Astraware’s Tradewinds is set in the 19th century in the far eastern Sea.
You choose one of four characters and start with one ship and a handfull of money. Your goal is to collect enough money to reach the rank of “Tai Pan”. To earn money you have to trade with goods: buy them for a low price at one port and transport them to another port to sell them for a higher price. But the way across the sea is dangerous: Pirates are waiting for you! You can defend your fleet by equipping it with enough guns. If your situation in the fight is hopeless, you can try to flee. But then you can’t collect a bounty for defeating a dangerous pirate and his fleet.
At every port you can find a marketplace. Here you can buy and sell goods. You can deposit your money at the bank and get interest for it. The port authority informs you about the most dangerous shipping routes and at the alehouse you can get tips from the sailors if you buy a round. When you have finished your activities at one port, you hit the “set sail” button and select a port to sail to. As I already told you, maybe pirates are crossing your way. Then you can decide: fight or try to flee. You should be carefull: when all of your ships have been sunk, the game is over! But damged ships can be fixed at some ports. And of course you can buy new ships.
Tradewinds is not a game to be finished within 5 minutes. I played it for hours and hours until the battery was empty…and had a lot of fun. I really like this game and recommend it to everyone who likes strategic games (like “Age of Empires” and others).