Where are my 90s kids? Who else played Zapitalism and has missed the trials and tribulations of running a business on Zapinalia, dealing with cutthroat competition and the whims of Queen Keshi Keshi Gomu? Well, guess what just became available on Steam?
From LavaMind, Zapitalism is a multi-player business strategy game. Set on the fictitious island of Zapinalia, players choose one of six businesses to manage. The goal is to take a small store and turn it into a retail empire. You need to keep your employees happy, manage your business’s reputation, and keep your shelves stocked wisely in order to make enough profit to beat the other stores to 5 million.
On every turn, you’ll want to visit the wholesaler and fill your store with products. Check-in on union headquarters to make sure your employee morale is all right. Pop over to the advertising agency to see if you need to up your budget. If you were lucky enough to secure a building permit, you can check on construction. Travel the archipelago to find business deals or increase a product’s quality.
There are different levels (beginner, intermediate, expert, etc.) which allow you to start with a different balance. At the beginner level, you start with 50,000 zables, and if you spend any more, you need to take out a loan. Each level up costs you 10,000 until you’re starting with 0 and you have no choice but to get a loan.
The game lived on for a short while as a subscription-based online game, but is now available for download through Steam! This means that instead of having to pay an annual fee, you only pay one price to own the game in full. In fact, you can save 25% until February 19.
Storytime. My dad bought my sisters and I Zapitalism when we were kids. We read the back of the box and decided we weren’t into it. (Build a business? No thanks.) And then one day, my younger sister was homesick and bored, and she ended up popping it in. And then we were obsessed.
Yes, this is a game about building a business, which to a young teenager sounded boring as all get out. But the island of Zapinalia, and the other islands on the archipelago, are full of weird and wondrous stuff. The stores are stocked with Wolly Bats and Toe Wagglers, and you can explore the island’s catacombs and weird mountain tunnels for treasure or get a blessing from the local druids.
Each business owner is given a special skill that helps you along the way. You should read through the descriptions carefully and decide which one you’d prefer. For example, I’m a huge fan of playing Tibi’s Boutique, because her pleasant attitude means that I would pay much less to maintain my store’s image, which affects my reputation.
Take it from someone who wasted many a day in her youth hunched in front of the computer duking it out with her sister – Zapitalism is super weird and super fun and totally worth it.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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