Ocean Trader (Quicksilva) Review | Home Computing Weekly - Everygamegoing

Home Computing Weekly

Ocean Trader
By Quicksilva
Sinclair ZX81

Published in Home Computing Weekly #10

This is a very enjoyable game, and if you are not careful you could find yourself becoming quite an addict! You are the captain and owner of a 19th century vessel, trading between five British ports; your aim, of course, is to end up showing a profit, but this is easier said than done.

You have the option of dealing in five different types of cargo - general, arms, coal, whiskey and bullion; as you go from port to port you will find the current prices for each of these varying in an unpredictable manner.

To help matters you may borrow money from a finance company in your home port, but beware - the interest mounts up alarmingly! And, of course, there are all sorts of hazards which may beset your seafaring expeditions - pirates, storms and fogs to name three.

Maybe you will overcome these; if not, you may lose some or all of your cargo and end up without a penny to your name. And if you take a chance and ship an illegal cargo, watch out for the pitfalls...

All the details you need to have at hand are displayed on screen, for example, your bank balance; how much you owe the finance company; how many units of each cargo you have, etc.

Options are displayed below (Do you want to buy or sell? Which type of goods? Which destination do you choose for your next voyage?) and it is quite alarming to find out how easy it is to lose everything. Of course it *is* possible to make a bundle quickly, with luck, but you will have to play the game to find out how!

The instructions are loaded first from the tape (as they are quite involved, they are not printed on the cassette insert), and are accompanied by attractive graphics. After you have studied them you can load the main program.

I had no trouble at all loading and running this game, and found it clear and well-produced. Unlike some games, this one really makes you think before you risk all your worldly goods!

I particularly enjoyed some of the remarks that accompanied the news that I had 'lost' my ship - humour can soften the hardest blow.

All in all, I think this game is well worth buying.