TransOcean Making Port Soon
One of the earliest memories of post-Granny’s Garden edutainment that I can recall was a handful of strange simulators on ancient BBC Micro or Acorn computers, nestled in the corner of my primary school classroom. The company behind these markedly inspired pieces of digital learning was Jacaranda Software, and I blame them from the bottom of my withered heart for seeding the love I now have for this subset of the strategy sphere. Two in particular come to mind; Terra Australis: Voyages of Trade and Discovery, and The Tycoon Itch. The former, Elite by way of the East India Company, and the latter, the reason I’m so excited for TransOcean: The Shipping Company
The Tycoon Itch was a modern shipping trader sim, whereby a plucky young player would ply his or her freighter around the world, playing the market and hauling cargo. Buy low, sell high. The staple and spine of any trading sim. TransOcean appears to be tapping into this same idea, with more hands-on mechanics pertaining to piloting ships across 20 classes, visiting 55 distinct ports and letting our inner Onassis run free.
How deep these mechanics run is yet to be truly seen, however developer Deck 13 Hamburg have been touting a rather intriguing online feature, whereby multiple players can operate as competition within a fluctuating commodity market. I do like the notion, especially when coupled with the grand romance of becoming your own magnate.
With extra elements like smuggling, maintenance, port restrictions, world and regional events, TransOcean sounds like it might be one of 2014’s most interesting strategy titles. It launches – pun absolutely intended – soon.