Casual capitalism in digital board game form.
It’s you, your opponents, and a big empty city just waiting for your deep pockets. Trade Mania 2 shares a lot with the board game Monopoly. Maybe a bit too much at times, but it’s all in good fun. It hits a comfortable balance between sturdy strategy and blind luck, creating an atmosphere of casual competition that’s easy to enjoy alone or with a few friends.
The basic goal of Trade Mania 2 is to travel around cities landing on properties, buying them, collecting rent and utilizing trade markets to get your profits rolling in. Certain spaces on the map activate events like paying taxes, purchasing vehicles, or forking over cash for stopping on opponent-owned lands, adding an element of randomness to the experience. The game ends when one of the players controls a certain percentage of the city’s properties.
Turns begin with a simple spin of the wheel o’ movement. Click, see how far you get to walk, then settle in your new spot to purchase the land or dive into the local marketplace. Like any good mogul you’ll want to make as much money as you can, especially when your opponents are racing around the board doing the same. Each commercial zone has a handful of goods available. You can buy items at the listed price or sell from your inventory and hope to turn a profit. Your vehicle size limits how much product you can carry from space to space, so buy wisely. Items marked with a gold star can be sold for extra, which is one of the quickest (but least reliable) ways to make money in the game. Just make sure you keep a variety of items on hand and always upgrade your car when you get the chance. If you play it smart you can maximize the trade feature as you drive from place to place, watching the coins pile up with every turn.
Staying true to its board game inspirations, Trade Mania 2 features a handful of event spaces that spice up the otherwise buy/sell-centric environment. Also, special cards let you unleash some simple but very useful moves, adding or subtracting from your spin so you can sidestep painful taxation spaces or opponent-owned locations. Trade Mania 2 also features a custom game mode that lets you set up the location and recruit either computer-controlled AI players or your real world friends. Nothing like a few rounds of intense corporate buying and selling to build solidarity.
Monopoly is one of the most widely-recognized board games in the world. Trade Mania 2 banks on that popularity by reproducing the basic formula with a few extra twists. The actual trading mechanic is pretty simple and doesn’t offer a lot of depth, which is slightly disappointing, especially since the word “trade” is in the title. But in the interest of keeping the game accessible, some sacrifices had to be made. Trade Mania 2 does a fantastic job streamlining the process of buying, trading and selling so you can just sit back and have a good time.