Date: 07-13-2011 21:01
Author: Steve Whitfield

PDC profile: Steve

Akimi Village calls upon you to save the Akimi race from gloom. With it's unique construction system and interesting gameplay concepts, does it succeed in its quest or does it fall into the darkness?

Where Am I?



Akimi Village is all about saving the Akimi from the dark, shadowy patches of ground you come across in the game, also known as Gloom. When the game begins, the main character wakes up on a floating island where the Akimi live. The main goal of the game is to purify the island and this is accomplished by planting acorns in wells in the ground. In the beginning, I was told to plant my first acorn into a marked well which got rid of the gloomy land around it. More acorns were obtained I expanded my village. Afterwards, the tutorial taught me the basics and got me to build a few buildings. I had to have the correct parts and I had to have them set down in the way shown in the blueprints which were located in the top left-hand corner of the screen. I could make parts using the work hut by harvesting different materials and placing them into the hut. To be able to gather materials I had to have the right tools available to me at the time and I could either harvest the material myself, or get one of my little Akimi buddies to do it for me. To get an Akimi to harvest a material, I had to pick one up and place it next to what I wanted it to gather. It would change into a certain type (e.g. Wood Collector, Bamboo Gatherer , Stone Gatherer, Spirit Catcher) and would then start to harvest the material. If I picked the Akimi up and put him down again in another place, he would deliver the material to that place; if I put him down next to a different material he would change type. Once I had enough of a material, I could select a part using the menu and it would pop out, ready for me to pick up. Once all the parts were in place, the building was formed.

Buildings can do different things; some can cut wood or make paper from collected bamboo, while others can make special parts like wind blades and stairs. Later buildings require more parts and therefore will take longer to construct. These buildings will often use a variety of different parts such as simple parts, special parts, sculptures, plants, and so on. Some buildings have to be constructed in a certain place, such as the paper mill which has to be constructed by a body of water. Some structures also work in unison. For example, for an Akimi to be able to become a master craftsman it must first be educated at a school. Other buildings require a person or thing before they can be used. For example, a school could not be used unless I had a wise fish acting as the headmaster (which I could find around the island). Some buildings make things from gathered materials. Some will make bricks from straw and others will make paper from bamboo. These also have to be occupied by an Akimi before they can begin making the product. Educated Akimi can also be put into Rickshaw Schools and Dojos to teach; these buildings give Akimi boosts to speed and strength which means that they can either gather a material faster that a standard Akimi or they will harvest a material more efficiently than other Akimi.

Let's Save Some Akimi!
One of the main letdowns of this game in my opinion was the graphics. They were very basic for a PS3 game and to be frank, looked like something I would expect to see on the PS2. However I didn't let this put me off, and I have to admit, the gameplay is pretty fun and challenging. The sound effects are good and sound realistic such as the cutting and mining noises. The background music is very fitting and in a way helps you to engage yourself a little more in the game. I also liked the way that it changed along with the time of day. If I had to pick out anything good visually, I would have to say that it was nice to see the lighting change along with the time of day.

The Conclusion
Overall, I think that this game is enjoyable and I would recommend it to anybody who wants a challenge or who wants to try something new. This game is quirky and different with all it's interesting features and what it lacks in the graphics department, it makes up for in gameplay. If you get the feel of this game, you'll be playing it for quite a long time.

Akimi Village is developed by NinjaBee and is out now on the European and North American PlayStation Stores. I continued to save Akimi for 4 hours prior to writing this review.


8/10
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