First Look – Merchant of the Skies
I could say it was the trading or the tycoon elements or the base building in Merchant of the Skies that got me interested but, it was actually the Majestic Carrot that piqued my interest. He wears a top hat! How can you say no to that?
Merchant of the Skies is a relaxing trading game where you use your flying airship to travel between islands. We start the game by receiving a small airship from our Uncle Bo. It’s our birthday and, now that we’re an adult, we can finally be a merchant! This is where we start our journey of trading and exploring the world of floating islands that make up Merchant of the Skies.
With the game still in Early Access, this is the extent of the storyline but the developers plan to have a full storyline once the game is complete. That being said, there are a few questlines available, like feeding the fish god a bunch of apples. At the moment you can only select one quest at a time when you start a new game but they plan on consolidating everything together when it’s finished.
There is a simple tutorial at the start of the game and then you’re on your own to explore. So, let’s recharge our airship and get going! Although, not very far. With the first ship you don’t have much stored power. I used up all my batteries before I realised what was going on!
For me, this was the most stressful part of the early game. There was always a risk you wouldn’t make it to the next island before running out of power and then you have to get a tow… and they aren’t cheap!
As you travel between islands you open up the map and find that each island has different buildings and resources. Or maybe you just find the majestic carrot.
I started the game just wanting to give it a quick look and then next thing I knew it was 3 hours later. It was fun and relaxing to just roam around the world fulfilling requests from the different islands which range from delivering letters to providing them with resources. Each island has resources that range in price and it’s up to you to buy wisely. As you progress in the game you get to buy islands and start producing resources yourself. That’s when you start to get the cash flow going!
Once you start making cash you can upgrade your ship. This is quite a relief as the better the ship the more power you can store. This allows you to plan when you need to recharge rather than having to stick to the closest islands as you explore. The better ships also go faster, store more items and have more upgrade slots. Plus they look pretty cool too!
As with all games in Early Access, there are features missing that can make gameplay a bit frustrating. The devs are very responsive though and keen to take on feedback.
I love when I can find an Early Access game that looks promising from the beginning. Merchant of the Skies looks like it’s going in the right direction and I’m definitely going to following along as it progresses. I’d recommend giving it a go if you’re into trading games or management sims.
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