Merchant by Retora Game Studios is an 8-bit business simulation with an RPG element. The game is very pick up and play and not particularly complex.
Merchant’s gameplay mechanics are split into a very condensed, straight forward version of genres that are usually complex overall. The business simulation involves your merchant creating products—armor, weaponry, clothing, and potions.
The RPG element is on display with the merchant hiring adventurers—thief, warrior, or mage—and sending them out to fight monsters or gather which will allow for you to collect resources if they survive. These resources can be sold or used to craft products in the business simulation part of the game. At level 15, you can hire advanced versions of the three starting classes.
Fighting monsters will likely result in your adventurers taking damage or maybe even end up killed, so you will definitely want to keep some of the potions you make. You can also—and should—equip your adventurers with products you craft.
All quests and products are leveled. As a merchant you advance in level for each product class and your adventurers can move on to new regions as once they hit the highest level—where they can face a region boss in a party battle.
The graphics are fun and classic 8-bit but mainly menu focused. The background is unfortunately the same renaissance faire thing over and over. The game is addictive due to quests, sales, and crafting all being timed. Things can take longer depending on how much is being crafted, the level of the product being crafted, or the difficulty of the quest.
Merchant is fun and addictive. You’ll constantly check your device when you get the notice that an action is done. It’s a game meant to be played in short bursts, but you can easily get distracted from whatever you’re doing to assign tasks.
All of that said, Merchant is very repetitive. While the game isn’t meant to be complex anyway, it could have some more things to do—even something as minimal as more party battles. RATING: 4/5