Last night when we were waiting for our supper being served, the four of us gave Trader a go. So this review is about the excellent first impression I have, although -to be honest- I have to admit that we just tried it as a 4player game.
The game is all about buying and selling actions on stock markets. 5 stock markets are placed on the table and under it (in columns) 30 actions in 5 different colours, all with a value from 1 to 6 are distributed ad random. Every player starts with 15 euro in hand and only one joker per team. In a 4player game, opposite players form a team and the goal is to collect the highest amount of money per team, so no individualists
On his turn a player can either
buy an action (the lowest (in position, not in value) in every column, so normally there are 5 possible actions to buy) paying the price equal to the value on the action and putting it open in front of him on the table
sell 2 actions, i.e. one action in front of him and 1 action in front of his team player. It is important that both actions have to be in the same colour. The money earned equals the product of both values (e.g. selling a red 5 in front of you and a red 4 in front of your teamplayer earns you 5*4=20 euro). Only once in the game you can decide to sell any action with the joker (value of 2) (e.g. you have a purple 4 and want to sell it in combination with the joker, so you earn 4*2(joker)=8 euro).
It is also important that the player who sells 2 actions, keep all the money for himself and does not share anything with his partner.
The game ends as soon as 3 stock markets are exhausted and the team with the highest amount of money wins.
Design and Materials
This is just a small card game that comes in a nice tin box. The cards are long and small (very rectangular) but plastic-coated (handy to play in the pub) and brightly coloured, so even I as a colourblind could see the difference
This game is wonderful for everyone who wants to always have a nice quick and light game in his pocket. For the tin box and for the plastic-coated cards: (yes, that's a double )
Rules and Explanation
The rules are quite easy, the explanation time needed is incredibly short, especially for such a nice and tactical game. In less than 5 minutes you can play, so obviously
I have to admit that I am no good at all at stock market games, but I just love them (Hab & Gut for instance). So, for the first go, I made some mistakes definitely giving too good opportunities to the other team, but who cares. The game just was fun, trying to count and to remember how much money every player had, who could still buy or who had to sell already. Always nervously and intensely looking for opportunities, aware and scared not to give the other team a way too good opportunity to sell (or buy). So, I think you got the message, this game is just a wonderful great game in just a pretty small box and probably I have to be glad it was not my copy, otherwise I think I was a desperate addict already. This game just has everything a game needs to have. It is a lovely filler, but I think people can definitely play it a whole night through.
This is a very very big
My General Conclusion
If it still needs to be said: this is just a wonderful game. Concerning the size of the box and the depth of the game, I think everyone should have a copy or at least give it a try.
The strenghts are definitely the teamplay, the short explanation time and the replayability.
Weaknesses, I don't think there are any, although some of you might say that it's too abstract, it's just a card game or they do not like teamplay. No problem at all. But for your interest, I rate it a 9 (to be updated after several games )
It is a pleasure to read this comment.
The 4 player rule was invented by Cyril Demaegd from Ystari and his development team. Thanks to them.
Matthieu (from Cocktailgames)
This game totally took me by surprise last night. I didn't really remember it from teh Essen preview, and was not expecting much of anything. But we played the partnership game, and I was totally won over. Fast, fun, full of grueling decisions! Bravo to the teams at Ystari and Cocktail games. Now, if we can only get some in the US.