I’ll be honest, I have a weakness for games with a management system, and an even bigger weakness for games that center on the management system. Games such as Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley just give you this satisfying sense of progression as you make your in-game business more and more efficient. Merchant of the Skies is another management game that recently came across my field of Indie Games and it seems to be a hidden gem of management games that I recommend to anyone who enjoys the sight of progression as I do.
The premise of the game is very simple, you are placed within a world of floating islands and towns as a traveling merchant with a flying ship. You gain most of your money from the age old system of buying resources low in one place and selling them high in another. You can also take on small guild quests which typically involve traveling to specific towns and possibly bring them a certain amount of resources. The drawback to this is that quests get exponentially more difficult the more of them you take on.
One of the great upsides to this game is the exploration factor. Your map only fills out as you move about it, giving similar sense to The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. Several islands you can come across have towns while others have resources that you can harvest. Mid-game you can spend money and resources and hire workers to mine resources from these islands for you over time and even have those workers combine resources into new resources. By end game you can automate a fleet of ships to move, sell, and buy resources for you.
Several other islands that are scattered about may have miscellaneous quests to advance the story, unlock new buildings, and get you closer to beating the main game. After which there are several customizable modes in which you start from the beginning and set victory conditions for yourself such as a certain amount of available money or a certain amount for rare resources.
Very quickly the game can make time fly by as you go from just one more objective to do to another, etc. It’s a very rewarding game with a decent amount of replayability that I highly recommend to any management aficionado. If you have any thoughts on this game or what you’d recommend for next week’s spotlight leave us a comment below!