Game Reviews

Merchant to the Stars

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Merchant to the Stars

Heroes get all the glory. On the face of it, this only seems fair - after all, they are the ones who risk life and limb fighting monsters in order to keep vulnerable people safe.

However, a hero is nothing without the right tools, and that's where Merchant to the Stars comes in - instead of slaying vampires and dragons, you're more concerned with buying weapons and armour, honing them for additional potency, and selling them to passing knights for a tidy profit.

The premise is simple enough: adventurers stroll into your shop with arms full of loot, some of which could be valuable and worth buying. Fancy weapons, armour, and items can be honed to not only make them more costly - which means you can offload them for a handsome profit - but also more powerful, which is good news for the knights you serve.

Selling them better items means their task is made easier, and they consequently come back to your store with even better gear.

Shop until you drop

Honing items requires base materials, and these can only be obtained by scrapping certain items which aren't worth bothering with. Buying items costs gold, so you need to ensure that you're selling enough stuff to purchase items both for scrap and for improvement.

Your level increases as you go about your work and heroes come and go, parting company with you once they've completed their particular quest. While you can listen to their exploits each time they pay you a visit, you don't really have any other indication of what's going on out in the big, bad world - instead, your focus is on acquiring that super-rare scimitar for a bumper pay cheque.

Loot drop

Despite the absence of any real action, Merchant to the Stars remains curiously captivating. Once you have a steady stream of adventurers knocking on your door you can buy, sell, and hone items quickly and easily, which itself is quite addictive.

The main problem is that there's no real challenge - if you don't give the knights the proper tools, they just don't come back with better items. There's never any danger of failure.

This makes Merchant to the Stars a great casual experience, but if you crave a little more tension and excitement in your games you may find yourself wishing you were the guy actually using the mythical ice blade, and not just the chap who polishes it up for a few pennies.

Merchant to the Stars

The concept behind Merchant to the Stars is original and interesting. And while it has its moments of addiction, the lack of challenge limits its long-term appeal
Damien  McFerran
Damien McFerran
Damien's mum hoped he would grow out of playing silly video games and gain respectable employment. Perhaps become a teacher or a scientist, that kind of thing. Needless to say she now weeps openly whenever anyone asks how her son's getting on these days.