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Space: truly the financial frontier. Space Trader: Merchant Marine is an inexpensive ticket into the realm of galactic commerce and killing. There are no pan-dimensional levels of depth here, but all things considered, you get more than you pay for, plus the heart and soul of an old-school PC game.
This game is part FPS, adventure game and a virtual stock market game. I was impressed by how each aspect of the game works within the core game, and while the game could be a bit more solid in graphics, audio, basically making it more esthetically pleasing. Addictive, very fun and innovative are the best words to describe the game and the bottom line is this is a welcome addition to any gamer’s library so buy this game and enjoy it, I know I did.
It's all great fun, well-balanced and has a good deal of replayability. Even with all this the game still isn't perfect due to lack of a save option, but you just need to finish what you start and all is well. I suggest you buy it if it sounds interesting to you.
The issues that I have with Space Trader revolve mainly around the lack of more scenarios. The three included ones will only take a few hours to beat at the most, and after that, simply grinding through them again for a top score doesn’t seem very appealing to me. The amount of locations available in each scenario is also limited to four or five, and seems to detract from the grand scale that is often better replicated in more freeform space trading games.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with Space Trader. While most space adventure games focus on flashy graphics or intense combat, Space Trader actually makes trading fun and not a chore. I usually detest trade in games since it is typically handled poorly, but Space Trader simplifies the process through its outstanding user interface. Space Trader feels like you are playing a game instead of playing a spreadsheet. While the characters remain the same, the planetary movement (something a lot of games don’t get right) and random events keep successive play fresh. The inclusion of LAN play is something even big budget titles lack. The limited scope and small amount of content (there are only a few planets in each of the game’s three scenarios) will restrict the potential audience somewhat, but for fans of trading games Space Trader is quite entertaining. Those wacky Canadians are on to something.
There are several things that Space Trader is doing right, but it falls short of perfection in the casual market. The trading aspect provides several hours of fun and would be an excellent addition to your travel laptop or the old PC you have in the house. However, you might find yourself pulling on out your hair as the level of difficulty in the first person mode fluctuates. With witty dialogue and a cheap retail price of $9.99(USD), Space Trader is sure to keep casual gamers busy and provide an interesting experience.
Space Trader is a decent game at an affordable price that should be a fun few hours for anyone. It isn’t a ground breaker like Halo or a resource hog but it gets you where you are going and keeps you interested along the way.
(Dec 19, 2008)
We definitely applaud Hermitworks for taking a chance at reviving this genre. We rarely see these types of trading games done on this scale, and it's our hope that this effort inspires developers to marry some of the same gameplay concepts with a more modern style of presentation. But judging Space Trader purely on its own merits, it's the repetitive gameplay, the thin narrative and the dated shooter mechanics that keep us from offering more than the most half-hearted recommendations. Space Trader's two saving graces are the scarcity of games of this type and the incredible asking price of ten bucks. Even so, your time and money are better spent seeking out the old classics of the genre.