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Merchant / Trade-oriented games

Group Description

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 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.
Related Game Group Related Genre Related Theme
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Game TitleYearPlatformPublishersorted in ascending orderMobyScore
Handel Zagraniczny1987ZX SpectrumKrajowa Agencja Wydawnicza1.75
1193 Anno Domini: Merchants and Crusader2001WindowsBlackstar Interactive GmbH1.33
Merchant of Venus1982ZX81Crystal Computing2.00
Trader 21996Atari STCroft Soft Software2.25
Abyss2014Atari 8-bit2.50
Drug Wars: A Game Based on the New York Drug Market1984DOS2.50
Tai-Pan1987Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, ZX SpectrumOcean Software Ltd.4.08
Galactic Trader1979Apple II, Atari 8-bit, TRS-80Adventure International2.80
Mount&Blade: With Fire and Sword2011WindowsParadox Interactive AB2.85
FOFT: Federation of Free Traders1989Amiga, Atari STSpotlight Software2.89
Tradewinds2003Palm OS, Windows, Windows MobileWildTangent, Inc.2.90
Whale's Voyage1993Amiga, Amiga CD32, DOSPro One Software3.00
Dynatech1992Amiga, DOSMagic Bytes3.00
Patrizier II (Gold Edition)2002WindowsASCARON Entertainment GmbH3.00
Kupiec1993Amiga, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, Windows 3.xASF s.c.3.00
Biznesman1988DOSSamba S.A.3.00
Oil Barons1992Amiga, DOSLobo Software3.00
Flatspace2003iPhone, WindowsCornutopia Software3.08
Sea Trader: Rise of Taipan2002Game Boy AdvanceJaleco Entertainment, Inc.3.12
Hanse: Die Expedition1994Amiga, DOSAscon GmbH3.17
Europa 1400: The Guild2002WindowsJoWooD Productions Software AG3.19
Vangers1998Linux, Macintosh, WindowsInteractive Magic Ltd.3.22
Pirates of the Caribbean2003Windows, XboxBethesda Softworks LLC3.22
Trade Empires2001WindowsEidos, Inc.3.23
Fugger1988Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64Bomico Entertainment Software GmbH3.25
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Selected Covers

Tradewinds Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Tradewinds
Europa 1400: The Guild Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Europa 1400: The Guild
Hanse: Die Expedition DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Hanse: Die Expedition
Pirates of the Caribbean Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Pirates of the Caribbean

Selected Screenshots

Title screen
Screenshot from Oil Barons
Main menu
Screenshot from Tradewinds
Title screen
Screenshot from Biznesman
Main menu
Screenshot from Europa 1400: The Guild