During character selection, characters are displayed in a different order than the Atari/C64 version. Why?
Strangely, the game takes place on Planet Iraton rather than the familiar Planet Irata.
Diagonal movement does not allow the player to "slide" against buildings which makes entry into them a bit more difficult. On the other hand, horizontal movement resolution is lower which helps make critical alignments a bit easier. Pleasingly, the "shortcut" through the center of town is available.
No Crystite is reported when the river valley is assayed. In the Atari/C64 version, high crystite is reported, even though the valley cannot be mined.
The pub is called an "inn" in the IBM PC version. It functions the same way, ending a player's turn, but the player's winnings are reportedly from a "contest" rather than gambling.
The ALT key can be use to skip or end many events a human player would normally have to wait for including computer player turns, random production events, and product auctions. In the case of actions any remaining computer trades are completed instantly. Trades between computer and human players will be completed automatically if the human player has set an accepted price. The production phase, land grants, and land auctions can not be accellerated in this way. Aside from these minor omissions, this is a great feature that saves time and keeps the pace of the game up.
Some animations have been removed (eg. town zoom effect) or simplified (eg. pirate ship only passes overhead and units are not removed from the screen) and movement in general is much less fluid.
The music from the PC speaker is recognizable but pretty awful (as expected). The end-of-turn fanfare is especially terrible but I appreciate the effort to adapt and include so much of the orignal music.
The sound effects are surprisingly bad. Poor audio cues make some parts of the game more difficult. The PC speaker is obviously very limited, but the sounds should be much better. Perhaps there just wasn't enough time to improve them.
During auctions, when a bargain is struck, the dashed buy and sell lines do not neatly mesh to form a solid line like they do in the Atari/C64 version. It's a small thing, but I miss this oddly pleasurable event.
The background stays the same white color throughout the game. In the Atari/C64 version the status summary and character selection screens have black backgrounds while the rest of the game has a light background (white on C64, light gray on Atari). There are arguments for consistency but I rather like the way a changing background can punctuate the end of a round.