Armada is the story of a high school nerd whos talent at videogames thrusts him into a life–changing adventure full of old pop culture references. If this sounds like the same components that made made up Ernest Cline’s first novel, Ready Player One, it’s because it is. Of course being a near carbon copy of a great book certainly has its merits, but at the same time Armada often ends up highlighting its own flaws by referencing and borrowing from both Cline’s debut and other works so eagerly.
‘Three hidden keys open three secret gates. Wherein the errant will be tested for worthy traits.’ This is the first riddle presented to Ready Player One’s protagonist, Wade Watts, and it effectively sums up the immense competition at the heart of Ernest Cline’s novel. The worthy traits referred to is a vast knowledge of 1980s videogame history and pop culture, as in 2044 there’s no better way to spend your time than to study how good everything use to be. Ready Player One has a unique premise, and tells the story of a terrifying future where the real world is so terrible that everyone spends as much time as possible inside a virtual reality simulation known as the OASIS.