505 games, the team behind Terraria have bene hard at work with a new title that looks a little familiar but takes you on a whole knew adventure as a pirate, aaaaaaarrrrr!!
Everything starts off pretty simple, you choose your captains name and design from a set of pixelated options as well as the brief background of your character which helps to set the difficulty and specifics of your forthcoming quest, some might make nights longer, more dangerous seas or give you better strength.
With a brief tutorial you’re shown how to traverse from your ship onto dry land and soon enough you’re recruiting your first ship-mate.
Starting on a pretty basic vessel, your qust is to topple the 4 mighty pirates, but firstly you’re going to need to build a better ship, plunder lots of loot and improve your crews numbers and experience.
Heading out onto the sea you choose from a variety of locations on a pop-up map, ranging from blue cities, to quieter green islands and the red icons represent other pirates at sea.
The major cities are the only place you’ll be able to buy and sell goods and recruit more staff, but the smaller islands will often give you a few enemies to defeat as well as the occasional chest of gold, Once you’ve explored a little you’ll want to head to battle a low ranked pirate (these are ranked by a number) the level 1 enemies will usually only have 1 or 2 pirates on board so are a fairly easy starting point, once you’ve defeated the enemies, you can then commandeer their ship leaving your own behind, or hit ‘X’ to plunder their ship and collect all of the parts for yourself, this is certainly the easiest way to upgrade your own ship and within 40 minutes, I had greatly improved my ship only having to buy a few masts and sails.
Soon enough you’ll have a handful of crew, but these guys need ot be kept happy if they’re to follow your commands. Directing them is easy enough with the right stick bringing up a context sensitive cursor with RT then directing them to move or attack.
Collecting and buying food will feed them, but on longer journeys you’ll want to store your snacks in barrels or such like to preserve them longer. Your crew’s morale will dip and raise like a roller-coaster and I couldn’t always work out a reason why, even after providing them with a belly full of rum and paying them gold, but usually they’re pretty well behaved.
Both your captain and each crew member can be upgraded, both in stats such as health, luck and strength as well as the weapon they carry both for melee, ranged combat and an accessory that can do anything from improve their cooking to making them stronger.
The added man management and RPG element makes proceedings that little bit more deep and tactical, and while Pixel Piracy certainly comes across as quite a relaxed game to play, there’s plenty to keep your mind ticking.
Graphically everything is kept pretty simple, ranging from the block-by-block additions to your ship, Everything looks neat, yet old school. Pixel Piracy (Like the popular Terraria) wont be winning many awards for it’s art style, but the simple beauty fits the game perfectly.
Sound wise, there’s some catchy melodies that never annoy you too much, however there could still be some more variety, though the variation in tunes help to highlight dangers such as when you’ve approached another pirate.
Thankfully Pixel Piracy isn’t a game you’ll have to spend hours with before you start to reap your rewards, within ten minutes you feel like you’re getting somewhere, and another half an hour later and you’ll have a substantial crew and ship and probably well aware that while you can reload from the last save point, getting your crew killed will leave you shorthanded and searching for a new tavern to recruit more members.
Either way, training your new crew, finding them sufficient weapons and improving your ship is fun and addictive, and will keep you playing for many hours.
I have to say I’ve been really impressed with Pixel Piracy, there’s a very relaxed nature to the game, while still proving taxing and fun.
Certain games don;t rely on graphics and sound, and it’s unfair to judge them on such, for what they are they do the job perfectly keeping things clear and manageable.
Gameplay wise there’s plenty to be doing and the RPG and man-management elements along with outfitting your ship with all the mod cons like lights, cannons and shackles for captured prisoners will prove far more £11.99 there’s a fun and enticing adventure beyond, which wont adsorb too much time, but will absorb your mind.