I’m not really sure why this is acceptable, but it seems that a lot of games that are developed for mobile devices are often ported to the PC without any kind of review, adjustment, playtesting or what have you. The giant touch-friendly buttons and slide-able maps are typically a dead giveaway. This isn’t anything against mobile games – they’re actually taking great strides in that market to make games that are both quality contributions to our gaming libraries and still unique enough to their platform. Mobile games are an interesting new experience in the gaming industry. This uniqueness however is exactly why doing a direct port to the PC is a bad idea – the two platforms do not work the same way. No matter the circumstances, this situation is an example of developers dropping the ball. At the very least, I hope that’s what happened with today’s game: a strategic simulation game based on buying and selling. It’s Forever Entertainment S.A.’s 16-bit Trader. Because if it wasn’t intended for a portable electronic device, then they really didn’t know what they were doing.
In 16-bit Trader, you are a merchant looking to make a fortune by buying and selling goods around the land, going from one city to another in hopes of turning a profit on goods from elsewhere. You must arrange your assets, your employees, and your transportation as you explore the land and try to build a business. You must consider the cost of your goods, moving town to town, and the potential for your shipments getting raided by thieves. This all seems well and good, but the game’s execution makes none of it fun.
Clicking back and forth between towns and wasting scares resources while hoping the random bandit generator doesn’t deplete them further is bad enough. However when you reach other towns in this game, you often find the difference between buying price in the last town and selling price in the new one isn’t very big. In fact, you are often guaranteed a loss on any purchase as far as I can tell. Whatever minuscule gains there are to be had are not really hinted at, so mostly you have to guess what to buy and hope it sells for something. I ran out of money really quickly due to trying to find a place to sell the food I bought. Guess food is a bad investment.
Honestly, there’s not much else to say about this game. It’s flat, boring, works poorly and drags out each aspect of it for no discernible reason. Honestly, I feel bored just writing about it. You’re probably bored reading about it. So let’s just put this thing out of its misery. 16-bit Trader is a hard pass. Don’t buy it. There’s no point.