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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 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.


FOFT: Federation of Free Traders Atari ST Opening game screen
FOFT: Federation of Free Traders Atari ST Loading Screen
FOFT: Federation of Free Traders Atari ST Scrolling Credits
FOFT: Federation of Free Traders Atari ST Title screen

Promo Images

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Amiga Computing Amiga Sep, 1989 90 out of 100 90
The One Amiga Jul, 1989 89 out of 100 89
The One Atari ST Oct, 1988 89 out of 100 89
ST/Amiga Format Atari ST Oct, 1988 85 out of 100 85
Commodore User Amiga Jul, 1989 76 out of 100 76
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Amiga Jul, 1989 8.4 out of 12 70
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft Atari ST 1990 70 out of 100 70
Power Play Atari ST Mar, 1989 61 out of 100 61
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Atari ST Apr, 1989 44 out of 100 44
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Atari ST Apr, 1989 4.67 out of 12 39


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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 (6027)