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Old October 26th, 2004, 05:29 PM
Shadowdancer Shadowdancer is offline
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Last night at work, I was bored. On Yahoo, I saw a banner ad for their new game, "Tradewinds," so I decided to download the demo and try it out.

It was a lot of fun. You are the captain of a sailing ship. You start as either a merchant or a pirate with one ship, and you're in debt. You have to buy and sell cargoes at various ports, all the while hoping to avoid pirate attacks. The prices at the various ports fluctuate, so it's difficult to get a consistent feel for the markets.

Some cargoes are illegal, so you have to avoid the port authority. If they catch you, you have to bribe them to avoid arrest. Sometimes the prices in a port are too low for you to make a profit, so you have to store the cargo in a warehouse until it changes.

When attacked by pirates, you can either run, dump your cargo and run faster, or fight. There are different size ships, and you have to balance between cargo space available and weapons.

As you make money, you can upgrade your ship with more weapons, or even buy more ships. You can also hire mercenaries to escort your ships and help fight the pirates. If the pirates damage your ship, you have to get it repaired in the next port.

While playing, it struck me that a lot of the elements of this game are pretty much like Traveller. I don't know much about computer games and programming, but it seems to me that Yahoo (or whoever developed the game) could convert this game to a space-based trading game very easily. Maybe if we start an e-mail campaign and ask them to do this, they would. What do you think?

Oh, the full version of the game costs $19.99, I believe. Not a bad price for the fun involved.
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