Regain your riches, restore your honor and avenge your father's murder. A challenging trading game with lots of RPG elements.
User reviews: Mixed (226 reviews) - 68% of the 226 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 10, 2014

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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

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • 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
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10
    • Processor: Intel Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 MB RAM
    • Storage: 2 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.4
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 2 MB RAM
    • Storage: 2 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Graphics: GeForce 8800
Helpful customer reviews
63 of 70 people (90%) found this review helpful
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 11, 2015
Merchants of Kaidan is a trading simulation game (which you may be familiar with if you’ve played Sid Meier’s Pirates, or the Patrician series), where the fundamental game mechanic is buy low and sell high. Kaidan tries, and only sometimes succeeds, in spicing up the genre by adding a couple of different elements to the game. You can finish quests to boost your income, explore ruins and abandoned buildings, make investments by founding massage parlors, monasteries and other establishments, and hire different crew-members for your caravan of trade-wagons. And then there are the random events.

Oh random events: drunken crew-members, weird old women, snakes...You have a “luck” score which presumably determines how bad your random events are going to be. Most of them tend to rob your hard-earned money or goods. Especially in the early parts of the game, I was incredibly frustrated by micro-catastrophes Kaidan kept throwing at me: cart breakdowns, thieving highwaymen, over-zealous tax-collectors, and bizarrely, gnomes trapped in treasure chests. Yes, all these events add flavor and randomness keeps things from getting stale, but for a strategy game, it seemed a little over-salted with random events that threw off the player.

Unfortunately, it’s “strategy” where Kaidan is found lacking. Like I said, the core mechanic is about buying goods for low prices, and selling them for higher ones. To make good strategic choices, you have to be able to discern patterns and trends, and Kaidani makes that pretty difficult. Yeah, there’re some seasonal changes, and a couple of goods follow the rule-of-thumb of “buy in villages, sell in cities”, but even those weren’t guaranteed, and price fluctuations felt essentially arbitrary. Sometimes, your log may say things like “Feast in Town X! Price of olive oil is high!” but by the time your lowly horse-drawn cart finds its way there, the deal’s over and you’re left with an excess of expensive cargo.

On top of that, you spend most of the first part of the game trading only furs and food, which are bulky and have slim profit margins, meaning you have a ton of grinding to do before you have enough money to rank up, and be deemed socially acceptable enough to buy lightweight luxuries such as spices and jewelry. You kinda forget the whole “I will avenge my father!” storyline as you wearily travel back and forth between towns, desperately trying to find a good buyer for that 600 kg of food you thought was a steal. After a couple of hours of play, I was getting thoroughly annoyed by the whole thing.

Merchants of Kaidan gets some points for nice artwork, a decent musical score and with a couple of interesting gameplay features. Unfortunately, the core of the game feels unbalanced and underdeveloped. For a strategy title, unlike an adventure game, for example, where a good story can carry the game forward, that amounts to a cardinal sin. I wanted to feel like a powerful, capitalist, magnate, trading luxuries between the far corners of the world, raking in profits, and not like a petty pawnbroker, scraping the bottom of the barrel with scavenged goods.
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37 of 42 people (88%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
19.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 14, 2015
(tl;dr at the bottom of the post)

Think of this game as a turn based trading board game you play by yourself. It includes lots of random elements that are effectively dice rolls except that one of the dice has a broken wheel every turn and it takes an extra day to roll it. If you play the storymode you start as a youth trying to avenge your father's death/betrayal brought on by his business partner who is never really mentioned after first hearing about him. Now prepare yourself for what feels like a lifetime of gameplay not accomplishing much at all...

Considering the developers are Polish I'm surprised how little "polish" this game has... I bought it on a recent sale where it went down well under $5. I think it's is well worth <$5 but definitely not worth the non-sale price (~$15 right now). Overall this game stinks of a development schedule that was cut short. It's full of half-baked features, poor optimization and a general lack of refinement. It seems more like a greenlit game than a full game... Oh wait! That's because it was a greenlit game that was probably just rushed to market with the wonderful double game launch functionality Steam has invented.

Unlike the main description exclaiming that the game has "lots RPG elements" there are in fact very few (no traditional exp / levels / etc...). There is one stat point that determines whether or not you'll have a good time or if gameplay will be hellish. This stat is "Luck" and can have a value of -3.0 or +3.0. Ultimately it determines whether or not you have negative encounters while travelling (although carts seem to break down regardless of luck). Once you figure out that you only have to boost this one stat (maybe by using some kind of diety based gambling mechanic?) then you have very few negative encounters and a ton of positive ones - effectively rigging the dice, feels more like cheating than anything.

The UI is not very intuitive and has quite a few menus that only appear under specific conditions. Playing through the storyline you'll also be bombarded with tons and tons of unnecessarily wordy text for quests (go to this place), or world events (excess amount or famine on certain goods). All it would take is bolding on the keywords to eliminate the need for the text description but nope! - read this long block of pointless narrative when all we really want is for you to go from one location to another and then do that one or two more times and maybe buy something....

There are many items in the game but they don't seem to do anything - they likely to do stuff but very few of them have clear indicator of what they do. Some of them lower the price of certain goods but the lowered price is displayed in red so the immediate assumption is that it's set higher or you're being punished for doing a quest for the "bad guys". Again - these suffer from the same UI problems (excessive text) I mentioned before and tend to have pretty vague interactions.

There are also bugs but whatever. They're less annoying than all the other issues...

Eventually you start ignoring the bulk of the text and then scan for keywords, even further down the road you start just mindlessly clicking through the dialogs - you have +3.0 luck remember? Surely with the broken mechanic in hand you can beat this awful game and put it to rest along all the others in your steam library. Oh what;s that? You accidentally gambled away 600 units of Arms for 600 units of Food? Oh well, you managed to trade those back a bit later or maybe the $160,000 wasn't really important in the grand scheme of things. Now you have your main character, a guy in a boat and a guy in an airship and a couple mines. Every turn requires to to make three moves - for three distinct characters. It's as if the developers said to themselves "Hey - I know what would be more fun than playing this long arduous game with tons of dialogs and wordy text and slow progress! Playing it three times at the same time so it takes three times as long to accomplish anything!". It's like the kid who plays the board game by himself only to find that it was made for other players so he brings out the other player pieces and starts playing with them too. It's just dark and sad and pretty time consuming.


Tl;dr

This is a fun game with interesting gameplay but it has a lot of half-baked features that might make you regret any time/money you've invested in it. I recommend consuming a moderate amount of alcohol to offset the ♥♥♥♥♥♥ aspects of this game.
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
25.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2015
I'm glad I got this game when it was 90% off. I have a soft spot in my heart for economic games, but this one left me bored very quickly. I finished it just because I bought it. It wasn't worth my time.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2015
It's a good game if you pay less than $3 for it. I think I paid $1.50 and given that I played it for more than 10 hours, I definitely got my money's worth.

The atmosphere and sound are very relaxing while still adding a sense of tension surrounding turning a profit. You need to come out ahead on every transaction, as losing even 1-2GP per cargo can be punishing after factoring in time lost, traveling fees, etc. Sometimes you'll be relieved just to break even.

The strongest portion of the game, in my opinion, is when you are only operating a single cart. Later in the game you'll unlock a boat that can travel between ports and an airship that can travel pretty much anywhere, but managing this is tedious as you'll be constantly having to meet up to trade goods and coin between them to reach the next merchant tier. The mid-end game doesn't provide much of a challenge as you should, at this point, have enough of a buffer to easily cover any losses stemming from a bad transaction or two, versus the early game where every coin spent is carefully weighed against its risk/reward potential. The late game also suffers from a variety of systems that feel kind of tacked on - having a variety of carts is novel but the tools to manage them feel weak, storage of goods seems like an afterthought, you never need to actually purchase insurance, profits from installing monks/miners/brewers are pitifully low for how much effort you spend setting them up, cavecrawling feels extremely unrewarding (not to mention the QTE combat window is incredibly small, it must be less than 1/8th of a second at most). I could keep listing minor complaints about this section of the game, but in a nutshell it seems like the developers spent most of their brainpower making sure the core early game works well, which to their credit, it does.

In spite of these flaws, you have a fairly engrossing simulator which takes enough time to figure out that it's well worth the modest sale price.

7/10 would supply arms to both sides again
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
42.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2015
This game is not for everyone. You pretty much have to have a taste for strategy/market games.

However, what it does it does really well! I can't help but be hooked by this game, because there is so much to do on your way to becoming a millionaire in a fantasy realm! Which do you do? Do you build wineries? Do you mine? Do you get to own a bunch of massage parlors? The answer is, of course, yes. There is something rewarding about taking 1500 initial gold and turning it into millions.

But again, it's an acquired taste. But if being a beggar and working your way up into the merchant nobility in a fantasy world is your idea of fun, pick this up right away!
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