This Merchant Life is a trading strategy game set in the troubled medieval kingdom of Peregrine. Turn a rickety wooden cart, two horses and a few coins into a thriving entrepreneurial triumph!
All Reviews:
Mixed (22) - 68% of the 22 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Aug 3, 2017

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We see Early Access as a great opportunity to make the best possible version of This Merchant Life for players! Feedback and input from those playing will be a key part of the iterative development of the game on its way through to release.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“The plan is for roughly six months to a year in Early Access.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“There are a number of key areas that we're planning to work on during Early Access:


Everything from travel speeds to resource costs to enemy health stats will need to be continually balanced, there are a lot of numbers to smooth behind the scenes, we may even use graphs!


Choose your own adventure style vignettes are a key part of the game, and we'll be working to add more and more of these to the game, adding more variety and unpredictability to each playthrough and fleshing out the world more. There will be more of a main narrative spine added to the game.

Sub Systems

Additional sub-systems will be added to provide more nuance and strategy to areas of the game, particularly the hero, guild house, cart upgrade and combat systems.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Approaching Alpha. Core systems are almost all in place and the game is playable and largely stable. There is a fair amount of content and the UI, music and art are largely complete. Plenty of bug fixing, balancing and system tweaks ahead.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The price may increase when the game leaves Early Access to reflect the greater degree of content and completeness.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We're aiming to be transparent on the current development roadmap and will regularly provide progress updates along with new builds.”
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Recent updates View all (27)

September 28

Version 0.6

It's a big update for This Merchant Life! Most excitingly, Cart Parts are now available - unique, difficult to acquire components that you can fit into slots on your cart, offering powerful bonuses.

This update also adds a cart condition system and fills out the locations available in each town - all 17 settlements now have their full compliment of 4 locations each!

Please note: Past saves will not work correctly with this version.


- Cart part system. Cart parts are unique items that can be fitted to your cart, with a variety of benefits and drawbacks in some cases. There are currently 21 different cart parts available to collect in the game, with a limited number of slots to fit them to on your cart. There are 10 parts available from factions, 8 from friends, 3 from the cart shop in Lancer. An additional 7 from specific events to be added in the next update!
- Added a cart condition and repair system. Cart condition drops during travel (more quickly on worse roads), at certain condition thresholds it will negatively affect cart stats. You can repair the cart to full condition in settlements with a cart workshop, at a gold and time cost (which is increased for each additional upgrade on your cart).
- Added a rumour system, used in the Friendly Tavern location type. Rumours cause a normally unavailable resource type in a random settlement to become available for a limited time, at a reduced price.
- Traveling during the night now affects your cart stats on the road - speed and security are reduced, conceal is increased
- Added location type: Trainer. For a cost, each trainer will allow you to increase or reduce a specific trait by one. Trainers are uncovered through specific choices in explore events.
- Added location type: Mercenary organisation. Provide you an additional fighter for hire within these towns once unlocked, generally of reliably higher quality than fighters found in the tavern. There are currently two of these organisations, both based in the Mountains region, unlocked through events (one a road event, the other a town explore event) which are now hooked up.
- Added location type: Election. Currently just a framework for eventual quests related to the upcoming election for Mayor of Randos.
- Added location type: Friendly Tavern. A small number of taverns dotted throghout Peregrine are ideal for overhearing helpful rumours. Pay for drinks and there's a 50/50 chance you'll learn something helpful!
- Road security now affects the rate that fighter morale drops - the lower road safety, the more quickly that morale will decrease for fighters.


- Reworked fighter morale drop. Base drop level changed from 0.75 to 4, loyalty score now added to 4 before diving base drop level by it. Basically, morale dropoff for fighters is higher across the board, but the degree of reduction between loyalty levels is decreased quite a lot, so that loyalty 4 is a little more than half the morale drop off of loyalty 1, whereas before it was roughly a quarter.
- Weight to reduce speed by 1 reduced from 10 to 8
- Fruit no longer available to buy in Artemis
- Wool no longer available to buy in Woodforde
- Iron no longer available to buy in Oxtown
- Reduced demand of Gems in Archon from High Demand to Some Demand (2 > 1.3) to prevent it's trade score being too high
- Healing at an apothecary now takes 2 hours rather than being instant
- Number of previously unique explore events (8,9,13,16,20,52) changed to be recurring, to introduce trainers and locations even if the right option for this isn't chosen first time.
- Later Hitch in Time explore events (21,40) now unlocked by initial one (20)


- 7 new settlement specific explore events which include unlocks for various trainers and taverns.
- 8 new friend events which unlock various cart parts
- Added two additional levels of structure upgrade, increasing max structure upgrade level from 7 to 9
- Explore event (54) unlocking election location in Randos now available.
- Explore event (15) unlocking Allbright location in Jarl now available.


- Adjusted how Show Next Upgrade looks on the cart screen and changed it to default from on to off
- Various adjustments and small additions to the cart screen
- Updated mouseover for cart stats
- Added Always Fast Travel on/off option


- Fixed issue where settings for market weren't loading correctly and were defaulting to standard values instead
- Fixed alignment issue with market forces icons for rare and exotic resource types on the market screen
- Fixed interactions that had a time cost affecting the world time but not the timers for market events and rumours
- Fixed issue with courage requirement which prevented players progressing Ceridwen's friendship level past 3
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August 10

Version 0.53

This update is the first step in allowing players to interact with the most powerful factions in Peregrine, with faction missions now available. Many factions can only be found at hidden locations, which can be unlocked through earning intel!


- Intel system implemented more fully. You have a chance to earn Intel every time you explore a town, and you can also purchase it from one location in the kingdom and gain it from certain events. Earning enough intel for a specific hidden location will uncover it, allowing you to visit.
- Faction missions available at faction specific locations - give standard rewards and also faction reputation upon completion
- Explore event flag system added, which means that under certain circumstances you will have specific explore events happen when you meet the criteria, used in plotting and follow on events.
- Combat missions no longer give reputation as a reward
- Updates to Search mission types. Searching in each location now also takes time (4 hours)
- Added location type: Hidden. Allows you to take missions for a specific faction based here or unlock mechanics only accessible from this location.
- Added location type: Faction. Allows you to take missions for a specific faction based here.
- Added location type: Town House. Found in each of the major cities, a town house is a very expensive investment but earns you 25 reputation in that city.
- Added location type: Broker. The broker allows you to purchase intel for hidden locations around Peregrine, helping you to uncover and unlock them.
- Added location type: Cart Company. Allows you to purchase special parts for your cart. Note that this system isn't currently in place, so you can only buy the parts right now, not actually fit them to your cart.


- Guild tab unlock moved from lvl 3 to lvl 4
- Charters tab unlock moved from lvl 4 to lvl 5
- Increased level cap from 24 to 30. Readjusted level curve to ME style system.
- Adjusted thesholds for faction standings
- Small tweaks to available mission types at each rep level
- Changed explore events to be available every time you reach towns rather than 50% of the time, going to see how this pans out, might change it back


- Eight additional combat mission setups, for faction combat missions
- Added 8 new enemy types for the purpose of faction combat missions - these are just recolours of existing enemies, but with different stats
- A new explore event that can occur if you received a mysterious note in your travels, something about Bryce and mirrors...


- Added mouse scroll to map screen
- Added labels to town locations
- Can now change game speed between normal and fast forward when travelling by pressing the play/fast forward icon in the travel details bar
- Guild bonus now continues to be shown on reputation sidebar mouse over after being built
- Guild house mouse over in reputation sidebar now lists all the resources you have stored there
- Moved cart location transition effect infront of the cart and reduced the speed of the effect (2 > 0.75)


- Fixed main goal cost variations based on difficulty level not being carried across saves
- Fixed losing coins being displayed as positive on events results screen
- Fixed issue where last market forces in the list weren't loading properly, resulting in minus numbers being displayed in the market forces counters upon loading a game
- Fixed the guild screen going to storage mode if you were there last, allowing players to store things in guild houses they hadn't built yet!
- Fixed minor issue where a few backpack types wouldn't properly display only on the player profile screen
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“I'm pleased with the feeling of this happy-go-lucky salesman sim”
Rock Paper Shotgun

About This Game

This Merchant Life is a trading strategy game set in the troubled medieval kingdom of Peregrine. Turn a rickety wooden cart, two horses and a few coins into a thriving entrepreneurial triumph!

Key Features

  • Buy and sell goods across an array of towns and cities with dynamic prices
  • Recruit mercenaries and heroes to help protect your caravan as you travel the bandit-haunted roads
  • Upgrade your trade cart and horses to improve speed, carrying capacity and more
  • Make decisions across a wide variety of randomised events in choose your own adventure style
  • Command your mercenary protectors in turn-based battles against wild animals, hostile people and worse
  • Complete missions to earn coins and reputation
  • Unlock useful skills through leveling your character
  • Gain reputation and bonuses through funding projects and constructions within each settlement
  • Meet monthly goals and establish a set of guild houses across the kingdom

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 200 MB available space

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