Regain your riches, restore your honor and avenge your father's murder. A challenging trading game with lots of RPG elements.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (100 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 10, 2014
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Recent updates View all (30)

March 5

Update 05.03.2015


this update changes the following things

- changed the building buttons in certain locations
- added zoom by mouse roll
- added a possibility to display city names on the map
- optimised the animation of traveling on the map
- fixed the issue when it was possible to travel with a partner who was no longer in location
- lessened the usage of RAM

2 comments Read more

February 6

Update 06 Feb 2015

This new update includes few fixes and slight improvements.

- Fixed the infinite sale bug associated with letters of safe conduct
- Fixed the issues with Dvarwen mine stucking the game
- Fixed the low resolution icons in the book
- Added possibility to close the travel summary with ESC
- Added an information about icebox capacity before buying it.
- some misspellings and repeated words removed
- Fixed the issue when the button did not disappear from the locations descrition
- Clicking on the player's portrait now centers the map on him.
- Fixed issue with transitions between seasons of the year

Stay tuned for more :)

5 comments Read more

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About This Game

Regain your riches, restore your honor and punish those who have wronged you.

Merchants of Kaidan is a challenging trading game fused with lots of RPG elements. You start very humble, one cart, a purse of gold and silver coins is all that you have. Your task is to roam the world and search of opportunities to score some profit. Buy low, sell high - a merchant's motto is easy to grasp. And yet the job is harder than it seems.

A good merchant needs to know everything about the market, he is always on the lookout for a deal, always listening, always engaging and deepening his knowledge. He knows what forces influence the prices, what events affect them. A good merchant listens to rumours and gossips spread by travelers at inns and taverns; hoping for a clue, a hint where to go, where a good deal awaits. A good merchant surrounds himself with specialists smarter than him, people who help him maximize profits and minimize losses. He always expands his fleet of carts, he balances risks, calculates profitability.

The conditions are constantly changing, and supply and demand for different goods with them. Maybe you'd like to pay a cheaper price for furs in the summer, and sell them for a hefty profit as the winter is coming and people need warmth.
But is it worth carrying them for so many days, risking robbery, moths and taking precious space that you could use to transport something now and make a profit immediately?
Or is it worth to buy illegal herb in the out of reach swamps where it cost's next to nothing, and risk smuggling it into the city where you can sell it for an amazing profit? But what if the city guards want to control you? Should you pay a bribe? How big? Maybe the best course of action is to say that you have nothing and hope they don't find anything?

These are the types of questions you will have to ask yourself constantly.

  • Merchants of Kaidan has 4 story lines each with many quests. Main quest that brings you closer to avenging your father's murder, and 3 side-quest lines. A total of over 100 quests each composed of multiple steps.
  • A set of random events that influence your journeys. A storm on the sea, attack by dragons, highway robbery and many, many more.
  • Three types of transport of your goods: by roads, by sea and by flight, each has its advantages and disadvantages and a unique set of events associated. As you grow your fleet you can join a partnership and you'll get to manage 3 traders.
  • You can hire advisers each specializing in a different field. Their council will help you in a variety of issues. Some will show you shortcuts on the roads, some will help you fight of the bandits, some will council you on how to sail better and in case of a storm, how to minimize risks and losses. If you wish, you can also send them to school to improve their abilities for additional cost.
  • 4 seasons of the year that influence the prices of goods, open some paths for travel and block the others. They also impact the way the game looks, each city has a distinct look at different time of the year.
  • Random blessings and curses that influence your statistics. They in turn affect how well you conduct business.
  • A set of artifacts that influence your statistics or can help negate the effects of random events.
  • A complex market fluctuation algorithm that include many variables such as: demand, supply, seasons of the year, localization of the city, random events like droughts or rat infestation.

  • A complex trading algorithm
  • Over 100 quests each with multiple steps to success.
  • 2 out of 10 planned mini games that accompany events with next ones upcoming in the updates
  • Possibility to create a partnership with other traders and control 3 characters simultaneously
  • 1 main and 2 quick scenarios
  • 15 types of goods for trade with varying characteristics, some illegal, some perishable
  • Beautiful hand-drawn localisations.

Your name is Olivean de Calinn, and this was supposed to be the most important day of your life. Your father has been preparing you, for all these years, for this exact moment. Your 21st birthday.

You were finally a grown-up, able to take care of yourself, a person worthy of continuing your fathers' legacy.

He wasn't born into money. To buy his first cart, he had to work very hard saving every silver and copper. One trade after trade, step after step, he climbed the ladder, transforming his tiny one-man venture into a trading company of a rather significant size.

Then he met Van Talodd, the most famous merchant in the whole kingdom, and soon enough he entered into partnership. This enterprise proved very profitable, and Van Talodd promised your father something more precious than wealth. A lordship. Few weeks ago he left to the Capital – Ovoros – to accept the title. He was taking a little longer to come back than you expected, but recent weather was unfavourable, maybe he got stuck, or a road turned into a swamp... it happened all the time.

It was almost dusk when you heard the knocking to the door. A messenger, his clothes soiled with mud, brought you a letter. There was no lordship, your father was found a traitor, an enemy of the Kingdom, and hanged for conspiring against the king, after a very hasty trial. All his assets and estate confiscated and handed over to the person who exposed the entire plot – Van Talodd.

Suddenly everything became crystal clear, Van Talodd maimed him with promises of lordship, the only thing money can't buy. But his real purpose was to entrap your father and take over his fortune.

Instead of your birthday present, you got carts full of kings' sell-swords approaching quickly. There was no time to loose, you had to run fast and far. Flee from the men that were certainly sent to kill you.

That is only a beginning of your story, you're left with only your family ring that you had on you. Take a fake name you need to avenge your father. Follow the same path as him, grow rich and destroy Van Talodd. The road there is hard and long – are you strong enough to make it?

Kaidan is a fictitious world, that was once a home to a space-faring civilization. It's history is almost unknown. Only that, once they developed starships, they relatively quickly left the planet. And on the remnants of the old civilization a new one has sprouted. A far less developed. If not for the artifacts left by the predecessors, they would be no different than a medieval country.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Dual core from Intel or AMD at 2.8 GHz
    • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 7800, ATI/AMD Radeaon HD2600/3600
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • OS: OSX 10
    • Processor: Intel Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 2 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.4
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 2 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 2 MB available space
    • Graphics: GeForce 8800
Helpful customer reviews
42 of 42 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
The short version:
Addictive but buggy, don't buy at full price but snap it up in a deal.

The long version:
As you have probably gathered this is a trading sim with a Heroes of Might & Magic sort of vibe, basically you ride around buying and selling stuff and getting really rich. There's also a storyline but I stopped following it pretty quick. Something to do with avenging your father's death (really).

The difficulty curve in this game is INSANE when you start off. I think it took me at least 90 mins to get past the first quest of raising 4000 coins (or w/e the currency is), I was really close to giving up because it will seem like you're not getting anywhere. Some of the random events can be very unforgiving as well (e.g. 'high winds' meant your ship lost about 90% of its cargo)

But if you get past that it gets a LOT easier to do cool stuff. And it is cool, for a while. But once you get to being a millionaire and reach the highest social rank, it's not 100% clear what you're supposed to do, apart from just get richer. There are quests but they usually amount to 'go to place, go to next place', and the payoff for each quest stays quite low - so you're making millions trading, but then spending 10 mins on a quest to be paid 3000. (Unless I'm missing something here).

It's also kind of buggy; a couple of places (mines/monasteries) weren't accessible to me because they made my game crash, which meant I couldn't get a couple of the achievements. So a big recommendation: SAVE OFTEN because there is no autosave. Also there are places you can get trapped when the seasons change - you can't sail in winter so if you get trapped on an island you are pretty done because there's no 'sleep' option where you can just spend a day in the same place.

But overall a nice way of wasting a few hours if you can get it on the cheap (from the looks of the forum the devs are pretty sharp at fixing bugs so some of this may be out of date soon anyway). Also - if anyone figures out how to play the knife game in the tavern, let me know!!
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26 of 29 people (90%) found this review helpful
11.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2014
I really enjoy Merchants of Kaidan. It fills a niche for a type of game I've been looking for, a non-linear Merchant game. After reading several negative reviews I started to get scared off but I was so curious I couldn't resist. I'm glad I didn't. The game has unlimited potential that it hasn't reached to this point but it is a good game as is. I'm hoping they really get to work and make it a great game. Some of the writing is strange but you get the point. Perhaps there are translation issues, dunno. The trading isn't completely random like others have stated. I used excel and have tracked every towns prices and the changes that take place as the seasons change. The prices aren't set in stone and that is a good thing as if they were you could just make the same runs over and over and that would be broken. The difficulty is pretty hard at the beginning as you struggle to find ways to make money due to the limited resources you are allowed to trade. But with a little patience and thought you figure it out. My guess is those that come into the game unwilling to map things out and make notes will not like this game without sticking with it. I for one hope the development team gets busy and adds more content to a wonderful base.
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14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
73.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
Unlike some I really like the game. I won't spoil it for you by giving any major tips as figuring it out is the whole point of the game but I will confirm a few things

-prices are not random but they do fluctuate in a wave, diffent towns have different ranges. seasons matter.
-as you progress things get easier in some ways and harder in others
-if your smart and perceptive its not that hard to start off; i have advanced to multicarts in under 10 mins of play
-everything has its use though some items/specialists are mainly usful much later

the only tips i'll leave you with is at the begining concentrate only on trading; don't hire specialists or special items- they are ment for later and you can go broke very quickly if you do.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
An RPG where making money and greasing palms is more valuable than any sword, very unique. Needs more polish (as of 7/14), but a really great idea and something I want to come back to.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
So far i've been very impressed by this game. If you are looking for something a little different in the gaming world, this game is definitely that. It deals within a complex economy that is built into the game and fluctuates just as an economy would in the real world. At first, the trading is challenging as you learn different ways to take advantage of the market.....your efforts might seem fruitless at first, as did mine, but give it time and the beauty of the game takes shape.

I think there are a few areas of improvement that could be made, a little more variation in events that occur during traveling(i mean seriously, how many stinkbeavers are there lol) would be nice. Overall, it's been a lot of fun this far.
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17 of 24 people (71%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014

After an update to the game and a couple messages from the developer, I decided to give Merchants of Kaidan another try. The game now has an ironically titled "Realistic Prices Model" option also known as Easy Mode. I find it an odd choice of words as it implies that the normal game setting uses an unrealistic price model but that's semantics, I suppose.

This is highly recommended for anyone starting out in Merchants of Kaidan. This mode basically makes all the statements regarding city specialties and location-based pricing much more pronounced (read: actually noticeable). Now, when I went to the ore town, I more-or-less knew I would get a good price on ore. This mode also features a series of tabs showing you the prices from the cities you've visited for the last 10 turns, essentially managing the basic bookkeeping for you. It makes sense that the game would provide this since it does say that the person managing your cart is supposed to help with bookkeeping. You may still want to keep your own series of notes throughout the game, however, as this is far from giving you a global view of Kaidan's economics, plus it won't help with tracking seasonal changes.

Ultimately, it's a mode that holds much more promise than the basic mode although it's mildly demeaning that requesting a realistic pricing model is listed as easy mode. The odd pricing scheme is still in effect where you can't sell products for the same amount as the guy next to you in any given town with any given product. Some odd quibbles still exist as well, after updating, including typos found in a couple of the written entries ("thron of airship" instead of "thrown off airship" in the Thieves tip.) and the inability to scroll comfortably to the edge of the map, meaning edge towns remain more difficult to select than they need to be.

I still can't recommend the game to the average player for these issues but it's certainly on the right track. If you are looking for a difficult economics game and don't mind putting serious effort into understanding the complex system, Merchants of Kaidan is worth a try. If that sounds daunting or even just tedious, this isn't the game for you.

*Original Review*

Merchants of Kaidan is a game with a fantastic premise that could have been so much more. Forsaking the common fantasy tropes of becoming a knight or a king, Merchants of Kaidan puts you in the role of just that, a merchant. There is no combat or magic or anything like that and while that may be offputting for many gamers, the fresh concept was very exciting for me.

There are several modes you can play in MoK including a story mode, where you play as a young adult from a powerful merchant family who, following betrayal, has to start anew and avenge his father's death, and several free-play modes with goals like "get to 1000000 gold" or "play for five (in-game) years". All of them put you in the shoes of a fresh-faced merchant who has to travel around, increasing his renown and building up income. You do this by buying goods from one place and selling them in another, ideally for a profit. It's a simple concept but one that is immensely satisfying when mastered.

The problem of the game lies in the mechanics and that's where MoK truly falters. Despite the game design claiming that they use a complex algorithm to create a realistic yet immensely complicated economic structure for the world, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for almost anything that happens. It starts with the base mechanic of buying versus selling. Namely, no matter where you are or what you're selling, you always sell a product for less than what you can buy it for in the same location. This means that you play as literally the worst merchant in the history of economics. You can't sell something for the same price the guy next to you is selling it for? Why? These aren't cars, they aren't losing their value. This mechanic would make sense if you were buying a product at a place it's produced (ore at a mine, for example) but this is the case for anything and everything no matter where you are.

The game also tells you that cities specialize in certain products and that buying there will be cheaper than other places. While this seems to be the case some of the time, it's not the rule. Going to the central ore city is usually cheaper than buying ore other places but going to the town known for it's wines doesn't seem to make alcohol any cheaper than anywhere else. In fact, in my game, it was commonly the most expensive place to buy wine. Maybe that means it's higher quality but then why can't I sell this higher quality wine for a higher price elsewhere?

Random events also cause a deep problem as they are based around a statistic known as your luck. Many of these events will decrease your luck stat while a select few will increase it. Since your luck determines how often you are to receive each type of event, this means you will almost always fall into a bad luck pit that you can never get out of. Expect constant cart breaks, delays and taxes since this is what you will have for the rest of the game.

That's not to say the game is all bad though. While the quests are mostly take person A from point A to point B (then to point C and point D...), the fact that it has a quest system is an interesting boon and a strong motivator for pressing on through hardship. Your ability to search ruins for items and eventually wipe out the monsters and build up passive income buildings is also a lot of fun and can be satisfying. Ultimately, if you're willing to move past the randomness of the prices and the fact that all the mechanics are designed to make your life harder, there is a tough game here that some could enjoy. For most, however, Merchants of Kaidan is one investment you shouldn't make.
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
90.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2014
This is actually a really fun game. Think a less rigged feeling FTL with trading and such. Very well done and updated often. Love it.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
UPDATE: Very quick customer service and released a bug fix not even 2 days after i reported the issue. Been playing the game a lot. Tons of fun. Would highly recommend now.

Previous Review:

I was having a lot of fun playing this game for the first few hours I played it. I'm a big fan of trading games and have played others in the past like tradewinds and patrician etc. The biggest problem with this game is the fun is ruined the moment a game ruining bug happens. I came across a bug after several hours of play yesterday causing me to not be able to move my cart after loading my game. I've left a bug report, but so far I haven't heard back. I can not recommend the game in its current state. This is the first time i've ever saved and reloaded my game so needless to say i'm hesitant to even start another new game in Merchants of Kaidan as the same thing might happen again. Regretting the purchase at the moment :(.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
31.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
I've enjoyed this game a lot. Its an adventure trading game with good imagery and sounds. It doesn't feel like it's a fully finished product though, as many of the minigames still feel undeveloped, and there are still many bugs.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
29.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
Great game, can see great room for growth. Having issues with air trader grabbign quests though
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
A surprisingly refreshing game where you play as a trader, carting and hawking your wares across a beautiful world map. There is freeplay and a story mode, lots of random events and semi-random quests, lots of items, NPCs and upgrades to help you on the way. The art and presentation are relatively minimal but are done very well and fit nicely. Easily recommendable if you're interested in trading sims and / or lightweight RPGs.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
10-15$ for 8-11 hours or so of enjoyment, unless you enjoy trading a great deal, and can get additional enjoyment out of the game.

It's a good simple game that's easy to pick up, but becomes almost laughably easy once you know various city's specialty goods.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
Very good economic game with elements of adventure. Game has its own unique world, interesting story,
addictive gameplay and beautiful art. In current version, game well explains how the trading system works.
It's maybe not a perfect product, but good game for sure.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
32.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
This little addicting gem combines a turn-based trading-simulation game (very hard and unforgiving at times) with RPG and Adventure elements. It's not the best in any category, but this melded hybrid is very appealing. I haven't learnt and remembered 30+ cities by name for a game in a long-long time.

The game unveils as you get higher up in rank (via quests) with very difficult phases in the beginning, so unless you're ready to spend time to rinse & repeat often, you won't like the abrupt start.

Carefully crafted visual details or subtle quest hints may make you fall in love with it. E.g. press B and move the pages of the book with your cursor or watch the cities in different seasons. While at the same time, some of the mechanics and especially random events will raise your rage levels. C'est la vie. Literally.

Continuous updates and answers from the developers so far make it a rare game.


- DO BUY & TRY it if you want a trading game & complex mechanics (even if you'll only be able to reverse engineer over time - the opportunistic approach will ... barely ... keep you afloat financially). Especially if you've ever taken notes / keeping a spreadsheet to master a game.

- DO NOT BUY if you don't have patience, don't want to be challenged by someone else's mechanics or have a tendency to rage-quit games you haven't finished in the first 3 hours.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
It a bit hard in the beginning but it has a nice aspect for people who love economy/trading/and taking risks with strategy. I would reccomend it!
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
Quite fun and very original game, based on trading but with adventures and minigames. There's enough here to remind me of classics and very original Birthright and Darklands. As of Nov 14th, it still needs some patching, but seems to be fully playable.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
Cool trading sim with RPG elements, hoping for much more content to come!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
I was thinking about getting this game for a bit now. After seeing many cool things and new features that were added almost every week (and updates still seem to keep coming weekly) I decided to finally pull the trigger. And I'm glad I did. After playing for a couple of days now I found out you can play this game in, at least, 3 different ways. You can seek best offers chasing disasters and events in different places while trying to make as much profit as possible, complete quests and get rewarded, utilize mine, ruins and (perhaps) other estates to increase your income or play a bit of everything and do whatever you like or whatever falls into your lap. I gotta admit I'm a bit hooked. I can't wait to uncover new things next time I level up. I already catch myself playing way too late into the night... but hey... after all it's holiday season;).

I also really like the fact that sometimes I have to choose between finishing my quest or getting a great deal I had lined up done and it's either one or the other. In most games you don't have to choose or worry about it because your quest will always wait for you to finish it or you can restart it anytime you want. I like that here it's more like things are in real life: you don't always have enough time to do everything you like. Well... at least not until you restart or load game (if you thought of saving in time, that is);).

I definitely recommend this game to anyone who likes games that involve trading, RPG or both and looks for a game they could spend long winter evenings with.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
34.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 7
This is a fun and atmospheric trading game set in the mystical world of Kaidan.

+ rich atmosphere. The hand-painted pictures and soundtrack are superb!
+ sophisticated economy. Prices will change depending on season, random events, luck etc.
+ dozens of side quests. I was receiving so many that I began to turn them down.
+ there's a few mini-games to break up the trading grind.

- the early phase of the game can be very hard. You can only trade a few items. Some people may be deterred.
- lack of character customisation. You're stuck playing the main character of the game.
- lack of RPG. You have no traits, attributes, relationships etc. The only number that changes is your gold. I would've liked to be able to interact with the world of Kaidan in a more organic way.
- a few bugs still exist in the game.
- some spelling errors.

Overall, it's a fun game. If you love trading games like Elite, but also want to immerse yourself in a fantasy setting, this game should be on your list. During the last session I played, I lost sense of time and suddenly realised it was midnight. Games like this deserve a thumbs up.
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53 of 101 people (52%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
I usualy like trading games but this one is just too stupid the economy makes no sence at all, few example's a can mining town sell iron at higher prices that any other town in the map just like that all other towns they just won't sell their main or locally produce product cheaper that others towns, villages won't sell food cheaper that a big city or animals pelts. this is just 2 of many mechanic in the game that makes no sense at all.

The game is broken or just full bugs.

The game is also heavily base on luck(random events) so not just the game economy makes no sense and is random but is base in luck.

It was a waste of money buying this game thinking that it has some kind of strategy or real economy.
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