Day 27: Ancient Trader

Posted: 2010/12/06 in Indie Games
Tags: , ,

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and no longer appear in the top 50 downloads. Today is day #27, and today’s game is “Ancient Trader”

I didn’t quite know what to expect when I downloaded the trial for this game, but I was surprised at all the different elements present. Imagine Sid Meier’s Pirates!… now imagine it turn-based with card battle elements. You have a quest-based, exploration-oriented, card game with RPG elements.

In Ancient Trader you upgrade your battle cards, your ship’s abilities, and explore the various islands and ports. Periodically you are attacked (or could choose to attack) various sea monsters and other traders. You travel from port to port hauling cargo and trying to eek out a profit. You have the option of accepting quests and side missions along the way.

This is a surprisingly deep game for 240 Microsoft Points. The presentation is quite incredible, with graphics that invoke old maps and some appropriate period word choices and spellings in the game’s text. It really did feel like I was playing a mash-up of Sid Meier’s Pirates! and Culdecept Saga, with an RPG leveling mechanic added to the mix. It’s an ambitious mix that could have failed, but ended up succeeding brilliantly.

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