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Galactic Trader

Galactic Trader TRS-80 Title screen with difficulty selection.

MISSING COVER

MobyRank MobyScore
Apple II
...
...
Atari 8-bit
...
3.0
TRS-80
...
2.8
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Description

Galactic Trader is the sequel to Galactic Empire and the second game in the Galactic Saga. The planet Galactica's forces have conquered the Central Galactic System, but with the new empire now established and at peace, the fleet commander responsible for the campaign finds himself without a job. Left with only a small personal ship, some fuel and a few credits, a career change from conqueror to trader is in order.

The goal in the game is to amass the number of one billion credits within 1000 years. Profits are made by transferring cargo from one planet to another - the farther away a commodity is sold from its source, the more profit is to be made. Keeping with the absence of faster-than-light travel or communication established in Galactic Empire, it is impossible to know what a commodity goes for on a certain planet unless it is visited. While the ship computer keeps track of prices, these might be out of date when a planet is revisited. The prices follow a dynamic economic model of supply and demand. Finding a good trade route might invite to reusing it again and again, but there's a catch: if a big consortium gets wind of a profitable route, they can lay an exclusive claim to it, shutting it off from further use by the player.

Flying around from planet to planet isn't free: an eye must always be kept on fuel consumption, which depends on distance traveled and the mass of the carried cargo. To avoid being lost in space when it runs out, fuel must be bought from the fuel cartel. They accept credits, but when cash flow is low, cargo can be traded in for fuel as well, but usually at less attractive rates. Bartering is also necessary on most planets, since only on Galactica cargo can be converted to credits. The game goal thus necessitates visits to Galactica from time to time, but this harbors another risk: the new emperor, jealous of the former fleet commander's popularity, might attempt to assassinate him. Each visit to Galactica increases the chance of an untimely death.

The game interface is for the most part unchanged from Galactic Empire, but adapted to the new gameplay. The ship's console displays an image of the current locale, the current stardate, and statistics about cargo, cash and fuel. The ship's computer can be accessed to display the galactic map, give information about trading rates at planets already visited and calculate the fuel needed to reach the next destination.

Screenshots

Galactic Trader TRS-80 Looking at the galaxy map.
Galactic Trader TRS-80 Checking the local trader's prices.
Galactic Trader TRS-80 On course to planet Proyc.
Galactic Trader TRS-80 The 4 main command options.

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Contributed to by Terok Nor (18488)