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:
Mostly Positive (31) - 70% of the 31 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 (35)

March 22

Version 0.8

It's a really big update with a reworking of the combat system!


- Combatants now have a defence stat as well as an attack stat
- Combat in quadrants is now in two phases per round; player attack vs enemy defence, then enemy defence vs player attack
- The difference between attack and defence scores (with rolls added) results in how many wounds are suffered per quadrant by each side. This means multiple wounds per round and much faster battles.
- Fighters can now be moved to different quadrants between rounds, with a Deployment Time costs
- Fighters can also be withdrawn from the fight with a Deployment Time cost
- Losing the battle now also reduces fighter morale
- Enemy forces can include several different unit types in the same battle
- Three new fighter classes and some new enemy types also added

- Loyalty is no longer a primary stat for fighters. It still exists (and affects how quickly fighter morale drops), but isn't displayed and varies far less between different fighter types.
- Global states (bad weather, unrest, festivals etc) are now region specific, with a number of new state types added (tumult, turmoil, anarchy, tax hike, patrols, crackdown, bad omens, good omens). A region overview icon has been added for each region, mousing over will indicate the rough dimensions of that region and the current region state.
- Trade Traits now give a reputation bonus for one specific settlement and most also give a reputation bonus for one specific faction. Mouse over on trade traits on the profile sidebar to show this, as well as called out on faction reputation bar mouseovers on the reputation sidebar.
- Road combat events gain extra enemies as player's global reputation reaches set thresholds, making them more difficult and dangerous the more well known the player gets
- Travel speed now begins as Fast rather than Slow when beginning a journey


- Upped baseline starting Deploy Time from 5 to 6
- Rebalanced fighter stats
- Hunters now always have the Deadeye talent
- Removed variance in Deployment Time per fighter class, now set per class
- Max combat rounds reduced from 12 to 6
- Increased the Global Reputation requirements for story chapters 6 (150 > 200) and 9 (250 > 400)
- Road combat events now have more enemies as player's Global Reputation increases
- Fighter morale now drops quite a lot more slowly than before, but fighter wage costs are higher. Felt you had to pay fighters too often before, and autopay isn't neccesarily a good option if money is tight.
- A few fighter perks altered to fit the new combat system (Weapon Expert, Manouverable)
- Hero levelling readjusted to include increases to their new defence stat


- Variations of appearance added for all fighter classes


- Added region icons on the map and an indication of this region's dimensions on the map when you mouse over the region icon


- Fixed issue where combat traits wouldn't activate if fighters were deployed after the first round (Hunter, Paladin, Lawful, Freedom Fighter, Inspired, Veteran)
- Fixed issue where combat traits wouldn't apply their bonus correctly beyond the first round (Foolhardy, Loner)
- Fighter left the caravan message on arriving in towns (due to morale) reinstated
2 comments Read more

February 1

Version 0.73

This is a fairly minor update, with some fixes to deal with some progress issues that were cropping up in the story campaign and a few other particularly annoying bugs! There's also a proper system for when the player runs out of health while market taxes now ramp up (and sometimes spike).


- Health dropping to 0 now initiates a crisis event, where the player must pay a percentage of their current coins (percentage varies by difficulty) to heal up and continue
- Market tax for some good rarities now increases at month 4 and month 9
- Each month one settlement will have a market tax hike, where market taxes for that settlement will double for the duration of the month, making profitable acquisitions from here difficult. UI for this is placeholder.


- Reduced cart condition no longer affects cart capacity stat
- Reduced the chance of road events occuring by 25%


- Added a next button to the hints panel so you can cycle through hints
- The location that intel relates to now shown when gaining intel
- Wait for night and wait for daybreak buttons when in towns - temporary art


- Can no longer take a standard or faction challenge mission which reduces your capacity if you don't have enough free capacity
- Added mission faction number to load/save
- Fixed various types of faction missions not correctly awarding faction reputation when completed
- Prevented the player getting looping interactions with friends Io and Muirne through explore events remaining available after they have been met. Also check events that should be on/off immediately after loading a game now.
- Added failsafes that should cause story battles to trigger if they don't work as intended, hopefully preventing progress issues in the story campaign
- Time passing in various in-town events now causes fighter morale to drop, albeit at a much slower rate than it would on the roads
- Market tax takes into account good rarity when using buy all buttons
2 comments Read more
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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

What Curators Say

10 Curators have reviewed this product. Click here to see them.

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