Merchant / Trade-oriented games
This game group is dedicated to games where its primary (or secondary) gameplay focuses on trading/bartering goods, resources or items for a profit. The player usually plays the role of a merchant or a nation and the process of trade is conducted manually
(not computer automated). Depending on the game, profit may be obtained by the player through manually selecting and buying goods in one location and selling them at another location (shops, towns, planets, etc.).
Merchant / Trade-oriented games usually have the following characteristics:
- Obtaining profit through trade is usually explicitly expressed throughout the game or through official sources (e.g. game manual, etc.);
- Trade must be conducted by the player manually. Thus, gameplay may consist of the player researching goods and price differences for a profitable route;
- Computer-assisted scripts may be provided optionally to the player (e.g. caravan routes, etc.);
- Trade goods/items usually have no additional benefits to the player (e.g. cannot be used or equipped).
Related Game Groups
- Does not apply to games where trade although exists as an integral part of the game, is automatically set (though a computer animated script which may be manually created within the game), thus does not require manual selling of goods or items (i.e. political/war-themed games such as Sid Meier's Civilization or 4x games does not apply). The term 'trading simulation' is commonly used in this respect;
- Does not apply to common adventure role-playing games (RPGs), where items and mostly weapons/armor are available for use, buying and selling, although may be part of the gameplay, does not necessarily refer to the trade aspect intended by this game group, unless the game optionally and explicitly expressed trade as an integral part of the gameplay;
- Does not apply to games where the player may buy or sell parts/accessories for the player's car, rubber ducky, spaceship or other forms of transportation;
- To be limited from sport-themed managerial games, where the player can buy or sell players, etc;
- Not to be confused with 'managerial games' which although focuses on managing resources, trade is usually set automatically.