Sinclair User

Star Trader
By Bug Byte
Spectrum 48K

Published in Sinclair User #31

Star Trader


A TOUGH simulation of galactic trading, Star Trader, from Bug- Byte, combines commercial cunning with arcade action to tax even the most wily Arthur Daley of the spaceways. Set in the crumbling, inflation-racked economy of the far future, the game features gangs of vicious pirates who roam the space trade routes preying on hard-pressed entrepreneurs who are attempting to keep the isolated communities supplied with the basic needs of civilised life.

As a businessman your motives are not totally philanthropic and you aim to rake in as much profit as possible by buying cheap, selling dear and reducing your overheads. Rapacity and greed rule the universe and customsmen, shopkeepers and criminals will do their best to rip you off or beat you up. Cash is also drained by the need to eat and drink frequently.

Star Trader

The simulation section consists of a number of menu-driven screens. The primary menu allows you to enter the stores of the commodity brokers, the spaceport or the pubs. Commodities can be bought in bulk and after a hazardous space trip are sold on to other planets. Report screens give details of prices on each planet and also provide cargo inventories and financial information.

The space trip is an arcade sequence featuring the onslaught of the pirates. The player can fight or surrender, but the 'tax' levied by these interstellar Mafiosi is enormous. If planets run out of goods their civilisations collapse and limit your market.

The program is well-designed with fast keyboard response and clear screen displays. Static graphic illustrations adorn the simulation sections. Success in all parts of the game is hard-won and careful planning is needed, especially in calculating the size of a bribe. All in all Star Trader is a complex multi-task simulation which may well have you head-banging your Spectrum in frustration.

Richard Price

Memory: 48K Price: £ Joystick: Kempston, Protek, Interface 2

Richard Price

Other Spectrum 48K Game Reviews By Richard Price

  • The Talisman Front Cover
    The Talisman
  • Dun Darach Front Cover
    Dun Darach
  • Beatle Quest Front Cover
    Beatle Quest
  • Time of The End Front Cover
    Time of The End
  • Merlock The Mede Front Cover
    Merlock The Mede
  • Automania Front Cover
  • The Crystal Frog Front Cover
    The Crystal Frog
  • Emerald Isle Front Cover
    Emerald Isle
  • Mordon's Quest Front Cover
    Mordon's Quest
  • Espionage Front Cover