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It might be quite a specialist little game, but Vermeer is actually quite an enjoyable little excursion into a world not often seen in gaming. It's an art trading simulator and should appeal to a similar sort of crowd to the likes of The Patrician and Hanse, so if you count yourself among this number, then you should get some enjoyment out of this. The game takes the idea that a well known art collection has been stolen and as one of the original owner's four nephews, it's your job to go out in the world and get all the paintings back. The game itself is a sort of board game, which is split into turns and which ends when your uncle dies. The idea is that the art is being sold off at auctions around the world, so you need to travel to them in order to buy them back. Travelling and buying them costs money though, so you need to open plantations growing cocoa, coffee and tea and then trade in these goods in order to amass enough cash, while you can also get more by gambling on horse races. You can also get extra art skills by taking courses, so you can tell the difference between real ones and fakes, and there's even the chance to hire thieves to steal a painting from your rivals. Vermeer isn't going to be for everyone but if you like strategy or board games and consider yourself an art fan, then this is going to be of interest. It's simple enough to pick up but due to the requirement for planning and careful thinking, it provides enough depth to keep you going for some time, making it a good choice for a wet Sunday.
The Girl with a Pearl Earring and the trading game!
The late 80s were a weird but very productive time for games. Many productions tried new grounds and in a sense it was an easier period to come up with incredibly original concepts. This is the case with Vermeer, a game named after the Dutch painter. But, before we go any further, let's take a look at the background in which this game sets its trading main gameplay. We are brought back in the Germany of 1918, the 1st World War and we play the role of Vermeer Vico, a relative of Vermeer the painter, who's hunting down for his uncle paintings. The purpose of finding these paintings is to get an inheritance but, with a limited budget, you will have to step it up with trading to produce the money you are in need of. Trading in consumer goods is going to be the gist of the game, coffee, tobacco, tea, etc. You will have to set up plantations, play the lottery for instant wins, and try to manage your affairs in such as way as to get rich as quick as possible. The more money you get, the more paintings you will be able to get back, and the fact that you can view them is an added bonus to the game. Overall, a weird and unique game, with a unique premise that will enchant gamers that look for different experiences or trade games. Don't worry if you don't understand what this game entails from the presentation, if you've ever played a trade game, such as Patrician from Ascaron, you will know what to do: buy cheap and sell high.