Regain your riches, restore your honor and avenge your father's murder. A challenging trading game with lots of RPG elements.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (276 reviews) - 68% of the 276 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
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (276 reviews)
Recently Posted
lionhart
( 40.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
Merchants of Kaidan is one of those former "early access" games that was never quite finished. It is definitely a little rough around the edges, and the criticisms raised in the negative reviews are all valid. However the parts that were finished -- the core of the game -- are good enough for me to give a solid recommendation, provided you understand what you are getting into.

First of all, the trading mechanics in this game are very simple (I would even say casual). There is no realism or predictibility to the economic system whatsoever, and it is not possible to develop a long term strategy by identifying and exploiting favorable trade routes, for example. The excitement in Merchants of Kaidan is of the gambling variety -- the occasional thrill of hitting the jackpot when you randomly find a great deal on that cargo you've been lugging around for the past two weeks. In fact, playing this game reminds me very much of what it feels like to play video poker: getting by on marginal trades (pairs, jacks or better) while bidding your time waiting for the big score (straight flush) that will propel you to the next level.

What really makes Merchants of Kaidan worth playing are its artistic qualities. The world building, artwork, and music are all beautifully done and very evocative. The world of Kaidan is what I can only describe as "medieval steampunk" -- the villages, horse drawn carts, and peasant workers all seem like something out of the late middle ages. But look more closely and you'll spot aliens underneath some of those hooded cloaks, and airships plying the trade routes alongside (or above) the wooden carts.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Kaidan. If you are not expecting a deep strategy experience, and if you can excuse the fact that the late game feels somewhat unfinished, it is definitely worth a try. At the very least, download the demo and do a little tavern hopping to get a feel for what the world of Kaidan is like.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SuperSandro2000
( 1.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
Product received for free
A few screenshots look promising but the game is boring.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
NEGATIVE ATTITUDE
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Pre-Release Review
Posted: May 21
Shallow game, Dev does not update it. I would not waste my money on this game if I had another chance.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BotPurple
( 6.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 17
Product received for free
well, free
Helpful? Yes No Funny
shuaiqi96
( 18.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 9
Product received for free
you have to try this game if you love to trade and make money~

you will feel worth it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
l.shanksy
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: April 22
I watched Spice and Wolf and then seen this on steam, I-I just had to. Really though, it's a pretty good game to play to chill out to, but there are definately other games with better economic mechanics. If games like this aren't your cuppa tea, definately wait for a sale.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Night_Wing
( 11.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 21
I got this game for free and found out that this game quite challenging. You play as a low budget trader and you plan to avenge your father's death because of some sort of scam trading with his partner. Your objective is to become a big trader through trader's guild and trading from town to town. But at your journey you will found manykinds of event from meet other trader, bandits, cart damage, etc. To do the trading you need to know the average price of every item because there's no certain indicator that at certain town we can sell items at very high price or buy at the lowest price. Every trading is a gamble and that's the challenging side.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Scarey
( 11.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 20
buggy and boring
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Invest
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: April 12
Really cool game where you are the actual merchant. A true trading game with beautiful graphics.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
NIANIA
( 6.6 hrs on record )
Posted: April 8
Good Game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MPDelambre
( 10.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 2
This game is about trade, and all what comes with it. Compared with other trading sim games, like Patrician 3-4, Port Royale and Rise of Venice, you get the feeling that each time you leave a city anything can happen: bandits attacking, a storm, etc. And then, when you arrive to the next city, you discover that the prices have changed enough so that you hardly turn a profit! So in my view, this game is both simple and entertaining enough to make you feel as a medieval trader.

Then, the fun begins. Once you have enough money / prestige / status, you are able to travel by sea / rivers, OR by air (yes, fantasy!)

So I'd recommend this game to anyone who liked previous trading sims, but have in mind that is not supposed to be completely realistic. Still, it's a really good entertainment
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Jet
( 1.7 hrs on record )
Posted: March 28
Its not horrible, but it is frustrating. Unless you're familiar with the map you'll do a lot of wandering around to get places, because you can't zoom out on the map enough to see all locations. The map lagged a lot for me too. There were way too many random events such as "found a diamond" or "this mysterious person wants to travel to...". Almost every trip I got one! And there really wasn't a lot of time to deliver the mystery people to their destinations.

Also, in the time I spent playing, I found it hard to find places to make a profit on some goods. One good had a buy average of around a 120 but a sell average of about 30. I couldn't find anywhere to sell it for a profit! (I didn't buy any, but just checking prices as I travelled.)

Right now am not really inspired to open the game again. I guess I will leave it a few days and try it again, and if I grow to like it I will change my review but in the meantime I cannot recommend it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sovi
( 6.1 hrs on record )
Posted: March 17
Nice Game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MoldySpore
( 25.7 hrs on record )
Posted: March 15
This is a great little trade/economy simulator with a fantasy setting. Runs great even on PC's with integrated graphics and has a surprising amount of depth if you devote some time to it. If you are looking for a game where you will be rolling in gold after an hour, look elsewhere.

Pros:
  • Unique world populated with characters and merchants not typically seen in ANY other fantasy setting (there are no elves, dwarves, or orcs in this world)
  • Several fun quest lines including a pretty well thought out main storyline about avenging your father.
  • Lots of items and trinkets to collect, some of which effect gameplay.
  • The artwork in this game...just wow. For an indy game someone spent a LOT of time designing and then drawing these awesome characters and towns. No two locations share the same piece of artwork, and there is a diverse enough cast of NPC's and other quest givers that you don't often see the same species pop up more than once per town/questline.
  • The music is fun, and the game even includes an option to just play the music without having to load the entire game.
  • Rewards effort. It took me a couple days to get the hang of price fluctuations and to amass any significant amount of gold. Once you start expanding your merchant empire, the game REALLY opens up and adds several new types of travel and the ability to control multiple merchants at once, as well as own businesses. Clearing caves and mines out of treasure and monsters was a nice touch and helps to mix up the gameplay.
Cons:
  • The map is pretty small, especially if you come into this game expecting Civilization-size maps.
  • Whoever proofread this game needs to be fired. I'm no grammar nazi, but there are enough spelling and grammar mistakes that it becomes very noticeable, especially after playing for a while.
  • Slow start puts a LOT of people off, which is obvious from the number of negative reviews with only a few minutes or handful of hours playing, as well as the fact that most achievements on this game can be considered "rare", with the most acquired achievement sitting at 10% globally.
  • Once your empire is huge and you've played for 10-20 hours, you've pretty much seen it all, although the other story/quest options allow for some replayability.

    Overall I got way more mileage out of this game than I thought I would. I had a coupon for it for 90% off and got it for $1.50 as a joke gift for my wife. She wound up playing it A LOT, so much so that I just HAD to play it too. I wound up purchasing it for full price and I have absolutely no regrets.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
-=]*Lyc[A]n*[=- #Virgo
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: March 15
***Game - Merchants of Kaidan ~
**Recommended - NO ~
**Will Download Again - NO ~
**Money Worth - NO ~
*Pros/Cons - Good For A MBA Student ~
*Personal Opinion - Time Is Money ~

#LittleLycanReviewsOnSteam ^^
Date - March 2016 ~
Rating - 2/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
vampirecosmonaut
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: March 3
The prices seem to be completely random. Food is the same price in cities and small farming villages. This game is very hard to recommend.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lecture halls need beds
( 5.6 hrs on record )
Posted: February 20
Merchants of Kaidan is the good premise of a game. Your father was backstabbed and your family ruined. Now you must regain his glory by becoming the strongest trader in all the land in a tale of vengeance. Along the way you will encounter many random events which make every playthrough unique. That being said the actual gameplay of buying and selling and the very shallow dungeon crawler like exploration modes are just far too boring to be worth bothering with.

The music and art are very nice tho.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
kiev79
( 3.4 hrs on record )
Posted: February 18
I found this game to be cluncky and hard to get into
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Soviet
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: February 18
very basic merchant game. would have been awesome 30 years ago.
Now not even worth 2$

If you want to gift a kid game. this is it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
18.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
Product received for free
you have to try this game if you love to trade and make money~

you will feel worth it
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
I got this game for free and found out that this game quite challenging. You play as a low budget trader and you plan to avenge your father's death because of some sort of scam trading with his partner. Your objective is to become a big trader through trader's guild and trading from town to town. But at your journey you will found manykinds of event from meet other trader, bandits, cart damage, etc. To do the trading you need to know the average price of every item because there's no certain indicator that at certain town we can sell items at very high price or buy at the lowest price. Every trading is a gamble and that's the challenging side.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 12
Really cool game where you are the actual merchant. A true trading game with beautiful graphics.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 22
I watched Spice and Wolf and then seen this on steam, I-I just had to. Really though, it's a pretty good game to play to chill out to, but there are definately other games with better economic mechanics. If games like this aren't your cuppa tea, definately wait for a sale.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
28.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2015
I really enjoyed this game, and played it every chance I got for a couple weeks. Granted, as the father of three young boys, that is not as impressive as it sounds.

It took a couple of restarts to get the hang of the trading. I kept wanting to push to the higher priced goods too quickly.

There are a couple of complaints I had, but they were more nuisance than problem. The more concerning is that there are several random events where it doesn't seem to matter which option you choose. And not just the effects, the message is identical in either case.

The other, hopefully soon fixed, problem was typos. There are A LOT of typos. The one that happened often enough for me to remember is that when you use the blackmail material, it says you are not successful, but that you get 10,000 tirgons.

Like I said, I enjoyed this game even with the problems. Enough that, if they come out with an update addressing this stuff, I'll probably play through it again.
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
Nice graphics, the scenery carries you into another world through small details, from the horses to the houses to the music, the game succeeds in creating its own identity. The few, agreable but quickly reached RPG elements add to the interest. However the game fails miserably on its main mechanics : storytelling and the economic simulation.
  • Storytelling is overwrought and written in an English not necessarily broken, but often nonsensical. Intructions for quests follow the same pattern : too long and often incomprehensible. Sometimes place names or stuff names are wrong, good luck finishing the quests.
  • The economic simulation doesn't work. They state the game uses a "complex trading algorithm", which means prices are completely random. You will never understand how and why they change, seasons mean nothing, supply and demand even less. On top of that the UI is often confusing, instead of helping you, you'll have no idea if you are making a good or a bad deal. The consequence will be that you'll spend an enormous amount of time just earning enough money to advance in the main quest, and trading will become boring.
Merchants of Kaiden would have been a formidable game if the developers had concentrated their efforts on the core mechanics instead of losing time on silly minigames (BTW "2 out of 10 implemented" while development stopped March 2015).
Do not buy full price.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
I'm going to recommend it because of the low sale price and I like trading games.

However, older games like Patrcician III, Port Royale 3, and Rail Road Tycoon II are all more fun complex and immersive than this game.

I thought I'd like the fantasy setting more, but not so much. I gave it a chance, but will go back to playing the 3 other games I mentioned above whenever I feel the itch to play a trading game again.

I'm still glad this particular game exists though, because it takes a lot of risks in such a small genre. Would love to see more indie trading games on steam. It's not a bad game, it's just not for me and I simply prefer other trading games that I already own.

So still might be worth a try for someone who's never played trading games before.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 11
I actually enjoying much of this game (artwork/UI is beautiful, music is nice, mechanics and random events are decent and change things up nicely), even if I think parts of the underlying structure are somewhat lacking and underdeveloped.

Getting from city to city takes too long for the seasonal changes in goods prices to matter, prices for goods seem to fluctuate randomly without regard for any visible factors, and the extra little side quests are too limited to engage for very long. Flawed, but a good, fun game overall.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
67 of 70 people (96%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
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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68 of 77 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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46 of 51 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 28, 2014
EDIT* Wave of bug fixes one day after posting a review. So far, the quest bugs, as well as button bugs seem to be fixed, and progression is once again possible. As such, we'll redo this review to the current state.


The game gives you a decent pool of items to trade from, starting with a very basic 4 items and expanding as you level up. While larger cities may carry all goods, smaller outposts have a more limited variety. There are definite patterns from city to city which allows you to form strategy and design trade routes around the different items you are trying to trade. While it can sometimes be frustrating when prices aren't trending your way (especially considering the costs of travelling around the map while not making profit) it is quite possible to limit this by picking a smarter route and figuring out which cities might have cheaper prices in one item, with a nearby neighbor that buys consistently higher. You might still get burned sometimes, but that's part of the fun.

If you're looking into this one purely as a trading game, there is definite promise.

As alluded to by this edit, the Devs had a pretty fantastic response time to a pretty gamebreaking bug, which leaves hope for quick development and maybe some new features, locations, or an expanded list of tradeable goods.

I did still note one minor graphical bug with one city background, which seemed to clear up upon leaving the city. The game likely won't be bug free, but it seems that major problems will be met with a fast response, and for that I'll give it a thumbs up.
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A developer has responded on Jul 29, 2014 @ 12:22pm
(view response)
59 of 75 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 26, 2014
Now that the two gamebreaking bugs are gone, you can finally enjoy being a merchant. Save and reload without fear of becoming broke and travel without getting stuck.

If you like buying low and selling high, traveling around and killing people by sending them into shady caves, buy this game because you sir/madam will very likely enjoy it.

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38 of 43 people (88%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
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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30 of 35 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 4, 2014
TL:DR: Look at other reviews for that :P


First off iam no native english speaker so excuse my english if you find any grammatical mistakes.

Iam not sure if i would recommend this game, i looked around for a long time to find a game where you be an actual merchant that doesnt own a ship and sail the ocean but really just uses his cart to travel. I was probably influenced by the Anime "Spice and Wolf" which is about a merchant travelling through the country selling goods and buying them. With the usual stuff like bandits, church war auctions, failures and sucess.
So i looked at the game description and it seems fine so i bought it since 15€ aint alot for a game that could be the one iam looking for. But i didnt quite get what i was looking for.

The tutorial was quite short and simple and i was able to proceed into the main game. The first thing that i really started to dislike are the weird buttons in the city. Why not just make it a Menu where you can choose where to go instead of making it a minigame of finding the button and remember where to go?

After travelling through the Map i was confronted with random events and quest but no matter if i accepted some or not i still had them in my questlog, well whatever probably just a small bug. I also feared something bad would happen instantly if i decline. Because noblemen have power but nothing happend. Now the game description said you could buy furs in summer and sell them in winter. So i have not figured out which day of the year it is and when theres an actual summer or winter, or if its spring etc.
Still traveling i noticed that even after visiting 20 cities most of the items i looked at had a average buy price of 0. So our merchant is to dumb to keep a log with prices? There should be a option or make it automaticly to memorize these prices without buying something in every ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ place.

Okay so iam kinda lost with the prices, lets go and buy some drinks for the people in the Tavern maybe i can get something useful. Well i got some Maps but no useful gossip. Noone knew anything useful thou. I would like if they could give you a hint for a good deal in the near locations like just 1 village away, you can also make it luck based either its true or not.

Also no information at all where some of the stuff gets produced more. So i was buying and selling ore and was like "Hey lets buy iron at this place near the mountains, its probably cheaper there then in the inland, where they have no mountains at all. How wrong i was. The cities near the mountains actually had the highest prices to buy and sell ore. And the cities in the inland had the best prices to buy and sell. Color me confused.
Anyway my point is, theres villages and cities that produces specific goods that are usally known all over the country. Maybe northwest is specialized in weapons and arms, cities near forests usally have cheap pelts. And cities near a wide open space are great to get food. Stuff like that. Also adding a quality of wares. Like you could ask someone about a cities speciality and they answer "this city has the finest and most expensive lumber, its made from these special trees that grow no where else blablablabla". This wood is ofcourse much more expensive will probably attract more bandits and can only be sold in some special locations but it will make a hell of a profit.

Also this game is missing War and Church. I know this is a fantasy setting but really what is a merchant trading game without these 2? A war makes the best trades for Weapon and Armor. The prices for Food could grow and you could get penalties for trading to much food since its used for the army. Armies could also overtake cities and you get better or worse prices depending on who you supported during the war. Or which region you belong to.
The church on the other hand could be a good trading partner that could be way more powerful then a merchant guild. They can ban wares being traded or support the trading of specific wares. You could maybe even get blessings from the church.
Iam not quite sure how you could implent it, but maybe you can add joining a religion too.

Even more is coming yes! So you said you will add even more regions? GREAT! But what i was always missing is the fact that there was only one currency. Different areas could use different currencies, that are worth more or less, like some cities produce silver coins that are worth much more and gold coins that are only worth pennies in moster other countries. You could also add "counterfeit?" money, uhm money that is actually worth way less because it has alot more lead in it to make it heavier or whatever. Iam no expert on this haha.

All in all i would say, give the people more information and rework the interface and make it more intuitive. Thats the first thing you should work on. And find a way to note the prices of wares you find.
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30 of 35 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
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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36 of 48 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
18.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 20, 2015
I love these kinds of trade games and this one had the potential to be really good but it's just such a hard drudge to progress. The cost to get between towns is so high on top of that I get attacked, my men get drunk, nobles take all my food - every bloody time! At such a low level you can only get access to a such a small portion of the game it just becomes a repetitive drudge. With such a nonsense economy (why can't you buy cheap ice from a mountain town? and why doesn't the price barely change from summer to winter?) I think $15 should buy me an easy mode.
I really regret buying this game :-(
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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 24, 2015
The one mechanic and a reason for some of the negative reviews is that the game doesn't emphasise how luck makes a big impact on events.
I started again and boosted my luck to 3 (with blessings and items) and I rarely had negative events impacting me. The game is still difficult but it makes it much more playable. It's an engaging game, the interface is smooth and with a bit of trial and error, you can work out how much each product buys and sells for.
I had fun for a handful of days with it.
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22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 3, 2014
The good: Buy low sell high simple trading, low learning curve, can be played casually, upgrades and other lands
The bad: Margins can be very sliml eading to tediousness, most of the game is roll of the dice based, too easy to just raid and not trade, trading can be incosistent as hell, occasional cosmetic bug.
If you're after a trading game that feels like Heroes of Might and Magic 2, with no real fighting, then this is great and slightly addictive. Possibly not -quite- worth the asking price.
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22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
32.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 27, 2015
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.

Conclusions:

- 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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