Taipan! A game based on the China trade of the 1800’s.

Taipan was hi-reza home computer game from the early ’80s that was fun and addicting despite its lack of graphics. It invented the trading-game genre. Taipan was inspired by James Clavell’s novel “Tai-Pan“.

The original version of the game was created by Art Canfil and the Apple II version was coded by Ronald J. Berg of Mega-Micro Computers. This Android version is modeled after the popular Apple II version.

The infamous bug in the original game remains in this version.

“Taipan is a game which puts the player in the shoes of a China Trader of the 1800’s. Those were not clean shoes – they were stained with blood and opium” (1)

Download from Google Play for FREE!  Amazon is paid version but is Ad-Free!



“Taipan is meant to be a challenging game. A player may sometime find that some things which happen in the game are “unfair”.  Even making the right decisions doesn’t always work. For instance, paying Li Yuen his tribute does not guarantee that he won’t attack us without warning. Likewise, the cruel sea may cause our ship to founder, ending our budding mercantile career early” (1)


Differences between original and our version

There are some minor differences, we list them below for those who are interested:


• In our version, player can back out of game and resume play later with current game.

• In original there was no “Save Game” feature.


• Due to our version’s “Quit trading” menu, user can’t pick the current city they are in to travel to (it’s grayed out).

• In original game, trying to travel to the current city would give an error message.

• Also for the same reason (our “Quit trading” menu), player can back out of if they choose not to Quit Trading.

• Original game would force user to pick a city.


• In our version, the time interval between payments to Li Yuen will be at least 2 days.

• Original game could have as short as 1 day.


• In battle, player is allowed to “Throw All Cargo”, even if some cargo types have zero.

• In original game “Throw All Cargo (*)”,  if ANY cargo is empty, it would error.


• There was no “Options” menu or “Speed Increase” feature and of course no realistic sounds other than beeps.


• The text and images are green because we modeled it after a monochrome monitor which was popular at the time.


1. A.Canfil. Taipan – A Historical Adventure for the Apple Computer.  Appendix B, 211