While I've certainly established numerous trade caravans during my various Civilization playthroughs, I can't honestly say I've ever wanted to put myself in the shoes of the poor sods that had to trudge through an entire desert in order to bring me untold riches! I can't deny, however, that the idea is somewhat appealing given the rather extreme conditions.
If you're of the same opinion you'll be glad to hear that Caravan, Deadalic's survival /exploration/trading hybrid set in the Arabian Desert, has recently launched on Steam. Rather than just blabber on, allow me to show you the launch trailer. It should give you a good idea of what to expect:
According to the announcement message, the core gameplay is centered around you leading your trading caravan from town to town. A simple idea, but things are never quite so simple when you're trying to get rich in the middle of the desert. Along the way you will experience "dangerous, mystical adventures, embark on rewarding quests in towns, and fight against dangerous bandits, beasts, ghoulish creatures". Oh, and apparently you'll even have to do battle against djinns!
So all of this sounds pretty good, but what's the catch? I haven't played Caravan personally so I can't confirm any of this, but the majority of the Steam reviews seem to have an issue with Caravan being far too easy once you figure it out. Apparently there are just not enough random elements present to really throw a wrench in your plans, and as such its easy to amass enough forces and fortune to survive anything the game could possibly throw at you.
Even so, if you're interested in an economy orientated RPG, but don't mind it being somewhat repetitive and easy, then Caravan might still be worth checking out. As for me personally, I'm probably going to abstain from this one, mostly because I have a horrible issue with 'min-maxing' every game I play. Knowing me I'd probably just 'min-max' myself straight into boredom if its as exploitable as people say, but who knows, you might still get a good bit of enjoyment out of Caravan if you can overlook some of the flaws.