Let Me Tell You About Diamonds
By Julie Morley
In May 2012, Jason Roher set out to raise $78, 715 for his project Diamond Trust of London. When the kickstarter funding period concluded, his goal was exceeded, reaching $90, 118. August 28 of that same year he released Diamond Trust of London out on the market. It is the first crowdfunded Nintendo DS game.
Diamond Trust of London is a turn-based game between two players, each whom are controlling a company that relies on diamond trade. You can choose to play against an AI or multiplayer. It takes place back in 2000, in Angola, just before the Kimberly Process is enforced. The goal is to obtain as many diamonds as possible in each region of Angola by outwitting your opponent and avoiding the UN Inspector. All of this must be done in nine turns which in the game is an eight month period.
Despite resembling chess, the gameplay is simple. Don’t be afraid of a little bribery and make sure your agents are paid, otherwise they’ll succumb to the opponent’s bribes. When you begin the game, there are two competing companies, each with three agents. Before any moves are determined, it’s time to give your agents a salary. Afterwards, the diamonds will accumulate in the six regions of Angola. This will tell you how many you could receive in each location.
Pick your respective spot and transport your agents. Make sure to pay them generously in that region. If your opponent places an agent in that region as well, whoever has the larger salary is going to obtain the diamonds. Once you have your diamonds you can choose to sell them which will give you more money to work with or keep them. Deposit them at your homeland or continue playing on the board to build up a higher count.
Be warned, the UN Inspector sets things completely off kilter. The UN Inspector can go wherever they please on the map, typically being where the majority of the diamonds sit. When in a location, not only are you unable to take diamonds, but any the agents already own are confiscated. Luckily, this is where bribery is again relevant. By bribing the UN Inspector, eventually either side gains an upper hand by manipulating the Inspector’s movements and could obtain diamonds usually blocked from them.
At the end of eight months, all agents return to their homeland, counting the diamonds. The player with the most is the winner.
I found Diamond Trust of London to be even more complex than I was expecting. Getting to learn the gameplay at first is troublesome but once you get the swing of things, it changes on you. It becomes a thrill to outwit the opponent and collect your diamonds. You kind of get stuck in this desire to defeat them, game after game, trying to base your moves on logic and tact. With each round, you get even more invested. It’s fun, engaging, and will suck you in for more than one game. I can guarantee that.
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/julie.jpg” ]Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling. Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.[/author]