In 2008, Dmitry Zheltobriukhov's Caravaneer became a smash hit, putting you in the shoes of a traveling caravan owner in a post-apocalyptic world in the form of an RPG-style sim. Surprise surprise, seven years later we've been graced with Caravaneer 2, and it's even bigger and badder than the original. This time, you play someone who's grown up in an underground VaultER AH I MEAN bunker (totally different), who has been undergoing training to be a scout to the outside world. Your mentor, Olaf, vanished while you were gone on your last training mission, and you've been told you're to go out and bring him back... using physical force if necessary. Outside in the harsh, dangerous real world, you quickly discover that money talks, and to make it, you'll need to buy low and sell high as you travel from place to place, managing your inventory, supplies, and more. Caravaneer 2 places a huge emphasis on its enconomy and your trading, and combined with the huge amount of micromanagement, might be too slow or intimidating for some, but just as many will dive right in to the deep, thoughtful gameplay.
The tutorial will walk you through the finer points, but most of Caravaneer 2 is played with the mouse. Locations are displayed as maps, with various icons representing different people and places, and clicking on one will take you there. You'll spend a lot of time traveling from place to place on the overworld map, which means you'll need to make sure you always have vital supplies like water, food, and more, and also puts you at risk of attack. Battles are turn-based, with characters performing actions one after the other, and the distance you can move/attack you can make depends on how many Action Points (AP) you have. In the beginning, it's just you against the world, but if you have the cash you'll soon be able to hire people to help you out. More than combat, however, Caravaneer 2 is, as the title implies, about buying and selling. Different places sell different goods at various prices, and as you travel to others, your goal is always to sell what you've got for a higher price than you paid for it. Don't have enough money? Items themselves have value, so go ahead and pile a bunch of beans and other junk on your offer until you can afford whatever you're trying to buy. Make sure you keep track of who sells and buys what for how much by checking your log frequently as you travel.
While Caravaneer 2 is obviously similar to the original in a lot of ways, right off the bat you'll notice it's also been significantly fleshed out. The character creation allows for a ton of customisation as far as your character's appearance goes, for example, and the tutorial is now (optionally) integrated into the game itself instead of only being accessible separately through the main menu. You're still going to get walloped in the face with text whenever the game tries to explain something, which can be intimidating to newcomers. Somewhat less welcome are the way inventory/caravan management menus feel more unintuitive and clunky, but the travel interface now allows you to simply plot your route by dragging a line and travel it automatically from the same menu. The dialogue is still a little stiff, with characters talking about needing to "explain you the details", but the story is a lot more ambitious this time around as well. If you've played Fallout 3, a lot of it is going to sound very familiar, but there's clearly been a massive amount of thought given to worldbuilding this time around that makes the narrative feel more engaging. Clearly, Caravaneer 2 has had an enormous amount of work put into polishing it up from virtually every aspect, to say nothing of the significant visual upgrade... though what's up with the near-complete silence broken only by the comparatively raucous drumbeat on the overland map?
Caravaneer 2, like its predecessor, is not a game for people who demand a lot of action, instead catering to players who prefer slow, thoughtful gameplay. Caravan management is, as you'd expect, a massive part of the game, which means you'll spend a lot of time comparing prices, taking care of livestock, outfitting your hired help... if you love micromanagement it's a dream come true, but with all the menus, sub-menus, statistics, items, industries, and the economy to keep track of, it's also very slow. The end result is a game that may need a bit of patience to gain momentum in the beginning, but has a remarkable amount of depth that can keep you busy for a long, long time.