★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.
App description: The year is 2510. Time of exploration and colonisation of new planets, bringing chance for new life for many people.

Humanity entered the second half of the millennium with hope to end long-lasting conflict between federal Army of Seven Stars and pirates of Black Flags fraction. In the last decades both sides suffered terrible losses in mutual fights and now the Black Flags members are scattered in the outer parts of the galaxy.

We will yet lose many lives, colonies and planets before the war will be over. Join the heroes of Army of Seven Stars and become a respected legend among your peers.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Space Merchants: Arena is an online multiplayer game where futuristic spaceships engage in intense dogfights or tactical play. After each battle you gain experience (to increase your skills and stats) and money (to buy and upgrade your ships and equipment). You can play against opponents on the same mobile platform as yours (Platform arena) or against players on all platforms (Global arena). Best players are shown in leaderboards and their glory persists to the end of days (obviously ;-)).

[Game modes]

1) Battle - Free for all, 2-8 players, kill and avoid to be killed.

2) Team Battle - Blue vs Red team, 1 vs 1 to 4 vs 4.
- Faarlands map - Teams gain points just for killing opponents.
- Tristar map - There is a central "mining" place where your team can gain a point for each 15 seconds you survive there.
- Jupiter map - Capture the Artefact mode, steal your opponents' artefact and deliver it to your base.

3) Training - Training arena, you vs AI player (bot). Experience and money gains are lower than in normal play against human opponents.

[Switch Arena button]
Hangar 17 (Platform arena) is for playing against players on the same mobile platform as yours.
Hangar 32 (Global arena) is for crossplatform play.

[Bonuses]
Red bonus adds temporary damage (till the end of the battle).
Green bonus repairs your armor.
Blue bonus adds experience.
Yellow bonus adds money.

[Ship's Artificial Intelligence Skills]
Each skill increases automatically when used. E.g. when aiming at your enemy your Accuracy skill increases, when collecting bonuses your bonus gain effect increases.

[Special techniques]
Turrets in game maps can be hacked using Turrets communicator tool obtainable from the shop. Hacked turrets will fight for you and destroy your opponents.
You can also hack you enemy using Hacker Tools. If the hack is successful (depends on your enemy's AI Firewall skill) he will lose control of movement and firing.

[Achievements (23 total)]
For everything you do in game you gain points to your achievements table. There is also special everyday reward (experience and money) when you start the game.

[Reward points (RP)]
For Team Battle victory each player of the winning team receives one Reward Point. Additional Reward Points are given to Best player (most kills) and Best assistant (most assists).
Player can exchange Reward Points for special rewards such as Upgrade Tools (see below).

[Items Upgrading]
You can use Upgrade Tools to improve your existing weapon, shield or armor.

[Export/Import function]
This function enables you to move your game profile from your device to other device or even different platform.
Export will save your current game profile on our server and wipe it completely on this device. You will receive your secure PIN for import operation.
Import will load your game profile from our server and overwrite your current profile on this device.
This is one-time operation, can not be performed second time.

[Languages]
You can choose your preferred language using Main menu, Settings, Languages. We are working on adding more languages in upcoming updates.

On smaller phones you can increase your GUI size using Main menu, Settings, Bigger game GUI.

Despo's comments:
Dear friends,
we would like to show you our cross-platform online multiplayer game Space Merchants: Arena which has just been released to app stores.
Requires iOS 8.0 or later.
Features
- Players in futuristic spaceships engage in intense dogfights or tactical play.
- No in-apps, no pay2win, just pure player skill!
- 3 maps, 3 game modes (more in the upcoming update).
- Cross-platform arena (iOS vs Android vs Mac vs WebGL vs... upcoming Steam).







iOS App Store - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/space-merchants-arena/id1153305312
Mac App Store - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/space-merchants-arena/id1153317498
Video: https://youtu.be/mEj5-skRmf8


Thank you for your time!

All the best
Roman Nepsinsky
PLAYITO.com

10-10-2016, 01:08 PM
#2
Joined: May 2014
Location: Uk
Posts: 434
Try to play felt like the controls are all messed up, the graphics are great just couldn't swipe the joystick to the right

10-10-2016, 01:42 PM
#3
Junior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Nov 2013
Location: Czech Republic (Olomouc), Slovakia (Cadca)
Posts: 14
@Jamesrooney2: If you are playing on an iPhone, have you tried going to Settings/Graphics and checking Bigger game GUI? Let us know (along with iPhone and OS version), thank you in advance!
10-10-2016, 03:15 PM
#4
Hi folks, I took the first code for the mac. And here’s my impressions so far: They really need to fix the controls.
Sorry for the long post, there's a tl;dr at the bottom if you want to skip.

Controls
======
It seems that a joystick is mandatory in order to play. As dumb as it sounds, I used to enjoy flight-sims on keyboard and mouse, so joystick? Don’t have.

For now I can’t control the ship in any way except adjusting its speed and (painfully) dragging my mouse around to make the ship slowly turn.

Attempts to change the keys results in nothing as the game completely ignores these changes and I’m stuck flying into buildings and slowly chasing round the people shooting at me.

Gameplay mechanics
=======
The game’s light rpg mechanic give you points in ‘accuracy’ for every shot that hits.
Doesn’t seem to make me any better in the match and there’s no indication whether these skill points persist between matches.

Each match places you near some space stations with gun placements on them. Currently these do nothing though if you shoot them you can train up your skill points.
The game description says I could later hack turrets, but I’ve yet to unlock this skill and have yet to see anyone use the turrets in this way, (most people flat out ignore them).

Each match starts with some powerups floating about. Some gave money, exp, some gave me hull points. These are indicated by really small arrows whizzing around your hud.
They’re not really obvious what they do and don’t really give you that much of an edge when collected.

The starter ship which I’ve only seen and been able to play so far is like a paper bag.
Pops after a few direct hits which makes short work out of others/me.
I think I’ve been spoiled with shields / health regen coming as standard for most action games…

The game touts cross-platform capability, but with the controls as I’ve experienced them, it doesn’t really matter. Graphics are, okay. But seriously, fix the controls and then the game will probably be better.



Oh and one more thing. A quick search online nets me a website that allow me to play the exact same game. The controls listed as only; speed up, speed down, fire, weapons 1, 2, 3, and esc for menu. These are the only controls that work on the mac app too.

tl;dr
===
The controls really screw the playability of this game.
Gameplay seems rather mediocre and slow.
Not many people playing (when I was on).
Did not enjoy the game. ( Though this might only be my opinion).
Web version appears to offer a similar experience as on the mac, only free.
=

What do the people playing the iOS version think?
Has anyone tried the mac version yet?

Last edited by merrickal; 10-10-2016 at 03:16 PM. Reason: Apologies and tldr
10-10-2016, 03:20 PM
#5
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 7
Heyo, I took the fourth Mac code. I'll give my feedback shortly.
--------------
Ok, here goes:

+Very nice graphics
+A nice fun start
+Fast skill progression

-Lacks a tutorial (the bot just isn't enough)
-No integrated controls change in the app, which would allow me to change keys as necessary while I play
-Movement is a little jumpy, maybe add a setting to allow people to desensitize movement controls?
-Progression financially seems waaaaaay too slow to access new tools/weapons. I'd have to play a long time just to get the second worst primary weapon. I'd honestly make it about as often as skill progression.
-Ramming seems a little buggy, frame collision seems a bit off. Sometimes I manage to ram into ships, sometimes not. (I learned to ram from you, Despo lol)

I'd honestly drop the cost by a dollar or two until you flesh out the bugs and balance it a bit more.

Last edited by hyperthyme; 10-10-2016 at 03:58 PM.
10-10-2016, 03:45 PM
#6
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 1,329
Would like to have tried this on my ip7+ but all codes are gone.
Is it more a action, space game? I was thinking it was like an elite game with online play
10-10-2016, 10:04 PM
#7
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 367
Does the game really look as bad as the screenshots suggest? It seems like iPhone 3G resolution.
10-11-2016, 07:08 AM
#8
Junior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Nov 2013
Location: Czech Republic (Olomouc), Slovakia (Cadca)
Posts: 14
Thank you guys for your testing and valuable comments, we really appreciate it!

@merrickal:
- About controls
The game is meant to be controllable by keyboard+mouse, maybe it's a matter of mouse sensitivity? (Although we were adjusting it for default sensitivity even on Macbook touchpad) Another thing is game mechanic where ship's rotation ability is limited by current speed. You can rotate the ship quite easily when stopped but it gradually stiffens with increasing speed. Can you please try it once again with your ship stopped first? Customizable keyboard+gamepad settings will be in the upcoming update before we hit Steam release.

- RPG (AI skills)
Each skill is leveling with usage, e.g. when you successfully hit opponent, you gain point. For every 10 points you gain another level (but in level 2 you need to hit opponent twice to get one point). Each skill level presents advantage in % to attack and defense (dodge) success etc. Current skill levels can be observed in Hangar under AI Skills button.

- Powerups
It's quite important to collect them. Fot example red increases your damage temporarily, which can play significant role in your battle success. Also collecting bonuses will increase particular skill for bonus "mining", at higher level you will get bigger effect from the bonus (damage, money, experience, hull repair...)

- Shields
We have them! Slot for shields unlocks at rank 3. Shields are regenerating slowly during battle or you can regenerate them manually using button.

- Players
We are still waiting for some reviews so the player base is not very big. Thatswhy there is also ad-supported WebGL version at the moment (in Hangar you can click on Switch arena button to be able to compete with all platforms), it was also handy to finetune network code which should be quite solid right now. This WebGL version won't get further updates though (App Store and Steam version have upcoming update with Outpost building etc.)

@Hyperthyme:
- We aimed to create self-explanatory "natural" game where you discover the mechanics by playing. Many of the game mechanics were finetuned to this state according to players feedback (there were tens of thousands of plays on WebGL web, just one comment about confusing main menu... )
- One of the best ways to earn money quickly is by collecting yellow bonuses. I have now rank 2 equipped ship with 4000 money. I can sell my current weapon and buy a new one.
10-11-2016, 02:47 PM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodangel View Post
Would like to have tried this on my ip7+ but all codes are gone.
Is it more a action, space game? I was thinking it was like an elite game with online play
It's more of an arcade game where you're placed in a room with other people and the sole aim is to blast more of them than they blast you within the time limit.
10-11-2016, 03:34 PM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Despo View Post
Thank you guys for your testing and valuable comments, we really appreciate it!

"@merrickal:
- About controls
The game is meant to be controllable by keyboard+mouse, maybe it's a matter of mouse sensitivity?"
[...]
- Powerups
It's quite important to collect them. [...] Also collecting bonuses will increase particular skill for bonus "mining", at higher level you will get bigger effect from the bonus (damage, money, experience, hull repair...)

- Shields
We have them! [...]

- Players
We are still waiting for some reviews so the player base is not very big. Thatswhy there is also ad-supported WebGL version at the moment (in Hangar you can click on Switch arena button to be able to compete with all platforms)...

@Hyperthyme
- We aimed to create self-explanatory "natural" game where you discover the mechanics by playing. [...]
- One of the best ways to earn money quickly is by collecting yellow bonuses. I have now rank 2 equipped ship with 4000 money. I can sell my current weapon and buy a new one.
Thanks for replying, I've tried to play some more this evening. Here are some more thoughts.

= Controls =
It's still an issue for me. Though I've tried it again and I'm getting the hang of the ships low-turn speeds.
I'd like the option to play using the keyboard only too. As the mouse's only purpose is to drag far enough past the hud to make the ship move, I feel like I could do it with the keyboard alone.

Though yes, the mouse is also used to fire weaponry but the aim reticule is not dependent upon the mouse's location on the screen, I only need to set my centre sights onto a ship and wait for the aim assistant to lead the shots.

(It's odd that you say it's for mouse and keyboard only when the input's list of controls mention joystick axises and stuff).

= Controls - turning =
Oh and yes I can turn. It's not that the ship only flies in one direction, it can turn.
What I'm talking about are barrel rolls, where I can visibly see my ship do a half spin to avoid the odd protrusions from those space stations. Can't do them yet.

= Powerups =
I guess if you're low on health (and no one has found the health box yet), it could save your hide. But either they're few and far between or sometimes I see two right next to each other. It might be better if the random generation of the powerups' location are spaced out so they don't clump together..

Shields: it's good to know that shields are available, though much like @HyperThyme, all the weapons and items of this sort seems out of reach to me. While it certainly balances the game because people have to work hard to get better gear, but it makes me feel like I'm going to have to grind long and hard before I'll get anything.

Additional note: There haven't been enough people on the mac for me to play test against so I often play on the multiplatform arena.
It's not a problem for me, though I fear the controls may hamper other platforms' performance in the game.
I only hope people on iOS aren't having too much trouble flying around.