Regain your riches, restore your honor and avenge your father's murder. A challenging trading game with lots of RPG elements.
User reviews:
Mixed (268 reviews) - 68% of the 268 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

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
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • OS: OSX 10
    • Processor: Intel Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 MB RAM
    • Storage: 2 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.4
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 2 MB RAM
    • Storage: 2 MB available space
    • Graphics: GeForce 8800
Helpful customer reviews
14 of 15 people (93%) 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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6 of 6 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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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
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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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
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 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
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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