Sid Meier’s Pirates! Review: Should You Buy?

Sid Meiers Pirates coverart

Sid Meier’s Pirates! Review: Should You Buy?

Sid Meier’s Pirates! Is a 2005 remake of the earlier title created in 1987 to simulate the life of a pirate. The newer version of the game was published by Atari Interactive for Microsoft Windows. The gameplay of Sid Meier’s Pirates! Is a continuation of the original which gives it its charm. Some things, however, have been removed and added to provide a little more substance to the overall gameplay. For instance, the sun sighting has been removed but a balloon dancing minigame and improved land combat have been added. 

On the Face of It

Sid Meiers Pirates Ball
More interaction than ever with added minigames for the grand ball.

At first glance Sid Meier’s Pirates looks like a giant conglomerate of mini games combined with an economic sim. Frankly, that’s exactly what it is but the way that it’s all tied together is pure magic. Pirates enjoy the distinction of having a familiar feel while remaining highly original. There is so much depth and variety in this game that you’ll be riding high on the seven seas of adventure for weeks on end.

Character Background Information

pirates battle on ship
Characters will face other pirate enemies.

At the beginning of the game players will choose which nation they want to represent. Choices include England, Spain, France or the Netherlands. Depending on which nation they choose and what nations they attack different situations will arise.

As a young buckaroo the character witnesses their family being kidnapped by an evil gang of pirates led by Count Montalban. In the following decade the characters have matured enough to conduct a search and rescue for them as players take to the seas in their ship. To locate the family members, which are scattered throughout the Caribbean, players will embark on an adventure which will include searching for clues, collecting treasures, fighting, attacking ships, plundering various ports and basically making a name for yourself. The gameplay is open ended. There is no shortage of ways to accomplish various goals. There is always something interesting to do and players are not forced to take up every side-quest that comes along.

Sid Meier’s Pirates! Strategies 

sid meiers pirates grand ball
Revel in dancing at the grand ball in Sid Meier’s Pirates!

Players can be a merciless pirate that takes on the likes of Blackbeard or Captain Kidd, or a do-gooder that defends towns against attacking bands of pirates. There’s the option to be a businessman and just engage in trade and commerce. Or players can do a little bit of everything for a full-rounded experience. The gameplay is a great blend of elements that include strategy, RPG, economic sim and pure adventure.

Some of the battles are in real-time, such as the sword fighting while others, such as land-based attacks on ports, are turn-based. There’s even a dancing game which is a rhythm-based mini-game in which players will win the favor of the governor’s daughter if they do well. Getting married to this fine maiden will make the character an upstanding citizen in the town.

Last Thoughts

Expect tons of replay value as you try your hand at all countries and alter your gameplay style each time. The graphics are simple but at least there’s no camera, clipping or framerate issues. All the characters speak in a Sim-approved gibberish. There is no cussing and very little violence making this game perfect for the entire family. This game might seem a little childish however, it is challenging and addictive. Because it’s impossible to figure out what happens next. Sid Meier’s Pirates! Is worth checking out by all means. 

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