Ports of Call was an early business simulator where you build a global shipping empire. You start out with a small, old ship, take shipping contracts and sail goods across the globe. More dangerous cargo and destinations yield more profit, albeit at increased risk. Occasionally you’d have to take the helm to rescue shipwrecked survivors, navigate a dangerous reef or manually sail your ship into the harbour because of a pilot’s strike. Over the course of the game you can use your profits to buy more and better ships. Each player founds his own shipping company, with a starting capital of $4.6 million to buy ships.
Freight and ports of call can be chosen continuously from offers on the market. Then the captain chooses an economic travelling speed and casts off to encounter many adventures on the high seas. A player’s chances of success improve the more he knows about international shipping. All data for the game originated from actual developments in the maritime world. But the game is not a pure economic game, also a ship simulator is integrated, and the captain/player can steer his ship manually. Ports of Call was surprisingly addictive. Even though the basis is simply sending your ships on contracts to the far ends of the globe, managing your fleet and occasionally manually intervening.