Akimi Village Review by rendra00

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									Akimi Village Review
There's a fine line between laid-back and boring, and Akimi Village doesn't always fall on
the right side of it. This easygoing city builder's appeal is also its greatest liability: a slow
pace. Sometimes, the relaxed tempo lulls you into a sense of comfort, as you roam
through the game's green meadows, lugging around bonsai trees and chilling to the
reassuring soundtrack. Other times, the amount of time it takes to perform any given
task reveals the game's primary flaw: it's all just busywork. Developer Ninjabee's
previous games in this vein--A Kingdom for Keflings and A World of Keflings--alleviated
some of the potential boredom with online co-op, mini-quests, and multiple maps.
Akimi Village takes the simple template of those games and makes it even simpler--and
thus, less compelling. Yet while you might struggle with bouts of occasional tedium, it's
rewarding to watch your petite empire take form, and to turn the world's gloomy
pockets of blackness into sunny pastures ready to be harvested for their stone and
wood.

Akimi Village is a city builder with a focus on supply lines. As either a male or
female avatar, you develop the village by assigning collection and transport tasks
to blue creatures called Akimi. To give an Akimi a job, you pick one up and set it
in front of the resource you want it to gather or the pile of resources you want it to
transport. Then, you drop it in front of the structure you want it to transport these
goods to. From here, you walk up to various supply structures and order
components to be produced. To build structures, you pick up these components
one at a time and drop them on an available plot of land. Need to build a
workshop? Head to your work hut and queue up the right trinkets. Want a temple?
That requires that you have a workshop, a sculptor, a gardener, and a master
craftsman first, because each building produces items necessary for your temple's
creation. Once you get used to the largely pictorial interface, it's easy to
understand how to bring your plans to fruition. Each structure's construction menu
identifies what you need to queue up based on your currently chosen blueprint,
and a glowing cursor highlights the ground where you should place each
component.

As you progress, buildings require more and more objects to complete them, and
thus, more complex supply chains. As a result, you need to put more and more
Akimi to work. There are available helpers scattered about the land, but they
aren't available for serfdom immediately. These Akimi roam dark, colorless land
called The Gloom. Every so often, you earn a special acorn for a job well done.
To free gloomy Akimi from their dismal existence, you drop these acorns into
fissures known as spirit wells. Doing so causes a flowery flourish of color, and the
sun again shines on a chunk of previously miserable land where the freed Akimi
are now thrilled to do your bidding. In city builders, it's always a delight to see a
bustling community emerge from almost nothing. Watching these dead areas
spring to life enhances that inherent satisfaction even further.
Unfortunately, where Akimi Village stumbles is in its moment-to-moment pacing.
As your modest kingdom grows, you must haul objects further and further across
the map. Because later structures require many more components than early ones,
you eventually spend a lot of time trekking across the same stretches of land just
to assemble a single dojo. This often leads to monotony, which is exacerbated by
some of Akimi Village's small but irritating issues. Some structures are add-ons to
existing ones, such as the gate and the temple. You might place the initial
buildings close to other structures or resource nodes, only to discover later that
you've built yourself into a corner and have to move a structure to another spot.
The problem? In order to do so, you have to deconstruct it and move every
individual component. And thus, you add another exhausting five minutes to an
already slow task. A World of Keflings already addressed this issue by letting you
move entire buildings; that it wasn't dealt with here is flabbergasting.

For that matter, the Keflings games broke up the drudgery in a number of ways,
such as short quests, different environments, and even assistants that could finish
build tasks on your behalf. Akimi Village takes place on one pretty but otherwise
uninteresting map and involves creating supply lines and then walking around and
building stuff--but nothing more. Without the little touches to keep you interested,
Akimi Village reveals this formula for what it is: a shallow city builder in which
you control the slowest mouse cursor ever. Eventually you can build portals that
help ease the grind of trudging back and forth, but you'll long for the ability hours
before you actually unlock the portal blueprint.

								
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