Strategy, trade and empire building on the old Silk Road. Spice Road is a town building, social and economic simulation game full of original challenges.
User reviews: Positive (16 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 24, 2014
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May 1

Spice Road Trading Cards Online

I am happy to announce Spice Road has joined the Steam Trading Cards system and you can start collecting now!

Collect a full set of characters from the Spice Road economy for Badges, Profile Pics and Emoticons from the game.

In other news, Spice Road has already had several patches inspired by the Steam Community. Currently at version 1.007 these patches have polished off a few details and bugs, improving the gameplay.

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About This Game

Strategy, trade and empire building on the old Silk Road. Spice Road is a town building, social and economic simulation game full of original challenges.

"Deep in the mountains and deserts of central Asia, where life is hard and death is sudden, thin trails of gold, silk and spice trace a web between the industrial forges of the West and the exotic climes of the East."

You are a colonial governor in the 18th Century, building a town on the Spice Road in a time of war and discovery. More than spice travels your roads – musket armies, philosophies, and power plays that span the globe are at your control. From palace to monastry, trade post to smugglers den – your town is worthless without the nobles, monks, merchants and rogues that chose to live in it – and keeping them all happy at the same time is never simple.

Spice Road uses the StormRaid™ engine to deliver a beautiful fully 3D rendered world on high-end DirectX® graphics cards.


  • Advanced economic and trading simulation. 3 tiers of industry provide goods and services for populations of citizens, slaves and nobles with full control over wages and taxation.
  • Build a network of farms, mines and caravan routes. Scout the map to find rare and exotic goods to export to distant lands.
  • Defeat Bandit raiders, or pay them tribute to keep your routes peaceful.
  • Compete against cunning corporate rivals. Choose diplomacy or raid their caravans and wage war on their cities.
  • Meet your citizen's social and religious needs. Attract visiting explorers or pilgrims by developing the entertainment or spiritual side of your town.
  • 20 Campaign Missions + generate new maps in Sandbox mode.

Player Comments:

"I think it's genuinely fantastic. I play many strategy games, and it's hard to find a mid-level title that is as solid as Spice Road in terms of gameplay." - Colin

"This must be one of the best indie titles I've ever played. I really love it how new features that you unlock bring new challenges... the deep gameplay is something that I enjoyed most in Spice Road!" - Pawel

"An excellent game... Having TONS of fun" - Unchayned

System Requirements

    • OS: WinXP
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz CPU
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 8.0 compatible 3D Graphics Card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
Helpful customer reviews
8.1 hrs on record
Good game, like the settlers but more refreshing.
Here's some gameplay:
Posted: October 21
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18 of 21 people (86%) found this review helpful
18.0 hrs on record
I can highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys logistics & economical strategy games.
It reminds me a bit of some of my old favorites, such as Railroad Tycoon 3 or Capitalism 2.

To the people who say this is an easy game, they didn't give it enough time.
If you put it on hard, some of the scenarios in the first act even can be difficult. I'm sure it will increase the challenge in later acts as well.

It isn't just "put down some buildings and watch numbers change". That would be like saying the Civilization series is just building units and sending them to fight.

You have to think about:
- where to place camps
- when to upgrade
- which buildings to build RIGHT NOW, vs which to build later, vs which to never build.
- There are a variety of considerations to deal with: limited budgets (this is the main restriction), competing factions taking up good spaces if you aren't fast enogh, bandits taking out your caravans, etc.

With a limited budget, you really do have to think about what your next moves should be.

- The campaign maps are static. Meaning if you have trouble and restart the mission, you know exactly where the resources are: you already found them in your last game. If you aren't exploring blind, you can get a big advantage by grabbing the best spots much earlier (since you know where they are now). To the dev: I'd suggest randomizing resource placement on the campaign maps to combat this.

- Once you get rolling and have a decent income, it isn't that difficult for the rest of the game. Maybe this changes in the later missions or sandbox mode. That said, there is still room for thought; you could just brute force build a bunch of stuff with your good income, but you'd maximize profits better by considering what to build when. (Perhaps later on when competition is more fierce this will be different.)

Review Caveats: I'm only through 6 campaign missions so far, will update if anything changes after playing through more.

Posted: May 6
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16 of 22 people (73%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Imagine Anno, except not bad, or Children of the Nile, except released on Steam in 2014, and all about economy. You erect towns and make your lovable bumblebees happy (at least on the earlier levels, conjuring happiness involves building a few basic buildings and does not require careful balancing or come with trade-offs). In the meantime, you also try to maximise trade route efficiency and just make some good old fashioned dosh. No greenback no victory.
Every mission adds further jolly gameplay concepts, while finishing objectives gives you upgrade points to improve your buildings and unlock new ones.

Unfortunately no multiplayer and no sandbox mode.
Posted: July 3
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
61.9 hrs on record
I bought this game when it was in early release -- anyway, a few months ago. Played the campaign through and enjoyed it immensely. Fairly quick learning curve. Fun to play.
Posted: September 1
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10 of 28 people (36%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Based on the description, I felt it had the potential to be a fun city builder in the same vein as Pharaoh. Unfortunately it's a bland game where the TAB key becomes your best friend to fast forward through mundane objectives. Simply put, this game is a disappointment.
Posted: May 3
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81 of 86 people (94%) found this review helpful
52.9 hrs on record
Thanks to some top-notch customer service on the part of Aartform, I now have this on Steam! My play hours may not show it, but I've been playing this game for just under a year and have logged probably over 100 hours with it all-told. It was a great game to pass the time while I was commuting from my last job and it is surprisingly deep despite being a little rough around the edges visually. I'm absolutely overjoyed to be able to play it on Steam and start earning achievements!

First things first: This game mainly caters to the kind of player that is interested in logistics and supply chain economics and is only really a city-builder or Civ style game in the loosest sense. You are building a network of trade nodes and attempting to meet various scenario goals or self-created goals (in the sandbox mode) as opposed to fighting battles or growing population. The main challenge is building an efficient and profitable network of trade cities given the resources on the map.

One word of caution: The later scenarios are *hard*. You have to really know how the supply/demand model works and understand route efficiency. Route length and travel times are very important when trying to make the big bucks supplying a huge town. It can be very frustrating: I was stuck on one scenario for a long time because I didn't understand some concepts about the economic model. This game does *not* hold your hand and is for people looking for a mental challenge.

All told, this is well worth the price (I paid the full price and got more than my money's worth) if you are the kind of person that 1) loves classical economics and trade/logistics theory 2) are not afraid to step up to a challenge and 3) aren't too hung up on the dated graphics. BIG thumbs up!
Posted: April 24
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40 of 43 people (93%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
This is exactly the kind of game I was hoping for when I read the title and description on Greenlight.

An economic engine, a city builder, a pseudo-historical setting, and an exploration game.

A game that is real time but can slowed down (or sped up.)

Very nice graphics, easy to learn interface, mellow sounds.

I very much like this game.
Posted: April 26
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35 of 49 people (71%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Spice Road is an unique and interesing strategy game from Aartform Games that has a great deal of depth to it.

You start out on a grid based map and choose where you want to start a city/town. And then you build up the town with a huge focus on economy rather than supply management. This unique mechanic works really well thus distancing itself from other strategy games like Banished and Civ 5. (When I say economy, I'm talking about $ and trade routes) Aside from economy you'll be building your city/town from different categorries of buildings. (i.e. Housing, Administration, Resources, Trade, Recreation, Spiritual, Security, and Health) Each helping out the town in it's own way. For example: to keep people healthy you can build a well and to keep people spiritually active you can build a shrine, etc. Also, there are hardly any loading screens and the game can run on almost anything.

That being said, the game does suffer from poor graphics and poor audio quality. Also there is no combat and it's pretty easy. But overall, I can recommend this game to any strategy fan or gamer who wants to get into strategy games.

*Review copy was provided by Aartform Games; Thank you!*
Posted: April 24
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10 of 35 people (29%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Game got old pretty quickly. You throw buildings down and wait for numbers to change.
Posted: April 25
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13 of 42 people (31%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
I thought had potential... I like it's attempt to work but it's too clunky. The camera pan is all but useless along with zoom etc.. The game could use some loving... but I wouldn't buy it if I were you...
Posted: April 25
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4 of 56 people (7%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
its fun
Posted: April 24
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