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This history-based strategy game was our first game ever created!
In this game, you will play as one of eight characters in an attempt to complete routes and dominate the Silk Road. Gather goods along your route to sell at your destination. Test your luck to see if you will be blessed or cursed in your travels and sabotage other players along your way. If you can stay alive you may be deemed the best merchant on the Silk Road.
The Silk Road was more than one road. It was a series of trade routes that connected the east (China, Southeast Asia, India, etc.) to the west (Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, etc.). These routes were a large network of trading posts, cities, and roads that allowed caravans and traders to exchange goods over a long distance before widespread shipping between the early 2nd century B.C. and the 13th century A.D.
image source: Good Bidd Games, LLC
Routes may have been built as early as 400B.C. by the Persians in the Achaemenid Empire. These early routes connected Mesopotamia to what is now India, and Egypt and were known as the Royal Road under Darius I. As empires grew under the direction of leaders such as Alexander the Great in Macedonia and Han Emperor Wu in China, more roads were added to ultimately connect east to west.
Although many trade routes existed before the Silk Road, the official Silk Road opened for trade in 130 B.C. under the Han Dynasty. As more routes were added and more goods were sold, the Silk Road continued to grow. The Silk Road peaked in the 8th century A.D. and continued to thrive until politics banned trade between the Ottoman empire and China and more efficient over-sea shipping routes replaced much of the overland trade between the east and west in the 13th century A.D.
image source: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/big-history-project/expansion-interconnection/commerce-collective-learning/a/the-first-silk-roads
While the “Silk Road” is a short-hand way to reference one good traded across this ancient collection of routes, traded goods also included livestock, grains, fruits, vegetables, tools, artwork, raw and finished goods, spices, materials, metals, and more. Trade between the east and west benefited many great civilizations across Asia, Europe, and Northern Africa, but perhaps the greatest trade on the Silk Road was in the intangible trade of ideas, language, religion, culture, innovation, science, and philosophies from civilization to civilization.
image source: https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/silk-roads
Perhaps one of the most famous supposed travelers on the Silk Road was the merchant Marco Polo. In 1300 A.D., a book was published outlining Marco Polo's travels through Asia between 1271 and 1295. Among many tall tales, and beautiful accounts of his experiences at the court of Kublai Khan are some fun details about life on the Silk Road from one man's perspective.
image source: https://www.history.com/topics/exploration/marco-polo
If you are interested in learning more about the Silk Road, check out the following sources: