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Loosely based on Clavell's Taipan, this game is a trading simulation set in the Far East during the 1800s. The player is based in Hong Kong and has a single trading ship with which they can transport one of four cargoes from place to place. There are different cargoes to be traded, from the cheaper general goods to the more expensive arms and silks, culminating in the opportunity to trade in the illegal opium trade.

Generally, the strategy here is buy low, sell high. To add some tension to the game, there is a random chance to encounter several obstacles to one's trading empire. Random pirates, pickpockets, and thieves will rob the player and their warehouse for their own benefit. Li Yuen acts as the local mafia boss, extorting increasing sums of money for his "protection". Local authorities will seize the opium and fine anyone who gets caught, ruining an otherwise successful voyage. Local market conditions can render a price extremely high or low, giving a chance to make a quick buck.

The player can upgrade to a larger ship as time goes buy, as well as outfit their current ship with guns. However, the larger the ship, the more pirate ships it will attract. Larger ships are also more expensive to repair.

A game can last as long as the player wants, with the opportunity to retire once they reach one million in cash. A score is given at the end of the game based on net worth, ship size, and a few other factors.


Taipan TRS-80 Samurai Have Burned the Docks in Nagasaki
Taipan TRS-80 Introduction
Taipan Apple II Trading Screen
Taipan Apple II Travelling to another port

Promo Images

Taipan Magazine Advertisement
Taipan Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "Taipan!" -- In-game title

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

Old school economic simulation with piracy and opium! Apple II Chris Gonderzik (11)

Critic Reviews

People's Computers / Recreational Computing TRS-80 May, 1979 Unscored Unscored
80-U.S. / Basic Computing TRS-80 Sep, 1979 Unscored Unscored


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Original game was created in Basic as text based on TSR-80 computer in 1979. It underwent numerous revisions before being ported to the superior Apple II version which now sported graphics for the ship battle sequences.
Contributed to by hoeksmas (106991) and ClarkBHM (282)
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