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Smugglers 1

title:Smugglers 1
download page:No link!
genre:Strategy Games
developer:Nielsbauer games
features:text, sound, visuals
last edit by:Dark


Smugglers 1 is obviously the first title in the well known space stratogy trading and turn based combat Smugglers series. Originally released in 2000, a revamped edition of the game has been produced in 2011 as part of the "We love Smugglers bundle" and now comes packaged along with Smugglers 3, Smugglers 4 and the unfortunately inaccessible Smugglers 2.

Smugglers 1 is where everything started, and odds are if your buying the Smugglers bundle you'll have already played one or other later offerings of the series so be familiar with the basic formula of the game, flying from planet to planet trading goods, occasionally participating in turn based space battles, and using money to upgrade your ship.

Smugglers 1 however has distinctly more to offer than just historical curiosity.

The first fact that will be obvious about the game, is that instead of taking place in 25 or more star systems with multiple planets among several warring factions, the game has only six planets and a pirate outpost to trade between. this means there is far less information to consider when looking at the prices of various goods. Equally however, it wouldn't be Smugglers if there wasn't a war going on, and the first game is no exception, however rather than choosing a faction at the start of the game, in Smugglers 1 you can become part of the military of a given planet which may at any time be an ally or an enemy of the planet your working for, and of course you cannot land on or trade with hostile planets, though with a tough enough ship you might be able to attack them directly.

Alternatively of course, you can attack trader vessels and try to make it as a pirate yourself, selling your ill gotten ganes at the pirate outpost, or try smuggling illegal goods though should you be court by a planet's military you might find yourself in a tough battle. .

Combat is turn based, however though there are no special abilities or missiles and only 10 different sorts of ship to encounter there are some special items to use to make life interesting, both one use items such as battle robots or a computer virus that have the chance of damaging or destroying the enemy ship, and more usual booster items such as armor or missiles which increase your ship's defensive or offensive capabilities. Also note that though the option to flee is open to you, you might have to drop your cargo in space in order to get away.

The game's interface should be easy to navigate with most screen readers sinse, as an early windows program who's recent version has had little change, most of the game is made up of standard buttons and controls. The only thing to take note of is that the tutorial window which comes up every game can cover up parts of the screen and become problematic, so it's recommended before starting a game on the "enter name" screen to use ctrl tab, Nvda+np7 or whatever your screen reader's switch window key is and hit "close" to get rid of the tutorial (None of the information it gives is essential anyway sinse it can all be found in the manual).

After this is done everything should be fairly streight forward. The various buttons on the name screen such as "shipright", "trading post" and "STarport launch" all open their respective windows, and trading is as simple as selecting the good you want to buy in the left listbox and hitting "buy" or selecting what you want to sell in the right listbox and hitting "Sell all" (though you can equally just click on the goods with your screen reader's virtual curser as well).

Travelling is simply a matter of clicking on a planet, then clicking on the "Travel to planet" button. Also note the "Sector information" screen which can be accessed either from the trading post or travel screens which lists in columns the various planets and notes their shortages or surpluses of various goods (you can toggle display of price tables). How well your screen reader displays this screne will likely depend upon ability to read in columns, however also note that clicking on each of the planets on the travel screen will also give you the shortage/surplus information for that planet.

Smugglers 1 is a far more casual game than any of it's later offerings, with far less information (both in terms of screen display and in terms of trading prices and goods), to consider, plus it can be played at varying turn legnths and difficulties as well and thus is a rather different experience to any of the longer, more complex entries in the series.

The game is not available as a stand alone title, but can be bought as part of the We love Smugglers Bundle together with the two other accessible Smugglers titles for either 14 usd stand alone, or just 4 usd when purchiced along side Smugglers 5 Secession, or Smugglers 5 invasion

Happy smuggling.


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Updates: entry 2 Feb 22 and description 2 Feb 22

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