A German game, through and through:
Vermeer is a trading simulation, a genre that's only popular here and presumably nowhere else in the world. I'd assume about 90% of these kind of games were written here and I'm not even sure if Vermeer was amongst the select few that ever got an english localization.
While most parts of these games actually look like Excel sheets, shown above is a screenshot of an art auction, which are a speciality of Vermeer. Besides the usual gameplay consisting of buying cheap and selling expensive (think Elite without the 3D flight ), does Vermeer also have the higher goal of completing an art collection. So you're not limited to producing and trading with tobacco, cocoa, coffee and tea, you're also hunting after rare paintings, most of which you can get from auctions happening all over the world.
I started playing it last night and despite the horrible graphics and non-existant sound it managed to grab my attention - so much that I lost track of time until it was too late to still write this blog entry before bedtime
I was mostly busy figuring everything out and establishing my little colonial goods empire, so now I have tobacco and tea plantations in Africa, a coffee plantation in South America and a cocoa plantation in Brazil all up and running.
With all the cash flowing in, I'm all prepared now to start hunting all those paintings tonight!