Terrouge E-zine Archives
Site Review: Redwall Stock Exchange
The site review is back once more, and this time the featured spot is a little place called the Redwall Stock Exchange. Found at http://pikkle.dhs.org/amy/rse/, it is home to the economic center of the ROC. Money-hungry mice and rat racing prospectors alike can play a unique game that focuses on buying and selling imaginary stocks of Redwall industries and supplies. The goal is to make as much money as possible on the market, or at least more money than the other players.
Presentation - 8.5
Upon entering you are faced bluntly by a login form right off the bat. This is fairly useful for those who frequent the RSE, but somewhat confounding for a first page. There is a menu that never goes away, which is a good thing, on the right side of the page, much like the Mossflower Patrol's design. Little pictures of a treasure chest, a barrel, and other things direct you to the description and status of individual stocks you may be interested in.
The white and tan text on a black background is easy to read, and a neat icon in the upper left corner with clever vines as frame borders lends the RSE a professional image. Each page has bracketed links on the bottom that make the site easy and somewhat fun to navigate. My major gripe is that the site is not viewable in Netscape (my version of Netscape 6 at least), and even though it has nifty cookie features your login may expire after a while of disuse. The scripts are written by someone who knows what he's doing and the result is a clean-coded, good-looking site. Just use Microsoft Internet Explorer as the browser.
Graphics - 7.5
When it comes to the visuals, the Redwall Stock Exchange is a mixed bag. The logo and the sword on the first page are all well and good, but the menu icons, the most important GIF files in this case, lack theme. They seem to have been chosen simply to be compatible with the individual stocks they represent rather than the menu they are a part of, especially the Apple. When it comes to something that is a part of a large overall function, like a menu, you ought to think of it as one "entity". You don't have dictionary entries in varying fonts depending on the word being defined. Just the same, the menu should have conformity. The stats chart and summary graph, on the other hand, stay in the same train of thought - this is the stock market you're dealing with.
Content - 8
In reality the RSE deserves anywhere from a 7.5 to a 9.5 in this category, as the quality is rather inconsistent, which would naturally bring it down from a 10. When not logged in, a stock's page displays a description of the resource in question. This is where the problem is. The Loaf and Cordial point out actual resources, the Apple gives mostly arbitrary historical information, the Sword exhibits a useless diagram of two actual swords, and the Wood and Gold are philosophical and confusing regarding what the stock is of. Want to invest in greed? Generosity? Hard work maybe?
There are also more than a couple minor spelling errors, but the Help section is concise, when logged in the actual stock value and presentation of it makes sense, and the method of buying and selling is mind-bogglingly easy.
Lasting Appeal - 9
The Redwall Stock Exchange is a game that may be individual, trying to gain X amount of money, for instance, or a contest between the other players. There is no prize other than the pride and joy of being number one. How long the game may last for you is simply a factor of your attention span, but most players may be coming back daily to check up on their long-term investments.
Overall Score (not an average) - 8.5
Ignoring the flaws, the Redwall Stock Exchange is a fresh and fun concept. Not only is it an original form of competition between ROCers, but better background than none for those considering to play the real market. Ask your parents first before attempting any real financial endeavors, though.
Think your site can compete with the Redwall Stock Exchange? Send us your site address and we may review it in a future issue!