The creators of Wizard101 set sail for the high seas

KingsIsle Entertainment, the people who brought you Wizard101, are at it again with an exciting new family-friendly fantasy world called Pirate101.

Pirate101 features great sailing ships, dashing swashbucklers and exciting tales of derring-do, but it’s not exactly the classic Age of Sail as we know it. Following the end of a devastating war between the nations of Marleybone, Valencia, Monquista and Polaris, pirates beholden to no-one began to trade and plunder as they saw fit, eventually rising to become a true power unto themselves. But these brigands don’t rule the waves; their magical tall ships ply the skies and stormgates of the Spiral.

Despite the inherently rough-and-tumble nature of the pirate life, Pirate101 boasts a number of features designed to provide a safe environment for kids. Parents can enable or disable various game features by way of a “master password” on a child’s account, and all player names will be selected from a pre-generated list, ensuring that nothing inappropriate or overly revealing is used. Likewise, a “menu chat” system gives players access to “pre-selected phrases, greetings and emotions” that allows them to communicate in the game without exposing them to unwanted content.

But more importantly to budding brigands, the game looks like a lot of fun. Players can roam between nations and pirate realms as a Buccaneer, Musketeer, Privateer, Swashbuckler or Witchdoctor aboard customizable ships with unique pirate flags. Companions with unique fighting styles and special abilities can be recruited, trained and improved as they increase in levels, and players can even join powerful pirate crews or create their own with family and friends.

Pirate101

Pirate101

Pirate101 is obviously very much inspired by Wizard101, with exaggerated, cartoonish graphics and turn-based battles, but the new twist on a classic setting looks absolutely wonderful. Bizarre and funny characters abound, and watching tall ships tear into each other with mighty broadsides as they float majestically through the skies is surprisingly exciting. In fact, kid’s game or not, I have to admit to a certain urge to try this one out for myself.

Like Wizard101, Pirate101 will be a free-to-play game, with “premium areas” accessible through an optional monthly subscription or on an a la carte basis with Crowns, KingsIsle’s virtual currency. Pirate101 will enter closed beta testing soon, and is scheduled to launch later this year.