in each game), what price to set for them, and how much to stock. Employees salaries' must be set, unions negotiated with, and store image to maintain. Natural and non-natural disasters will also strike frequently, so be prepared to insure your business against the worst. Mudslides and floods can damage your store, but so can theft and sabotage. Of course, good things can happen to you as well. Business opportunities and deals may be offered to you at any time. There are six different stores in the game, you select which one you will manage in the beginning of the game. Each particular store has it's own specific advantages and disadvantages. The remaining five will be your competition for the duration. The game has multiple difficulty settings, and each opponent store has an adjustable intelligence quotient.
The business part of the game was kept quite playable. Zapitalism purposely does not include every single detail of business and economics, as that would have made the game boring and over complicated. You control just enough of the economics to keep the game fun, without too much detail that easily makes a game tedious. I found the game to be quite easy to learn and lots of fun to play. The game screens are fairly well laid out, perhaps they could have used a little bit more tweaking to achieve that perfect configuration. I found myself wanting to cross-reference information that could have been on the screen I was looking at, but it just wasn't there. Still, Zapitalism Deluxe is one of those 'just one more turn' games that tend to cause lack of sleep. I personally found myself up until 4am finishing up that 'one last turn'. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that a bigger developer might have added, but when you have great gameplay, who cares? If you like turn-based strategy games that don't concentrate on war and violence (and have a great sense of humour as well), you should really enjoy this game. If you think you might be interested in this type of game, this is a wonderful one to start out with. The learning curve isn't very steep, it's lots of fun, and you don't have to have any business history going in.
Bottom Line: Easy to learn, lots of fun to play, may cause loss of sleep playing that 'one last turn' before bed. Beginners and experienced players should enjoy it equally. One of the most addictive turn-based strategy games to come out in a long time. Excellent in-game tutorial, but NO printed manual. Screens could have been laid out a bit more carefully.
People who downloaded Zapitalism Deluxe have also downloaded:
Gazillionaire Deluxe, Trade Empires, Capitalism Plus, Trevor Chan's Capitalism 2, X-COM: Interceptor, Traffic Giant, Caesar 2, Ultimate Domain (a.k.a. Genesia)
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