Reviewed: The Guild DS (Nintendo DS)
When it comes to occupation, I really can’t imagine myself as a travelling salesman, going from door to door selling wares. The work seems incredibly hard, travelling from town to town (by bus, car or plane), living in motels, and a lot of talking with perhaps not so desireable outcomes.
Take this back several centuries to medieval times and you’ll find the prototypical travelling salesman on a horse-drawn cart. Instead of Tupperware and Anway products, he’s buying wares such as breat and meat in one town, only to sell them to traders in another town. Living it rough, he might be have to spend the night out in the open, exposed to bandits/robbers/scum of the earth. If he’s lucky he’ll escape in one piece or, perhaps with just his wits left.
The Guild (for the Nintendo DS) attempts to convey this as a turn-based strategy game not unlike that of Heroes of Might and Magic (the map is actually quite pretty and features intuitive use of the touch screen, even though on-screen cues are at most, sparse). However, the simplistic gameplay (buy and sell stuff from town to town) with the overall goal of earning enough money to fund different strategies to persuade merchants to join your titular Guild, might leave you wanting.
Even the sword fights are reduced to whether you can slide your stylus repeatedly and quickly as you can choose to forgo parrying your opponent’s strikes! While the story mode can become a bore after 30 minutes, the scenarios mode might hold your interest a while longer. Some of the scenarios include making X amount of money in a number of turns or building up your business (to a certain winning extent) in a number of turns.
While simple, The Guild is probably best described as Capitalism 101. It’s a perfect tool for explaining to a child the effects of supply and demand as well as the really excellent concept of profit taking, albeit in a medival setting.
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