The Patrician is set in said period and you play the part of a struggling merchant. It was so different in those days – the continent was in constant state of change. The Hanseatic League – a sort of equivalent to the common market – governed European trading and its aim was to promote free trade between all the main cities. The League’s council was made up of all the mayors of the major parts in Europe and was led by the Alderman. Although you start the game as a minor League merchant, your ultimate aim is to rise to the heady height of Alderman.

To achieve this you have to trade first and make stacks of cash, which you can then spend on furthering your political career – money buys power – unlike today’s democracies, Asil Nadir is living proof of that. Not only do you have to be loaded but you have to be happily married, otherwise people don’t vote for you. At the start you own just one ship and a couple of hundred Thala (currency). The way to increasing your readies is by trading which involves buying and selling (at a profit) the many types of goods available. This presents your first obstacle – trading is not easy initially and can often result in you drifting aimlessly from port to port unable to find a favourable price for a commodity you’ve got on your ship.

If you get stuck with goods it is possible to store them in a warehouse for later resale. Of course, if you’re very clever you could buy corn in the summer when it’s plentiful and cheap and make a killing in a winter market place. Once you’ve amassed your fortune though, it’s time to put the money to use on self advancement in the political arena, and hopefully becoming Alderman of the Hanseatic League. To achieve high political status you have to become popular enough to gain the confidence of the rest of the Hanseatic Council. You can gain popularity in your home town in several ways. The first and easiest way is to throw a massive party for all the plebs.

The only downer is the cost, but political popularity doesn’t come cheap. It is vital to provide enough food and drink, otherwise the townsfolk go home hungry and distinctly sober; get them absolutely inebriated and they’ll think you’ll make a great politician! The Patrician will absorb your attention until the wee small hours as you become engrossed in the intricacies of the game’s wheeling and dealing and you will find keeping your political head above water almost as difficult as keeping dry in Mississippi. Playing it will keep even the most die-hard platform freaks among us glued to their machine…

news source: various sources / image source: GenerationAmiga / watch on Youtube

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