Slow Pace Stops Mighty Pirates in its Plundering Tracks
When I think of battles on the high seas between marauding pirates, I see fast paced cannon battles and crew members shimmying down sails, but the pacing in Mighty Pirates is so slow it’s the pirating equivalent of watching paint dry.
Mighty Pirates has a basic design that is a mix of role-playing game (RPG) leveling and character customization. It’s like Treasure Isle meets Captain Jack Sparrow, but without the cool accent. The game doesn’t have any tutorials or anything to help you along, so its all about exploring and getting a feel of the environment.
Players start with a small ship and can either choose to attack a nearby ship and initiate a battle or explore nearby islands for booty and needed supplies such as wood, rock and even clothing. Players can also find pieces of a treasure map. I got a bit of a chuckle when I first raided an island and discovered my pirate avatar wearing nothing but his skivvies and a smile. Players can customize the character with new clothes that act both as stylish add-ons to your pirate look and help ramp up their stats.
Islands are made up of several areas that can be explored for treasure and encompass everything from barrels in the sand to picking clean the bodies of other dead pirates. A shoveling energy bar is depleted with every exploration with some areas costing more points than others.
When players are done digging for booty, they can head back to their ship and attack nearby ships in the game’s second major game area. Players start out with a small ship, a single crewman and a single cannon. As they gain experience and levels, both the character and the ship can be upgraded and customized with everything from new cannons and decorations such as new ornaments for the ship.
The battles are by far the most confusing and least developed part of the game. When you initiate a cannon battle, the view shifts to two ships side by side. There are three commands available: fire the cannon, repair the ship of damage and increase accuracy.
For the first several times I fired, my cannonball didn’t get even close to the ship and instead depressingly plopped into the water. Meanwhile, my opponent wasn’t having much better luck. I spent a turn or two increasing my accuracy and voila direct hit to his port bow. (I admit I have no idea where the port bow is, but is sounds cool.)
You can upgrade your ship to make it more powerful and cause more damage as well as get additional crew members made up of friends who also play the game. These crewmembers are assigned to a specific command function such as repairing the ship or firing the cannons.
Mighty Pirates has a wide variety of ship decorations and upgrades available, which made the ships my favorite part of the whole game. It obvious that character customization and development are important aspects, but they don’t seem very developed yet while the ship customization seems more fully formed.
The treasure hunting aspect get tedious after a while because there just isn’t much interesting to find. Most of the time its just gold to purchase items or supplies. I hope that more exotic treasures will eventually become available.
The fighting pace is slow as molasses. When you choose your action, there are animations of the character going below deck to fire the cannon or throwing water and the fire. It takes a few seconds to get through the action when really all I wanted to do was shoot the cannon.
The graphics are also rather rudimentary, but that could be because its still pretty new. There is no movement on the sea when you attack ships or visit an island. My character kept losing clothes for a split second as he moved from place to place looking for treasure.
Mighty Pirates is brand new and CrowdStar has a reputation and history for creating addictive and popular social games. Though the game is an interesting concept, CrowdStar has to ramp up the pacing or make the graphics better to keep the player engaged. It has the potential to be a big success, but unless changes are made it may take a trip to Davey Jones’ locker…and I am not talking about The Monkees.