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Dynasty Worriers: Arcada Mia

The next game from Mousechief, scurrilous indie developers behind the award-winning Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble, has been revealed. Kind of. We know for certain it's called Arcada Mia, and while mechanical details are a touch thin on the ground Mousechief describe it as not Civilization, not Puzzle Quest, not Oregon Trail, not King of Dragon Pass and not Passage, but "bearing qualities of each".

More details plus the world's most abstract screenshot after the jump.



So, between the Arcada Mia's site and the press release I've gathered that you'll be managing a dynasty across many generations. Each track on the above wheel represents a social caste, and each generation of your family travels around once, perhaps travelling upwards or downwards as well, before being replaced by the new generation. In the site's words:

Spend tokens to move forward. To get tokens, move backwards. It’s that simple, a simplicity which masks its depth. Every turn, the optimal use of tokens can change tremendously.

In the greater scheme, you must juggle competition and cooperation with peers in your social caste. Raising children strains resources. Courtship is a race. And stories of the age challenge and reward, but keep aware. Not every reward is worth the price, nor is every downturn disaster.

And in the highbrow words of the press release:

To date, casual games have been wrapped in fairy tales and comic books, because few understood that games can be fine art. Not to lessen the greatness of many existing games, literary interactive storytelling is difficult to make accessible and engaging. Perhaps, as Hemingway helped break literature out of stuffy tomes, a casual game will emerge to bring fine art to a ready audience.

In 'arcada mia' story emerges from play like a monument emerging from bricks which emerged from clay and straw. Your tactics set up little stories. Choose ways to resolve them like a mason sorting bricks to build the monument of your family legend. In turn, stories reward or challenge. They influence tactics.

So, unique-sounding strategy where tactics create stories, and stories influence tactics? Colour me very interested indeed. I'll be taking the closest possible look at Arcada Mia when it's released in early 2011.

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Quintin Smith


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