The Patrician (video game)
|Platform(s)||Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS|
The Patrician (German: Der Patrizier) is the title of a series of historical trading simulation computer games for MS-DOS, Amiga and Atari ST published by Ascaron Entertainment. In the games, the player assumes the role of a merchant in any of several cities of the Hanseatic League, accumulating money, capital and consumer goods, and real estate, expanding his company, and furthering his career at home and abroad.
The main action of the games typically consists of trading, using trading offices and ships. Supply and Demand play an important role in this game. Generally seen as one of the more complex business simulations, Patrician can overwhelm the player with too much information. Players can also build public works, private houses, and industries, pursue a career in politics, and interact with such characters as pirates and burghers.
The games features an advanced dynamic economy which can be influenced by the actions of both the human players and the A.I.-controlled players. This in turn affects the various towns (constantly buying high and selling low will cause a town to grow poorer, for instance).
By helping a town grow, the player will gain popularity there, which will help in the Hanseatic elections. The goal of the games is to be elected leader of the Hanseatic League, but the player can only take part in Hanseatic elections once he or she has been elected lord mayor of the home town.
Ascaron released two sequels to 1992's The Patrician; Patrician II (2000) and Patrician III: Rise of the Hanse (2003). The Patrician series was continued in 2010 with The Patrician IV, after Kalypso Media bought the licenses from the insolvent Ascaron company.
A Computer Gaming World reviewer in 1993 criticized the identical cities, "simplistic" combat, and "mundane" trading, stating that "the long term appeal of this game, except to bank managers and chartered accountants, is therefore questionable". He concluded that The Patrician was "too Germanic in appearance, perhaps needing a bit of British innovation, some French savoir faire, or maybe some Stateside polish". Another reviewer in 1994 liked the graphics and interface (especially as he criticized the manual's English translation and accuracy), but warned that "Once the pricing system is understood, the trading elements of the game becomes somewhat repetitive". He recommended The Patrician to those looking for an unusual, non combat-oriented strategy game.
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