An intermediary step in complexity between the brutally basic HAMURABI
and more sophisticated modern titles such as Civilization
, Santa Paravia and Fiumaccio
ushers you into a Merchant Prince
setting, governing over a 15th-century Italian city-state, competing with the savage forces of nature and against up to 5 (7 in some later versions) other players in the hot-seat, seeing who can rise through the ranks to claim titles from COUNT, to MARQUIS, GRAND DUKE (and, finally, H.R.H. KING.)
At its heart the game is, as are its predecessors, about bean-counting -- weighing your current reserves of grain (measured in steres) against your population's food demands, wondering how many gold florins the market price for your surplus will net, and how many hectares of land that'll permit you to purchase... and whether that investment will come back to haunt you the following turn if the weather shifts from feast to famine, when you have plenty of dirt and nothing growing in it to feed your grumbling populace. However, the game cleans up real nice, and cute graphical depictions may help you to forget that your debauched Renaissance rule largely consists of moving debits and credits back and forth across a virtual ledger.
Varying difficulty levels help you find your own comfort zone in which to engage bad harvest conditions, worse real-estate prices and, worst of all, the endless appetites of what must amount to hundreds of thousands of rats, endlessly nibbling at your reserves. Surplus capital can be sunk into blue-chip investments such as marketplaces and mills, palaces, cathedrals and private armies. If, after commissioning them all, you find you don't have so much surplus capital after all, you can always cook the books by adjusting several different flavours of taxes, tariffs and customs fees... but tamper too much and your local economy will be stifled!
Nearly every downturn in this game has an equal and opposite check, or at least a balance, to keep it from demolishing your estate in a single swoop... however, early versions of this game, as with many titles of its era, may cruelly and arbitrarily cut your rule short with a random death. All the more reason to carpe diem
and do the best with what you've got, while you've got it.
- "SP2003" -- 2003 Apple II re-release
- "Santa Paravia en Fiumaccio" -- ZX Spectrum release
- "Santa Paravia e Fiumaccio" -- Italian name
- "Santa Paravia and Fiumaccio: The Tournament Edition" -- 2003 Apple II re-release
- "MacParavia" -- Macintosh ANSI-C port
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ported this game (with permission) from George Blank
's original TRS-80 BASIC to ANSI-C in 2000, releasing it under the GNU General Public License; this code was the basis for modern Windows, OSX and Linux releases of this game and can be read or downloaded at http://pscode.com/vb/scripts/ShowCode.asp?txtCodeId=7183&lngWId=3