Posted on 10/30/17 @ 04:03 AM (updated 11/05/17
is an adventure dedicated to the birth of Agrigento and its Valley of the Temples, not so difficult but beautiful. The map is as simple and dry as Sicily is. Fun fun.
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Agrigento is a four episode adventure which aims to take the player on a journey to experience the greek establishment of agrigento and the valley of the temples. The author also promises a fun campaign with full of "Titan difficulty" challenges packed in. Unfortunately, the adventure itself has failed to live up to these expectations.
The entire gameplay in this adventure was focused entirely on one single bland map that had too many of the same EXACT events in each episode, and virtually no interesting challenge at all whatsoever. I also found the pacing to be lethargic and boring in gameplay. In terms of personal fun factor, this translates to zero appeal and zero fun, warranting a score of 2 in this category. Fortunately, the adventure had content consisting of objectives and events, making it somewhat playable; but if I'm allowed to review this adventure in terms of personal fun factor alone, this adventure would've been awarded a -1 or -2 at best. Unfortunately, Zeus heaven could not cater to my true rating on this category, so regrettably a score of 2 would have to suffice.
At the start of episode one, you start out with a rather generous amount of 24,000 drachmas in your treasury; more than enough to start out a decent housing block. Indeed, looking at the objectives, one may speculate that 24,000 dr would just about suffice for importing food and marble to build Hephaestus and Demeter's temples, but no. About a few months in, you get gifts of fish and marble, rendering that 24,000 dr completely redundant. And to make things even more convenient, around a year later the price of fleece rises to 100 dr, meaning that one can happily export fleece forever and not worry about his income anymore. This sort of "generosity" at the start, makes one question why on earth did the author label his adventure "Titan difficulty"? There's virtually zero challenge in this adventure.
At the next few episodes, you are then required to build temple after temple; pyramid after pyramid doing the same monotonous stuff of importing marble and wood, buffer a rival to ask for orichalc, and comply a request of "5 food" from Atlantide every couple of years.. for most of these episodes.. without any interesting variation whatsoever. Indeed, monster invasions kick in after episode one, but why worry? You just built apollo's sanctuary at episode two... Indeed, god invasions kick in from the start, annoying you every year til thy kingdom come, but why worry? They only consist of Hermes, Dionysus and Aphrodite who all do nothing harmful to your city anyway. Indeed, invasions kick in every episode, but why worry? They only consist of 4 men, and by the time you reach the last episode in olympian mode, bribing 6,000 dr every year would not even pull your profits down.
With such lackluster scripting of events and such boring gameplay, what's there to enjoy? With all due respect, finishing this adventure was not even remotely satisfying, I'm afraid.
Every episode in this adventure seems to be lacking in any kind of challenge or difficulty, that only the most inexperienced players would struggle to win. Giving the player 24,000 dr at the start while giving gifts of fish and marble to "bump-start" the player even more is far too convenient to guarantee any challenge. Furthermore, inclusions of situations such as introducing one enemy god invasion every single year and setting up one or two monster invasions every episode when the player already had Apollo's sanctuary built at episode 2 is not really an interesting situation to face in an adventure. More annoying than interesting, actually. Taking into account all of this, I find no choice but to award the minimum rating in this category.
Things like this is not what you call a balanced adventure. You need to challenge the player in different aspects of the game, and do it in fair and reasonable ways to make an interesting game. Not force the player to do the same thing every episode. Have some variation, like a city suffering famine and stops trading for a while.. something that makes it different from the other episodes.
There is unfortunately very little that makes 5 episodes of this adventure stand out from each other, as nothing much was done to differentiate between them. As a result, each episode quickly becomes stale one after the other and further interest in this adventure gets torn asunder due to the EXACT same events that occur at every consecutive episode.
The world map is also designed very poorly and no effort was made to even make it accurate. Greek cities are placed in Spain and France etc (Aulis in Spain? Really???), sea trade routes are placed in land trade routes, and Egypt.. is.. a greek city? In fact, creativity is so terrible that out of the 9 "Greek" cities existing in the world map, only 5 were relevant.. Relevant as in - they are just "punching bags" in your journey for "World domination"... (I thought this adventure was about temple building, not conquering greek cities like egypt, atlantis and troy... Wait a minute, they're not even greek!)
I'm sorry. Last time I checked, placing greek cities in random locations of the world map, making a map of sicily in 2 minutes and putting the same events over and over again in every episode and calling it a day is not what you call creativity.
Map Design: 2
Only one map was provided for this adventure and as you can see, it is abysmal in quality. This negatively affects the adventure's gameplay as a whole. With vast blank areas and nothing to add apart from scrubs which took around 5 minutes to do, there is obviously very little to assess here, and the entire map is in need of a complete renovation.
Moreover, this was supposed to be an "accurate map" of Sicily set in 7th century BC, according to the author. Unfortunately, it is so historically inaccurate a map that it is completely evident the creator was too lazy to at least add any sort of topography on this map to resemble Sicily, other than the coast (assuming he researched on Agrigento). Sicily at this time, was famous for its olive trees and vine yards. It is very hilly in terrain and its mountains range from 3,000 to 6,000 feet. In fact, Sicily was so fertile inland that it was very profitable to set up trading.
Just looking at this fact, one would question why on earth did the creator not add meadows and mountains to at least simulate an accurate resemblance? A good challenge could even be worked around very easily in the editor. And why did the creator insist on using Sicily as a template for his map? Agrigento is a place IN SICILY, not sicily as a whole.
The author has provided a story in this adventure which looked somewhat promising until the second episode, when it lacked immersion altogether and as a result, detract from the experience.
This is also what I deem to be the strangest part of this adventure. From episode two onwards, the story turned into a mesh-up of greek myths put together, which had nothing to do with Sicily. Such examples include the story of how Achilles became invincible and slew hector at TROY, Theseus going to CRETE and killing the minotaur etc. Indeed, these heroes and monsters were included in their respective episodes, but how did it even relate to Sicily? Why on earth were there stories of Theseus in Crete and Achilles killing Hector at Troy in this adventure??? All which had nothing to do with Sicily?
Furthermore, the countless typos and errors in this adventure were also too glaring to even avoid. Normally I turn a blind eye to spelling typos, but when a story illustrates the Trojan War and says Achilles "killed Hector in a duel and dragged him TO HIS GRANDDAUGHTER", I just can't pretend everything's alright. I'm sorry.
Tl;dr - it's just 5 episodes, ordering you to do the same thing over and over again.. 5 episodes full of conveniences. If you're an intermediate player or above, it'd be best to ignore this one. There's nothing to miss and it would not be worth your time. It's a shame really.. the setting and background would've made this an interesting adventure, but it is poorly executed. I'd probably recommend this to newcomers who just learnt how to play the game, but looking at the quality of the map, even this would probably be a turn-off.
And please change the difficulty. This adventure is more like mortal difficulty, not titan.
[Edited on 12/15/17 @ 11:37 PM]