Another cerebral game of the management/strategy persuasion but a cut above the 'Run a Banana Republic' style of presentation. You don't get an instruction leaflet but a player's guide, which is quite a hefty tome when compared with the normal brief run-down. You really need to play along while reading the ins and outs. There are three standards of play available for four competitors with a handicap feature built in.
A bevy of pioneers are sent to exploit a distant planet with the aid of Multiple Use Labour Elements. With a starting kitty plus a small store of goods, each player attempts to develop the environment better than the others by selecting the most propitious land plots for the production of food, energy or maybe smithore. You step through several phases: claiming a plot of land; fitting out your M.U.L.E. with the most suitable equipment; wampus hunting or gambling; the actual production with the possibility of the odd acid rain storm etc to foul things up; and the most important, cagey trading section. There's Beginner, Standard and Tournament modes. As you would expect, the character with the most assets is declared pioneer of the year.
Things gradually get more complex with the introduction of fresh concepts to give the grey matter a more strenuous workout.
A complex trading game with the odd cartoon interludes, best played with a full house.