Gaming Minds Studios resurrects Ascaron Entertainment's naval-themed empire-building strategy series with a heavy emphasis on commerce in Patrician IV: Conquest by Trade. Players begin as a simple merchant bartering with common goods, but the goal is to eventually become Elderman of the Hanseatic League by establishing a strong merchant fleet along the waterways of northern Europe. Gamers can use their commercial success to gain political power, becoming mayor of their home town, influencing local construction, and even founding new cities. A complex trade system lets players establish routes between 32 different location, each rendered in 3D, and all of the ships designs are based on historical models. Life as a merchant isn't all about trade and political influence though, as rivals, pirates, and inclement weather all pose threats to profitability, so gamers must stock their fleet with convoy ships and be prepared to engage in large-scale naval battles.
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