I just happened to run into an old review of mine:
The rest ist basic trading - buy low, sell high. Try to trade with the most expensive goods as fast as you can. Yes, that's opium - we're in east asia in the 1860s, remember? If you see opium for a low price in Hong Kong buy as much as you can - fill up your warehouse and hope that the prices will rise (and they will) - then sell and soon you'll be filthy rich.
However there are also dangers on your way up to fame and fortune - Li Yuen will ask you to pay for his pirates not attacking you - while in the beginning he won't ask much once you got a few millions in your purse his greed will increase. If you don't pay you can count on him sending out a larger fleet to convince you that it's wiser to pay. Of course you can play the tough guy and refuse to pay - the largest fleet I encountered so far consisted of 36 ships which I was lucky enough to defeat with a single percent of my ship's status being left after the battle. Still - the repair had cost me about 10% of what Li Yuen asked of me before. I have to add though, that I also lost my ship to a fleet of that size before - don't count on winning!
The game is not THAT hard, but got a nice atmosphere and its concept is easy enough to understand to have fun very fast and you'll see how much of a capitalist you are when you just can't get enough. My first gaming session got me up to about 150 millions - there's this certain addiction just making you want to increase your wealth a bit more to see if you can make it to the next higher title (I was “Master Taipan” at 150 millions - and that's not the highest).
To make it short - this game's a must. The programmer of this game offered it to me personally and I have to say I'm happy I found it. True gem.
At first I just wanted to use this review and be done with it. Then I thought nah... That sounds strange. THIS game is supposed to be a “true gem”? Doesn't look like it. So I did what I have to do: I tried it again. The game's interface - as you can see - is minimalistic. And so are the options... Playing the game is intuitive - you don't really need explanations.
What should I say? The game is simplistic, but indeed has a certain addictiveness. It manages to catch the original idea and feeling and add just a little comfort in handling. In fact the game is so good that I found it hard to decide whether to give it a 4 or a 5. In the end I decided for a 5 - the only point putting me off was the lack of serious graphics. But if there would have been such graphics the game wouldn't be true to its origin anymore. The classic Taipan didn't have anymore graphics either.