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Slime Knight
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Drydocks: Needs work 
 PostMon Dec 31, 2018 5:22 am
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This is a review of Drydocks - A Merchant RPG.

Drydocks is a game that wants to be like one of them fancy pants early '90s strategy games, like the classic Microprose titles or more specifically 7 Cities of Gold. Those games have some fairly big, but buggy boots to fill, does Drydocks fill those boots?

Story:
Your father was a merchant in the new world. A successful one. People were envious of his success and did away with him. You escape the people's wrath and take your father's ship to the new world, to repeat his success, and perhaps even his failure. But because you're a terrible navigator, you crash your ship, where the game begins.
Now, a new world theme is good and all, but it could be expanded upon. You could change nothing and say it was in not-Europe. Beyond the vaguely Japanese natives that you see three of on an optional location you have to go out of your way to reach, there is nothing going on here. No "send interesting plants back to the old world". No "fight off angry natives". No "finding a new gold mine". Just a few guys soapboxing in-between selling luxery goods and bricks. There's a lot of interesting stuff you could do with it.

Graphics:
It's nice, things usually look like what they're supposed to look like. You might find some confusion in the different kinds of trade goods and buildings at first, but they do seem to be consistent.
Bad notes would be: I feel like this area map has been stolen from a Might and Magic game; The castle on fire graphic is uninformative.

Gameplay:
As you may have gathered already, Drydocks is a trading strategy game. A very broken strategy game. Not in the "Haha, I've broken this game and now have 7 quintillion gold" sense but in the "I wish locations wouldn't randomly stop working" sense. That's not to say parts of the game proper aren't broken, like Wheat being completely freaking useless. Locations randomly stop working or fail to start at all. Dialog prompts that seem to be asking you to do things, but doing the required things results in the usefulness of Wheat.
The game itself is very simple, buy trade goods outside of towns, find a town that will give you more than you paid for it, rinse and repeat. It should be said that buying and selling is very cumbersome. You can only buy one trade good at a time, and are forced to walk in and out of the square the trade good is in. Selling, fortunately lets you sell 5 at a time, but that hardly makes it much better. The problem is beyond buying trade goods, supplies to survive and sometimes finding an object on the side of the road, there's nothing else to do. There's no enemies or any conflict beyond a 100 day time period. Once you've gotten a boat and explored the abandoned areas of the not-Japanese natives, you've got nothing else to do beyond going back and forth with your goods. It's just that barren at that point.

Conclusion:
Drydocks has a nice trading system, but as it stands, is far too tedious to be fun for more than a half an hour at a time. Something to spice things up, or a save option, would make the game much better.
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