I really enjoy these fast pace tycoon games. However, I do hate it when it becomes really unbalance.
Towards the end, buyers was buying opium at a extremely low price. I was able to forge up to around 5xx tea in 3 games. Not once was i close to get 660. As i played more, i notice that i should take advantage when tea is super low (buying under the price of 20-30). However, even if i take extreme advantage of low low price, I still can forge up enough money to get enough tea in the end. Simply, the price for per tea was at 70-80$ per chest. I thought i would have enough with 22k but unfortunately, i didn't and came out short. Would love to play a longer, more balance game in the future.
Simple, pretty hard, and it nicely demonstrates two basic truths about markets: one, you cannot win this game by playing it safe (which I suspect is why we're given a maximum of two more boats than we really need- to risk forfeiting them). I tried staying completely out of risky areas. The game would have none of that. Two, in an immediate-run supply crisis, you're going to pay anything to get what you need. Near the end of the game I watched as the price of tea soared and I couldn't do anything but watch myself get fucked as I clicked the buy button as fast as possible to meet the deadline. It's an interesting balance between frustrating and addicting- lost four times, felt compelled to finish it.
It also has a nice bit of education in it, fun historical simulator. That's not something many games in general bring to the table. Didn't tell me anything I didn't know yet but that's okay.
On a final note, I managed to get over twice as many people hooked as during the actual opium wars. Should I feel proud of myself? Kinda conflicted there.
It's pretty fun, beat it in my second run. If you are having trouble winning, try buying as much tea as possible early on, because at the end it will bankrupt you (which I think kind of defeats the whole purpose of buy/trading). but a fun game overall.
Lots of fun, buuuuuut...
Could you find it in your heart to give the option to sell your boats? There is no earthly reason I should need 5 at any time in the game... I have at most 3 in use at any given time. Being able to get even one emergency $1000 injection of capital in the last ten seconds of the game would have gotten me through...