There's hustle and bustle at Istanbul's grand bazaar as merchants and their assistants rush through the narrow alleys in their attempt to be more successful than their competitors. Everything must be well organized: wheelbarrows must be filled with goods at the warehouses, then swiftly transported by the assistants to various destinations. Your goal? Be the first merchant to collect a certain number of rubies.
In Istanbul, you lead a group of one merchant and four assistants through 16 locations in the bazaar.
To take a part in this crazy mercantile system, players have to move their merchants along with a trusty assistant to a location, then leave the assistant behind (to handle all of the details that the merchant just can't be bothered with. They're more of a big picture sort). To use that assistant again later, the merchant must travel back to that location to pick them up.
Choose carefully. If you don't have any assistants left, you are unable to do anything (the backbone of this industry, truly).
Possible actions with these assistants include:
- Paying to increase your wheelbarrow capacity, which starts the game with a capacity of only two for each good.
- Filling your wheelbarrow with a specified good to its limit.
- Acquiring a special ability, and the earlier you come, the easier they are to collect.
- Buying rubies or trading goods for rubies.
- Selling special combinations of goods to make the money you need to do everything else.
When a merchant has collected five rubies in his wheelbarrow, players complete that round, then the game ends. If this player is the only one who's reached this goal, they win immediately!