Merchant / Trade-oriented games
Group DescriptionThis 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 an individual travelling trader, or merchant company, or a nation, with 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 practical use or additional benefits to the player (e.g. cannot be used or equipped).
- Does not apply to games where although trade may exist as an integral part of the game, it is automatically set (though a computer animated script which may be manually created within the game), thus does not require the 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 role-playing games (RPGs) or any genre, where items, including weapons and armor may be available for buying and selling, does not necessarily primary gameplay intent of buying/selling items for profit, as intended by this game group, unless the game optionally and explicitly expresses 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.
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Front cover for Vermeer
Front cover for Tai-Pan
Front cover for Starflight 2: Trade Routes of the Cloud Nebula
Front cover for FOFT: Federation of Free Traders
Front cover for Elite
Screenshot from Vermeer
Screenshot from Maximus
Screenshot from Tai-Pan
Screenshot from Hanse
Screenshot from Drug Wars: A Game Based on the New York Drug Market