Dark Nova: Space Trader for the iPhone

I spent countless hours playing Space Trader on my Handspring Visor, and don’t ask me why, but it was one of the first games I looked for when I visited the App Store. At the time, there wasn’t a single option, though I had run across a blog post somewhere saying that a port was coming. For one reason or another, I started poking around the App Store last night, and did a “power search” for Space Trader. Lo and behold, there it was. However, after a glance at the reviews, the $1.99 app got nothing but panned for not being a true port of the original. (The original game is licensed GPL, source code available on Pieter’s site.)

However, in the search results, Dark Nova showed up. Currently a free download, I grabbed a copy and damned if it isn’t exactly what an iPhone port of Space Trader should be. Even the author of the original Palm version was “truly impressed”.

For those not familiar with Space Trader, it’s quite a complex game with the goal of amassing enough money to buy a moon and retire. In addition to trading commodities (including running guns and drugs), players have the option of going rogue and playing the role of space pirate. However, running illegal cargo and pirating will bring about the wrath of the space police.

Now excuse me, I’ve got some trading to do…

Oh, and I’d love to see a screenshot of a Palm Pre running the original with the PalmOS emulator! That would be a hoot.