Five separate races vie for supremacy of the final frontier in the strategic empire-builder Space Bucks. The empire in this case is a galactic transport empire, complete with commodities, starships, cargo shipments, pirates, and aliens. Sabotage, war, economic trading, and technological advances enter into the mix as you try to establish yourself as the most successful space trading baron in the known universe.
In the mid-20th century, the first meeting between humans and an alien race resulted in intergalactic trade when a Tesarian trader accidentally ventured into our galaxy. From that point, faster-than-light (FTL) travel opened up the universe to human trading and led to contact with four other alien races, each with unique attitudes and characteristics. In addition to the Tesarians, humans met the ambiguous Krec N'had, aggressive Secanii, secretive Colikar, and the most technologically advanced race and inventors of FTL space travel, the Madorians.
While people of Earth colonized numerous worlds in the far-flung galaxy as a result of FTL technology, the galactic community was stunned when the Madorians simply disappeared in the year 2333. Now, 42 years later, FTL travel is once again available, this time with all five remaining races having access to its inner secrets. In Space Bucks, the goal is to build the biggest and most successful transport empire in the galaxy before the year 2500.
Whichever race you choose to play, you'll begin with one starport and one ship. By expanding to planets not owned by other races, trading in industries (metal, chemical, specialty goods, toxic waste), building facilities (terminal, landing pad, fuel dumps, shipyards), and establishing luxury hotspots (restaurants, malls, casinos, sports arenas), you'll increase your company size through successful business dealing.
Negotiation of commodity prices, start up bids, delivery service contracts, competitive market bidding, and attitudes impact the establishment and maintenance of efficient trade routes. Constant ship upgrading, better shielding, and more advanced weapons become available as you build wealth and garner experience. You choose to build your empire through might or trade -- how you approach competitors is up to you, but pirates are a plague to be contended with by all races.
Space Bucks features a dozen types of planets, ranging from arctic to tropical, 12 cargo types from food to toxic waste, a myriad number of ways to earn revenue, raise (or lose) profits and control costs, as well as random events and combat options. For those with a desire to customize, a ship builder module is available that allows modification of pre-designed ships or the chance to build one from scratch.
You start the game by choosing your race, they each have thier own advantages and disadvantages. You then choose which planet populated by your race you want your starport and ship to start at. The premise is to build the biggest, richest trading empire by the the year 2500, starting in the year 2375. You can either do this through hard work and diligence or go about this the cut throat way and make life difficult for your compitition. The game runs in real time, so once you set up a trade route the ships will continue to make deliveries, you can pause the game and make changes.
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