Space Trader in Review: Light Years of Potential

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Elite broke ground and Privateer sunk its teeth deep into the pockets of Space Trader fans around the world, but for the younger gamer, Freelancer and the X series will probably be familiar trader landmarks. Kechbs Software‘s Space Trader is the first of the genre to explore the App Store.

Gameplay and Presentation
Space Trader is as simplistic in sound and graphics as can be. The 2D graphics are colourful but very low detail and sound is a series of beeps and boops. However, gameplay is smooth and features a mix of proprietary menu graphics and iPhone OS GUI effects which are easy to actuate and interface with which make Space Trader an easy to pick up game.

The addition of global scoring is great as this game is meant for competition. Currently, there are only twenty to thirty people who have updated scores, but hopefully this number will soon increase.

Space Trader’s simplistic model works well enough for its presentation but when it comes to gameplay, falls short. For 1.99$, it offers very little while advertising a lot. Each universe is tiny and can be sussed out quickly and sucked dry for its trading utility. There are a handful of upgrades, a handful of items to buy and a handful of planets at which to barter items. It is heaps of fun, but it is way too short with too many bugs and inconsistencies.

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Firstly, the maths are all off. If you have 771 Shields and you purchase 10% upgrade to your shields, your upgrade total should not be 781, but rather 848. Other items are supposed to be upgradeable only once but can be purchased infinately and then there are the fight scenes. Just run away – there is no point in fighting as the loot is worthless and the enemies are exact mirrors of your souped up ship. Finally, the scoring system is not updating anymore.

Though I think Space Traders is fun and addictive, it is too short and full of inconsistent errors or thinking to be worth 1.99$ to all but the most die-hard of trader fans. I have now dedicated over 2 hours into the game and believe that there was nowhere left to go about 1 hour into gameplay. When Kechbs Software can fix the inconsistencies and bugs, this game will be good, but when they can add replayability and true trading/fighting/exploration to the series, they will have a true hit at the App Store that is worth much more than 1.99$.

Space Trader gets an overly gracious Tap from TouchMyApps.


App Summary
Title: Space Trader V 1.1 Developer: Kechbs Software 2009
Price: $1.99 App Size: 1.5 MB
  • Intuitive interface
  • Smooth & Responsive
  • Extremely Addictive
  • Global Scoring system
  • Inconsistencies
  • Bugs
  • Pointless Combat


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