Ancient Trader plays more like a board game than anything else. You select a scenario, each with different winning conditions, start with a small ship and begin trading. You go from port to port, buy low and then sell high, all while collecting treasure, fighting mythical sea creatures and avoiding or defeating other captain’s. You can get quests from ports for extra cash, buy some powerful artifacts and upgrades your ship’s weapons, cargo hold and speed.
Ancient Trader also quite pretty, and everything looks like a hand drawn ancient map. The effects are fine and the music fits well with the package.
Sounds fun, right? Well, not so much. You see, Ancient Trader is extremely simplified. You only have three types of merchandise, only three types of weapons which follow a rock – paper – scissor system, and that’s about it. Once you complete a single map, you’ve pretty much seen everything there is to see. Now, the game does support hotseat multiplayer, so that might be fun, but that’s about it. It’s pirates diluted to the point of not being fun anymore, at least not for me.
I know people hate that word, but I think an accurate description would be to say that the game is extremely “casualized”.
Score: 5/10, maybe 7/10 if hotseat turns out to be fun.