Developer: Uwingame
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy low, sell high. It’s a mantra that’s formed the basis of so many success stories within business. It’s also caused a few downfalls over the years when – much like gambling on the wrong horse – you buy the wrong product and it all goes bad from there. The concept makes for an intriguing simulation game, though, and one which has admittedly been done before in a variety of guises such as the Lemonade Stand game, and my personal favourite – Dope Wars.

Trade Giant carries on with that trend with some success. It feels a little limited in terms of features but what is there is solid fun and an inexpensive pleasure.

It’s bizarre really. It’s a terribly unattractive looking game. Which is understandable, really, considering you’re basically spending numbers to make more numbers. It was never going to look revolutionary. The fun is in the way in which it draws you in. It’s a basic game but one that hooks you regardless of that part of your brain muttering how it’s bordering on pointless.

The story mode offers you the chance to complete various scenarios within a set time limit, so as to move onto the next stage. Each stage offers you new items in which you can trade. You start out with relatively basic items such as green tea and velvet. As you work your way up, you’re trading in expensive cars and Swiss watches. Ultimately it’s the same tactic throughout: buy low, sell high. Every now and then, a random event can occur which affects prices or your ability to travel. There’s not a huge level of strategy to it further than that. It’s still oddly compelling, though.

Maybe as a poor struggling writer, I appreciate the fact that it’s nice to profiteer in something, even if it is just a game. It was rather annoying, however, that if you fail an objective, you go right back to the beginning. I’d have much preferred for there to be save points to return to.

Challenge mode is much the same with the added impetus of Open-Feint based leaderboards to keep you keen. I found myself preferring the story mode with its objectives at the start of each stage however as it felt like there was more of a point.

That’s all there is to Trade Giant, so it is an extremely simple game. However, as a one time fan of Dope Wars, this fits the gap perfectly. Sure there’s no great purpose here but it’s a fun distraction, and for only 99c, what more can you ask for?

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