Medieval Trader Simulator is a very slow, foot-paced hauling and trading simulator set in a medieval time period. The world is quite small, the player is not allowed to venture outside of an invisible boundary. Nothing much happens in this land. Everyone looks the same: Stout cross-eyed men that look like they are on a bad acid trip. The player is a hard-working trader that must get up every morning, take a dump (yes, this is a thing in the game), take a bath, and take a walk. There is no running in this land and time flies by quickly; the trader’s 100-yard walk to his shop will see an hour pass by (about 30 seconds of real time).
If the game crashed, which happens frequently by the way, the trader will restart the game from his home always at 7am sharp. It doesn’t matter where or when the game crashed, a load from a save always puts the player back in the trader’s home at 7am. If the trader had anything loaded on the cart, since the last save, it will be on the cart waiting at the shop to be unloaded. Get used to that cart, as hauling it back and forth across the map at a foot march pace is 50% of the game. Another 20% is searching other trader’s wares for good deals and 20% is restocking the tables and shelves to sell to the locals. The final 10% is the trader’s time to take care of the essentials, eating, sleeping, etc. This makes up the bulk of the game.
The world of MTS is surprisingly detailed. The roads, trees, grass, weeds, and rocks have a realistic look. The buildings and furniture look like they could be medieval, although many appeared to have glass windows and that’s probably not very medieval for a rural setting. The lighting seems to be skewed to the too bright direction; it feels like daylight is twice as bright as it should be; night is like a cloudy day. All this comes at a cost, a pretty powerful GPU is required to run at max settings. The sound is a mixed bag, the sound of the cart being dragged along sounds more like a heavy object being dragged on concrete, and it becomes annoying quickly. The sounds of birds chirping feels like the right atmosphere when walking through a wooded area. Mostly the sounds are flat or there is little sound at all.
Overall, this is a shell of a game. The game loop is: Get up, walk the cart to market, load cart with boxes of goods, go back to the shop, unload and stock shelves, collect money, go home and start a new day. There is a book the trader keeps that contains a list of ‘complaints’, meaning a list of items that the shoppers want and can’t find. Not having items in the shop that are wanted causes the shop rating to fall. If the shop rating is not at 50% the trader cannot buy weapons to sell. Getting the shop rating to 50% is merely a matter of time, maybe 10 game days (3 or 4 hours real time). This is the end game? Selling weapons at a large profit? There is nothing to do after that. No thieves to ward off, no guards to hire, no bandits on the road, etc. The trader will have a huge pile of coins to do nothing with. MTS is too lifeless and feels pointless after a few hours. It has an over-detailed landscape with wooden men shuffling about randomly; perhaps the developers should have spent less time on that, and more time on creating things for the player to do and contend with. MTS feel more like an early access demo than a game, not recommended in its current state.