Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Pirates! - Atari ST
Since I've just reviewed the 2005 game Sid Meier's Pirates!, which is a classy update to this game, I thought I'd post something here about the classic seafaring game here. Pirates! is one of my all-time favourite games and stole many hours of my youth. The combination of strategy, action, trading and sailing in a dynamically changing game world continued to hold my imagination in thrall for many months.
Becoming really successful in the game, particularly in the higher difficulty levels (Apprentice, Journeyman, Adventurer and Swashbuckler) required a great deal of practice and quite a high level of finesse. With different time periods to play in, four nationalities that constantly switched allegiances (as you could yourself), both sea and land battles requiring completely different strategies, a ranking after retirement ranging from Beggar to King's Advisor, different women to marry, missions to complete, long-lost family members to find... Pirates! had it all, and it had me (and many others) coming back for more time after time.
Of course on top of everything there were Evil Spaniards aplenty - what swashbuckling adventure would be without them? Managing to capture the Silver Train or Treasure Fleet always felt like a real accomplishment, capturing heavily fortified towns often required great skill and daring, and keeping your crew happy without having to divide up the plunder earlier than you wanted was always a fine balancing act.
Anyone else who has fond memories of Pirates on the 16-bit machines (or the 8-bit computers for that matter)? Leave a comment as testimony to the genius of Sid Meiers!