i could say this is a modern game, not an old one (graphically). meaning you will not stop playing this old game because its graphics is too old. no you won't.
now about the game, it may be addicative. but before i explain how addictive it is, you must appreciate the reality and realism of this game. this is a trading simulation game. and it made me imagine how trading prospered why wooden ships became so large during that time. so its a game where you actually learn something, not a waste of time...
the game is simple. you will start with one ship and trade items from one city to the other city. with time you will learn the prices from memory, and start making some good deals.
with time you may have two fleets going in two diffrent directions, each buying and selling automatically (Auto trade). and bringing tons of money your way. you may think that is enough now, but in reality your mind will think how to expand even at that moment, and there is room for expansion!
so just to help you be on your way to become a succesful trader, im gona give a few tips from now on:
after you get your third or even the second ship you may feel overwhelmed by controling more than one ship. this is the time that you want to get a captain: a captain let's you make a convoy of ships (combining more than one ship under a single unit) and in the future you can make that captain do an auto trade.
you can find a captain in the tavern, and always look for a captain in reaver cities (the cities that big ships dosen't have access to, because they have to cross a small river to get to that city) for some reason captains like to be in one of those cities.
Auto trade: if you want the best prices for auto trade, you can check google for that. the benifts of a good prices is that the citezens of that cities will be happy. so more citezens will start to come that happy city. and therfore the more goods they will consume. and the more profit you can earn. so its a win win situation!
im not gona tell you everything. somethings you can learn for yourself and enjoy. This is a beatuiful game and i always find myself returning to it from time to time!
and for the record i feel patrician 3 give a more realism simulation of trading than patrician 4! but i also enjoy patrician 4 all the same