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We had a chance to speak briefly with Cameron Tofer of Hermitworks on their upcoming iPhone trading game Space Trader. We previously previewed the game in March.

The game offers you the chance to seek out power and riches as you become increasingly proficient as an interstellar trader of highly sought after merchandise. Assume the role of a Space Trader trying to make a profit buying and selling commodities, everything from medical supplies to food and precious metals. The goal is to make as much money possible within the time limit. Visit various locations in search of the best deal and be sure to look for side quests to help you achieve the highest score.

space2The game resembles a much enhanced version of Dope Wars where you buy and sell items from individuals between locations in an effort to make a profit.

The values of these commodities can change from place to place and over time based on market events.

The goal of the game is to make as much money within a given amount of time ("180 days"). Traveling to the different planets (there are 3 in the initial version) can take anywhere from 8 to 25 days, so you need to plan ahead to maximize your profits. Tofer reports that an average gaming session may take about 30 minutes to complete, but could take up to 2 hours if you explore all the contacts and opportunities. The game's iPhone claim-to-fame, however, is that it may become the first official App Store game based on the Quake 3 engine.

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At each location, you explore each station through a 1st person perspective interface. Quite telling is that the fact that both Hermitworks and Ngmoco independently settled on very similar control schemes for their 1st person games. Left side is a virtual control pad that controls movement, while the right side controls the view. We picked up the game and found the controls easy to use and quite natural. There is no combat, however, in this version, so your interactions are primarily walking and talking to people.

Space Trader has been submitted to the App Store for approval and is expected to be sold at an introductory price of $0.99. Tofer also let us know they had a lot of updates planned over time to further improve the iPhone experience.

Space Trader on the PC is a larger multi-player game, and the company expressed interest in this possibility for the iPhone version. Other planned enhancements include a combat system that will be used in solving specific missions as well as an extensive achievement system to enhance replayability.

  • http://twitter.com/aggrazel Aggrazel

    I played this game back in the early 90s only we called it "TradeWars 2002" back then.

  • http://twitter.com/aggrazel Aggrazel

    I played this game back in the early 90s only we called it "TradeWars 2002" back then.

  • Aidan

    for 99 cents it sounds like a steal!

  • Aidan

    for 99 cents it sounds like a steal!

  • Kevin

    sweeetasssss

  • Kevin

    sweeetasssss

  • mrWalrus

    is that Tom Bosley in the first picture? I love that guy!

  • mrWalrus

    is that Tom Bosley in the first picture? I love that guy!

  • http://www.mavisxp.com mavis

    No combat??? That was the best part of the Mac version. :(

    "Tofer also let us know they had a lot of updates planned over time to further improve the iPhone experience." This scares me. They promised an update for the Mac version LAST SUMMER but have yet to deliver. Personally, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for an update. That said, the game looks great in its current state and well worth the asking price. I would have been willing to pay much more (I'm thinking $5 or so) given my past experience with the game. The only thing I'm worried about is the (possible) lack of open-ended gameplay, like on the Mac.

    Anyway, at $0.99 this is a no-brainer. I'll be picking it up the second it's available!

  • http://www.mavisxp.com mavis

    No combat??? That was the best part of the Mac version. :(

    "Tofer also let us know they had a lot of updates planned over time to further improve the iPhone experience." This scares me. They promised an update for the Mac version LAST SUMMER but have yet to deliver. Personally, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for an update. That said, the game looks great in its current state and well worth the asking price. I would have been willing to pay much more (I'm thinking $5 or so) given my past experience with the game. The only thing I'm worried about is the (possible) lack of open-ended gameplay, like on the Mac.

    Anyway, at $0.99 this is a no-brainer. I'll be picking it up the second it's available!

  • moataz

    The controls definitely look good for first person movement on the iphone and I think will set the standard.

  • moataz

    The controls definitely look good for first person movement on the iphone and I think will set the standard.

  • http://techretriever.com Shaun

    i'm looking forward to it :)

  • http://techretriever.com Shaun

    i'm looking forward to it :)

  • Inferi22

    I thought this was going to be fps guess well have to wait and find out

  • Inferi22

    I thought this was going to be fps guess well have to wait and find out

  • Raphie

    Similar game under same name

    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=306867557&mt=8

    Except u battle. currently 1.99

  • Raphie

    Similar game under same name

    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=306867557&mt=8

    Except u battle. currently 1.99

  • dasilvetz

    this is based off the original space trading series "Elite", minus the fighting.. not dope wars.

  • dasilvetz

    this is based off the original space trading series "Elite", minus the fighting.. not dope wars.

  • mark

    I'm still waiting for a port or redo of the Palm version of Space Trader. Simple point and click space combat with a deep mercantile sim. Why can't we get that?

  • mark

    I'm still waiting for a port or redo of the Palm version of Space Trader. Simple point and click space combat with a deep mercantile sim. Why can't we get that?

  • ZeroCorpse

    I'd love to see a touch version of GAZILLIONAIRE.

    Alas, LavaMind has never expressed any interest in porting it to any other platform, leaving it firmly in the world of Windows 95.

  • ZeroCorpse

    I'd love to see a touch version of GAZILLIONAIRE.

    Alas, LavaMind has never expressed any interest in porting it to any other platform, leaving it firmly in the world of Windows 95.

  • ijme

    I'm with mark; Space Trader for Palm is the bomb. I contacted the guy who created that game. He pointed me to the Hermitworks version. I wish he, or someone, would just port the palm version, as is, to iPhone. I'd be happy with that. I'd be happy to pay, too. Maybe if more fans would contact him...?

  • ijme

    I'm with mark; Space Trader for Palm is the bomb. I contacted the guy who created that game. He pointed me to the Hermitworks version. I wish he, or someone, would just port the palm version, as is, to iPhone. I'd be happy with that. I'd be happy to pay, too. Maybe if more fans would contact him...?

  • chrisb

    Space trader for the PalmOS/WM is under the GLP license, anyone can take the source and port it to the iPhone/Touch/BlackBerry/whatever. He doesn't seem to be interested in further developing/porting the title. He's had that stance for many years.

    GAZILLIONAIRE! Man, would I LOVE to see that ported. Great, great game.

    Any word on when Space Trader is hitting the AppStore?

  • chrisb

    Space trader for the PalmOS/WM is under the GLP license, anyone can take the source and port it to the iPhone/Touch/BlackBerry/whatever. He doesn't seem to be interested in further developing/porting the title. He's had that stance for many years.

    GAZILLIONAIRE! Man, would I LOVE to see that ported. Great, great game.

    Any word on when Space Trader is hitting the AppStore?

  • Mythbuster

    Any news? Of is it a fake? They said that it was submitted two weeks ago, but nothing until now . . .

  • Mythbuster

    Any news? Of is it a fake? They said that it was submitted two weeks ago, but nothing until now . . .

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