All the stereotypes associated with pirates—treasure, plunder, and swordfighting—are what makes the entire world of Sid Meier’s Pirates.
You start out with a small yet quick ship, ideal for plundering the larger ships if you know what you’re doing. The game doesn’t seem to start out with any tutorial (although there is one accessible from the menu), so you’re pretty much on your own, learning all the nuances of being a pirate as you adventure out into the different colonies.
As for the point of the game, there really isn’t any. But that’s not a bad thing; no, far from it. The possibilities are nearly endless in a game such as this, allowing you to explore all around the colonies, plundering as many ships as possible, hiring tons of crew members, defeating other pirates; like I said, the possibilities are nearly endless.
You can also create a type of allegiance to the countries present — either England, France, Holland, or Spain — by fighting their enemies. So for example, if you capture different Spanish ships, you’ll most likely be given a higher position (captain, major, colonel, etc.) by the French and the English, considering the fact that those two countries weren’t huge fans of the Spanish during that time.
All in all, it’s quite an exhilarating game that has very few flaws, if any, that I can see.
Adventure is out there: This game really brings out the adventurous, little child out in all of us, allowing us to pillage, burn, earn money, dance, etc. There’s just so much to do in Sid Meier’s Pirates that you really can just do whatever you want. It’s hard to really describe in mere words and letters, but Sid Meier’s Pirates is probably the most adventurous game on the App Store thus far.
Variety: Like I said, there’s just so much to do in this game, it’s ridiculous. You can go from sword-fighting the captain of another ship to ball dancing with a governor’s daughter. You can also hire more pirates, fence fencing masters, trade with the merchants… again, the possibilities are endless.
Difficulty: The difficulty level at Journeyman, for me personally, is absolutely perfect. I haven’t tried out any other ones for fear of losing progress, but for beginners, the Journeyman difficulty is just perfect.
Some sounds: Some of the sound effects in the game get pretty irritating, such as the sound the game makes when tracking a Top 10 pirate. The 10-or-so second sound loop when fighting another ship also gets a bit redundant. Not major issues, but there are some sound effects in here that do become a bit tiring after a while.
Beginning: You have to be a little resilient in the beginning of the game given the fact that you know absolutely nothing. You don’t know what the objective of the game is, you don’t know how to earn money, and you don’t really know how to play the game. The tutorial does a mediocre job of teaching you how to play, and you really just have to learn through trial and error. Not the ideal way to learn how to play a game, but after a while, you should be in full swing.
Crashes: Thankfully there is autosave included, but the game does crash every once in a while. Buyer beware.
Sid Meier’s Pirates is absolutely stunning. This stands as one of my all-time favorite games for the iPad, considering the fact that there’s so much to do and so little time. Just do yourself a favor and purchase it now; I doubt that there will be any regrets for such a fantastic game.