Tradewinds Legends is an offshoot of the trading games of classic Macintosh gaming. These games follow a simple formula. You start with a ship and a little money and buy and sell your way to becoming insanely wealthy. What Tradewinds adds to the genre is a simple yet entertaining combat system, a story mode with plenty of humor, and a freeplay mode that allows you to create your own character once you beat the story mode. These additions do increase the longevity of the standard trading game, but the story mode is extremely easy and can be completed in just a few hours.
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This city looks beautiful. A shame it's missing my favorite buildings.
Gameplay: Sail the Seven SkiesThe gameplay of Tradewinds Legends is pretty simple. You buy all you can of a good when it's low in cost, sail around until you find a port where it's high in cost, and sell it. As you gain money, you upgrade your fleet and buy new ships. Once you've upgraded your fleet to the max, you buy a few magic items. Then, when you've bought the best the magic shop has to offer, you just mass wealth until your game rank stops going up. During these flights, you may open a new port or a new good for sale, but the gameplay remains mostly unchanged. It is extremely easy to learn, and presents no real challenge. However, this simple gameplay is quite addictive and you'll find yourself enjoying the hours when your fleet is still being built up.
The story mode expands this simple formula somewhat. It has one-hundred different missions, four playable stories, and you can create your own captain once you've beaten one of the main stories. These stories lengthen the game for an extra hour or two, and the humorous dialogue in the missions can get a chuckle out of you. My favorite mission was the quest to find the gassy suitor. Due to his explosive flatulence, he was forced to run in shame. You attempt to find him by following the trail of emitted bean essence. Needless to say, the puns are quite corny, but there were a few great lines.
Throughout all these missions and throughout your trading, you will inevitably run across some pirates and enter the battle system. In the battles, you have the choice of targeting the strongest ships, the weakest ships, the closest ships, or just a single ship of your choosing. You also have the choice of five curses that you can fling at the enemy. However, you won't really need them after your first few fights. The later fights are all the same. You click on the "fire at closest" button and watch as your ships eliminates the entire enemy fleet in under five seconds. After that starts happening, the pirate attacks become nothing more than a way to gain cash if you're bored with trading.
Overall, the gameplay is very addictive and entertaining, but the game runs out of new material very fast. This makes Tradewinds Legends perfect for the casual gamer, but extremely boring to the hardcore gamer.