Space Trader now available for the iPhone as "Dark Nova"

I have received many emails in the past of people asking whether an iPhone version of Space Trader would be released. Some people asked whether I would have objections to them converting the game to the iPhone. Naturally, since the game is released under the GPL, I have no objections at all.

I have seen several Space Trader clones for the iPhone, usually quite bad clones, and often only available after shelling out a sizeable amount of cash. However, Dead Jim Studios have ported the game to the iPhone, greatly expanded it, renamed it to "Dark Nova", and have now released it for free! I have not played the final release yet, but they provided me with a version of the game that was in an advanced stage, and I was truly impressed.

On their website, they describe the game as follows: "Dark Nova is the highly anticipated conversion of the classic Palm Pilot game “Space Trader” for the iPhone. A complete and total graphical overhaul and game flow/design update, Dark Nova will be one of the best-loved iPhone games to come along for the platform. Visually stunning graphics, a luscious soundtrack, and an unbeatable auto-saving mechanism make this the game we’ve all been waiting for. Be the first space cadet on the block to get it."

Go to the AppStore, and search for "Dark Nova": it will turn up. I am eagerly awaiting its appearance in the Top 100.

Space Trader for other platforms

Jon Welch released Space Trader for Pocket PC!. Jay French released Space Trader for Windows! Thanks, Jon and Jay!

Space Trader

Space Trader is a strategy game for the PalmPilot. It is inspired by David J. Webb's PalmPilot game SolarWars (which in its turn is based on Matt Lee's game DopeWars) and the 80's classic 3D strategy game Elite (though it does not have Elite's 3D flight mode). The game is available as freeware under a GNU General Public License from this site.


Some people have requested if they can support future releases of Space Trader, a sequel game, or other software projects with a small cash donation. You now can do that through PayPal, with a donation to p.spronck -at- (add the @-sign in the correct place, please). If you don't already have a PayPal account, click on this logo:


Space Trader is a complex game, in which the player's aim is to amass enough money to be able to buy a moon to retire to. The player starts out with a small space ship, armed with one simple laser, and 1000 credits in cash. The safest and easiest way to earn money is to trade goods between neighbouring solar systems. If the player chooses the goods to trade wisely, it isn't too difficult to sell them with a profit. There are other ways to get rich, though. You might become a bounty hunter and hunt down pirates. It is also possible to become a pirate yourself and rob honest traders of their cargo. Beware, though: pirating is a way to get rich quickly, but the police force will go after you.


Some of the features of Space Trader are: