A pretty decent console port of the PC classic, Pirates was a fun little game where, as the title implies, you live the life of a pirate and go around plundering ships and raiding towns.  Not the most in-depth of games, but it sure is fun.

DOOM, in the process of conquering his first ship

The game begins on a high note - you round up a few rowdy drunkards in a bar and set off to steal a ship from the local harbor.  After a brief fencing match with the former captain, you head out to sea.

Not too exciting, but it will pick up

Here we go

A battle at sea.  Pretty straightforward, you try to damage the other guy with cannonfire and slow him down so you can move in and take over.  You can also press Up to raise your sails and Down to lower them, in case you need to catch up to them quicker or beat a hasty retreat.

Should you catch up to them, another battle will begin.  This is basically a glorified version of Tug-of-War; you need to hit the other guy enough times in a row to get him to surrender, without getting hit too many times yourself.  Pressing Up or Down will position your sword for a parry (and an attack), and pressing B will result in a lunge attack that does a bit more damage.  Naturally, the team that has more men fighting for them will start with a bigger advantage in the duel.


From there, you can either add their ship to your fleet, or just loot it and then sink it.  But naturally, at times pirating will be a slow business, so you'll have to stop by a town for supplies once in a while, and maybe pick up a few more recruits at the local pub.


A few towns don't trade with pirates, however, so in that case you may be forced to...

Raid them as well!

Of course, you're not the only pirate on the Atlantic; you'll occasionally clash with other pirates, and winning against them will either net you some nice bounties, or information about  Treasure Fleet and Silver Train, which travel around to various cities and will net you a ton of cash if you capture them.

And finally, when you've been out raiding and pillaging for a while, it comes time to divide up the riches, bump up the difficulty level, and set out anew.


-Try to stay on friendly terms with at least one country, lest you be fired at every time you try to enter town and are in need of supplies.

-If your opponent is piloting a Pinnace or another small ship, use one as well so that you can keep up with them.

-On that note, if your enemy is using a large ship, use one of your own so your forces will be fairly even.

Overall Score: 7/10
Pirates is pretty one-track, but you'll have some fun with it.

©2003 Spoony