The Theme Park is Coming! Ape Games Shows Off Production Proofs for Arcadia

May 29, 2015 - 10:32pm

Almost exactly a year ago, Boardgamegeek's W. Eric Martin posted the preview of new titles to watch for at GEN CON 2014. One of those titles was APE Games' Arcadia (designed by Greg Bush and Phil Chase), a light and simple theme park building card game for 2-5 aspiring owner/operators. Next there were some reports of the game being demoed at GEN CON, but no release plans. Then at the beginning of 2015 Arcadia was sighted as an add-on in the unrelated APE Games Kickstarter campaign for Spirits of the Rice Paddy. Why did APE Games bundle the two games together? From the campaign updates:
We didn't Kickstart Arcadia because the game is relatively inexpensive to produce, and because shipping it on its own is a little less practical. I think that I like the model of Kickstarting larger projects, and piggy-backing smaller games in with them.
Now comes some more meat (or perhaps cotton candy) for interested parties to chew on in the form of production proofs at the APE Games Blog. These proofs show off the high quality of the 3 decks of cards used in the game, the amazing wrap-around art on the game box, and finally the colorful, densely packed rulebook. APE Games currently estimates the game will be delivered to backers (of the Spirits of the Rice Paddy kickstarter) in August of 2015. From a quick glance through the rulebook, Arcadia looks like a fun game. Theme park management isn't an overly explored theme, and the mechanism of grabbing workers and attractions from a central tableau seems pretty simple. I like that there is different scoring objectives based on which critic is reviewing your park. Some people like balloon animals, others do not! For more info there's now plenty to be had on the APE Games website. The proofs are posted on the APE Games blog, along with the description of a nightmare odyssey to actually pick the proofs up from the shipping company…an ordeal many independent publishers are all too familiar with. As far as the delay in production, board gamers at this point are pretty familiar with the drill. Better components and gameplay are usually worth the inevitable wait. As far as attaching the game to Spirits of the Rice Paddy…only APE Games will know for sure if this is a viable way to sneak in smaller releases for the future.