Pit your business and marketing skills against as many as three other competitors while raising and lowering your buying and selling prices for a variety of goods on the interplanetary market. You can produce goods, such as perfume, by planting your fields with flowers. You'll have to purchase raw materials, such as water, which may raise the price of your finished products.
Traders is a nice little M.U.L.E. clone. It may not be the best one, but back when I was a kid, I played this game for hours with my brother. You can play it with up to 4 players on one computer. If you don't have 3 friends at hand, the other 3 will be replaced by the computer. The difficulty of the game can be picked out of 4 options or you can make up you own settings.
The game is build up of 9 basic phases. The first phase is just the weekly balance of the money the players made. At the rightmost side of the screen, pictures of the players (really weird looking aliens) are shown with the best player at the top and the worst at the bottom.
The second phase is the building phase. At the first round, you choose a place for the base and a piece of land, where you can build either a rocket for gathering snails or 1 of 3 buildings for gathering either perfume, water or flowers.
In the third phase, you choose a planet to send your rocket to. The planets have different sizes, defined by I, II, and III. The bigger the planet, the more snails you will get from it. Also, planets marked with a "P" are haunted by pirates, that will shoot up your rockets, if you choose it.
In the fourth phase you will find yourself back on the map from phase two, but this time to gather the goods you got from the planets or have produced. How much you will get from which product depends on the weather.
After that, shopping begins Yay. In this phase, you can drive around in your car in a street of the city to buy goods for the robot battling. You can either buy ammunition, defenses, bridges, or really nifty parts for your robot.
Then (but not in the first round), robot battling begins. Each player can set up their defenses, and then place their robot, if they want to. If you think you have build up a Mechwarrior, you can walk over to your enemy and try to shoot his base. If you succeed, you will get his goods.
After that, the most boring phase begins: the trading phase. Here, you can sell all you products to "Fat-Mike", your boss, so to say, or you buy or sell them to the other players. You have a loooong time here to decide, wether you want to sell or not. And that for every single good. Water, flowers, perfume, oil and snails, but you must have really a lot of snails to dare selling them since.....
....in the next phase, you have to pay the rent of your land in form of snails to Fat-Mike. He will choose how much everyone has to pay, defined by either the player with the most snails or the player with nearly none snakes. If you can't pay him, you will get no new piece of land in the next building phase.
After paying your rent, you will come to an isle where you can play lottery to win money, buy oil you need for moving, buy new rockets, or sell gems (but I don't know how to get them)
After these phases the weekly balance comes again, and everything starts over, until one player has made enough money (defined in the Preferences). In between, Fat-Mike probably donates some goods, which the players have to gather up in some kind of rally. Or he makes a "Snail Contest", where the player with the most snails wins an extra piece of land.
To the technical part: The graphics are pretty nice, in my opinion. The trading scenes have some pretty nice detail in the machinery of the background and the characters may look weird but in a nice way. The sounds however, are just awkward. The "accepting" sound of the players, to show you are ready, gets annoying after the second round. And sadly, this is mostly the only sound you will hear. Music is nearly non-existent. In the robot-battle phases you hear some music which isn't the best either, but it is OK. Also, in the main menu, you hear some music, but it already disappears after you press a button. The rest of the game is free of music and filled with the "nice" sounds the game has to offer.
To sum it up: It's an overall nice game. It may be nothing to entertain for weeks, but it is a nice time killer for rainy days. It can also be fun to blow up your friend's silo with your mech ;)
Remember M.U.L.E? The legendary game from ZX Spectrum and C64? You do! Great! Here comes a game inspired by the good old classic, but with some new, maybe even better features!
Traders is a galactic trading game for up to four players. Each player is given a fixed amount of money and dropped onto an unsettled planet along with the others. The players then set up the base and the production (and trade!) can begin! The game is played in round during which the players can construct new facilities for production (energy, food...), mines, rockets... At the end of each round there is a production sequence where you can see how good your colony is functioning. After that players go to the trading scene where all the fun starts. This is where each player sees its goods as well as what everyone needs, then simply trade! For each commodity in every round there is an auction. Each player can declare as either buyer or seller. Trading takes place when a seller's line meets a buyer's. All this may look a bit confusing at the beginning but once you learn all the tricks you will deal with everything with ease.
The only downside in the game is a low AI. Once you learn how to trick the computer players you will win each game. That's why you should play Traders with your friends and make it much more challenging!
Linel's Traders is an ambitious clone of Dani Bunten's classic M.U.L.E. that unfortunately adds too many new gameplay elements with the subpar AI that the elegant simplicity of M.U.L.E. is lost. It is no wonder, then, that the game was only mildly successful in Germany, and the English version (here on this site) published by Merit Studios was virtually unknown.
The game looks and plays like M.U.L.E. with a VGA facelift except for a few options which M.U.L.E. fans will be quick to learn. For those who are not familiar with M.U.L.E., it is essentially a galactic trading game for 1-4 players, up to 3 of which can be computer-controlled. Players first choose a species to control, each with its own look, and some have special handicaps. The players are then allotted money and supplies. Each ensuing round of play includes a land grant, during which the players vie for plots of real estate on the planet's surface. During each turn, the player may choose to produce energy or food, or to mine a plot of owned land. After you have paid for and obtained a rocket (replacing a mule in the original classic), you send it out to drop the production symbol onto the plot. It is that simple -- you are literally in business. Random events, like planetquakes, acid rain, and pest attacks, occur throughout the game. At the end of each round, there is a production sequence where all the players watch to see how their little colony is doing. After that comes the game's most fun event: the market phase. Here, you can see your surplus in any commodity, and buy what you lack from the store or other players. For each commodity in every round there is an auction. Each player can declare as either buyer or seller, and march their characters up and down the screen, setting sellers' and buyers' prices. Trading takes place when a seller's line meets a buyer's (supply meets demand, as it were). Because there is a time limit, trading is usually frenzied and cutthroat. Here is where Traders truly preserves all the fun that was in M.U.L.E. auction sequences.
Unfortunately, the AI in Traders is lacking. It is all too easy to spot a pattern in the computer players' moves, and corner the market in the commodity of your choice. The game also adds many commodities and building types, most of which add no extra play value, and simply become extra information you have to keep track off. M.U.L.E. fans, once the "wow" effect of seeing VGA graphics wears off, are likely to find Traders a much too easy M.U.L.E. clone. Definitely a game that is worth a look for all business sim fans, but comes nowhere near the addictiveness of the original. For a truly excellent clone, play Subtrade: Return to Irata instead.
People who downloaded Traders have also downloaded:
Subtrade: Return to Irata, Warlords 2, Roadwar 2000, Settlers of Catan, UFO: Enemy Unknown Collector's Edition, Third World War, Transport Tycoon Deluxe, Archon Ultra
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