Personal Compuer Games

Star Trader
By Bug Byte
Spectrum 48K

Published in Personal Computer Games #10

Star Trader

Greed raises its ugly head in this interstellar economy simulation. You play the skipper of the only cargo ship in a galaxy infested with pirates.

You aim to make a healthy profit by supplying eight planeLs in the system, buying low - and then selling high to the local traders.

Dealing in eight commodities, you move between planets avoiding pirates and customs officers whose combined depredations make large dents in your profit margins. Constant reports are available on your status and that of the planets' economies and also the goods you are carrying.

Star Trader

Between trips you have to find the time to eat and drink and rest as normal.

Trading hours are controlled as in the average high street - so there's a lot of maddening waiting around. These periods are best spent stuffing your face to stay alive. The flight between planets is far from being the best display of 3D graphics on the Spectrum (as Bug Byte claim) and you are left too long with nothing to do but watch passing asteroids.

Sudden pirate attacks certainly relieve the boredom. Numerous ships sweep towards you in 3D pounding away at your vulnerable shields. These attacks are very hard to survive and make a welcome change from the text responses of the rest of the game.

But the most frightening things you'll encounter are the grizzly looking inhabitants of the different planets. These faces loom up on the screen every time you enter a shop to buy or sell goods. I didn't trust them an inch.

You must watch your Credits carefully as you deal with these shady characters (who, funnily enough, all look like the same guy in different disguises). At each shop you decide if you want to sell or buy. If buying, you ask the program for a list of the commodities in stock and judge what goods will make you a killing.

But your first visit should be to the general store to buy a laser and power packs - to stop the pirates making a 'killing' out of you.


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