|Simulation, Trade, Historic||Classic (1990 -2000)||Tryptichon Software||Asc(ar)on Software||Hanseatic League, Late Middle Ages, Early Modern Ages, Northern Europe, Trade in the Baltics|
The Patrician is a very interesting and unique game off the well beaten track. In this game you play the role of a trader in early modern northern Europe. You objective is to rise up in the ranks of the Hanseatic merchant’s league and get elected as its head. First, though, you have to become the mayor of one of the league’s affiliated cities. Gameplay is based on buying low at one place and selling high at another place strategy. Along with that you have to take care of your ships, manage a crew, fend off pirates, protect cities, survive through disasters like plague, or fire, manage your stores to influence the market rates, and even dabble in politics and skulduggery to achieve your goals. Basically it is an economic simulation garnished with several role-playing aspects and served on a platter of historic setting.
|Complexity Parameters||Values (0, 0.5, 1)|
|Control Scheme||0: Easy|
|Lore||1: Rich in history of the Hanseatic League|
|Learning Curve||1: Steep|
|Total Score||5/7: Heavyweight game|
|Needs||Satisfaction Score (0-3)|
|Analytical||3: Well met|
|Creative||1: Slightly met|
|Mastery||3: Well met|
|Destructive||0: Not met|
|Entertainment||0: Not met|
|Pace||0: Not met|
|Horror||0: Not met|
|Total Score||7/21: Good Game|
TL;DR A game that has not aged well inspite of its innovation and brilliance. Do not waste time unless you want to abuse yourself with deep sense of frustration.
- Interesting concepts of realism and role-play
- Historical accuracy
- Poor interface design
- Lack of detailed manual
- Gameplay elements extremely cryptic and not intuitive
- Extremely steep learning curve and on top of that bone breaking difficulty
Purpose – Challenge, Study, Relaxation,
Gameplay – Overall it is very difficult to understand the various game mechanics because there is no proper guide available. The manual is very superficially written, and learning by trying is very costly in terms of time. Certain game mechanics renders the player feel powerless and helpless, which maybe good from realism aspect, but is not really fun. For example several random events like, pirate attacks on the city, plague, or fire breaking out in your warehouse can occur but there is no clear idea about how you can prevent them from affecting you, even if not immediately but in the future.
Graphics – Okay for its time.
Performance – Potato category.
Entertainment – Quite entertaining actually, with lots of historical details and trivia integrated inside the gameplay.
Plot (if applicable) – Not applicable. More or less sandbox, however there is a general goal that is unique.
Replay value – Theoretically high. Outcomes in each playthrough can be drastically different. However, in practice the painful gameplay would probably prevent you from playing again once you beat the game, i.e. to say if you manage to beat it at all!
Immersion – There is quite high level of immersion in the game. You do feel like a trader of the Hanseatic League.
Overall a very very interesting concept marred due to bad gameplay design, poor marketing and poorly written manual. I am still trying to beat this game, but till now without success.