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Federation of Free Traders is a space simulation/exploration game that is quite similar to an earlier title, Elite. The player is able to zoom around in space while trading goods, undertake missions, or simply explore the galaxy (which consists of over 8 million planets).

There is a significant amount of playable options in FOFT and a considerable attention is paid to detail. For instance, if the player becomes tired of roaming through outer space, they can skim a planet or two (which plays in a similar fashion to David Braben's other game, Virus).

During the docking sequence players can create their own programs for automated functions, using a built-in BASIC like language called SIMPLE.


Federation Atari ST Opening game screen
Federation Atari ST Title screen
Federation Atari ST Scrolling Credits
Federation Amiga Flying on a planet

Promo Images

Federation Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "FOFT: Federation of Free Traders" -- UK/EU title

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User Reviews

There are no reviews for this game.

Critic Reviews

The Games Machine (UK) Amiga Jul, 1989 93 out of 100 93
The One Amiga Jul, 1989 89 out of 100 89
The One Atari ST Oct, 1988 89 out of 100 89
Commodore User Amiga Jul, 1989 76 out of 100 76
Amiga User International Amiga Aug, 1989 7 out of 10 70
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft Atari ST 1990 70 out of 100 70
Amiga Format Amiga Sep, 1989 69 out of 100 69
Power Play Amiga Sep, 1989 62 out of 100 62
The Games Machine (UK) Atari ST Apr, 1989 44 out of 100 44
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Atari ST Apr, 1989 44 out of 100 44


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Inspiration of Elite

The game's inspiration was an improvement of Elite, what programmer Paul Blythe told The One:
"I love Braben and Bell's Elite. I played it and played it and thought it was brilliant, but there was always a feeling that it could have been taken further - although maybe not within the constraints of 8-bit." (Source: The One, issue #1, 1988/10).

Galaxy size

The galaxy is quite huge. According to the programmer, it would take 65,000,000 real time hours at maximum speed to fly from one side to the other.

Atari ST update

After the original Atari ST release, there were quite some criticisms on the gameplay and reception partly was not very well (i.e. The Games Machine 44%). The major point criticised was the slow pace at moving through space because of the instant stopping of fast travel as soon as a ship appeared in range, which happens very often. This problem was solved in the later Amiga conversion. Gremlin offered an upgrade for the Atari ST version for £1, which contained the changes to gameplay made in the Amiga version.
Contributed to by kvitkanin (80) and Dietmar Uschkoreit (6022)
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