Raft Pirates ain’t no bilge rat.
Life on the high seas is dangerous, especially if you’re a robot pirate. Even if the law doesn’t string you up, a little bit of sea-spray will corrode you as surely as acid. What’s a robot sea-dog to do? Why, live life to the fullest, of course! That means taking down your enemies, picking over the skeletal remains of their ships, and then using that scrap to make your own ship the biggest, ugliest, floating fortress that ever sailed across Neptune’s front lawn.
Raft Pirates for iOS is about building, exploring, and battling. You are a robo-captain who is ready to have a go at this whole “pirate” thing. Unfortunately, you have to start small: Your first frigate is nothing more than a humble raft.
You build up your raft by sailing through pirate-infested waters, salvaging scrap, and using said scrap to add new rafts to your ship. Scrap also goes towards building weapons. Make no mistake: Your ship will be unwieldy-looking. You’re building for attack power and defense, not handsome architecture.
You won’t have to wait long before you fight your first battle, either. Whenever you’re docked in “safe waters,” nobody will attack you—but on the downside, nobody will attack you. The action, as well as the good scrap, is to be found in hostile waters. Each of Raft Pirates‘ maps is divided up with grid lines, and you’re allowed to move to any square you wish. If that space is empty, you get a chance to dive for good scrap. But if a rival pirate is occupying that space, you’re drawn into a fight.
You can equip each section of your ship with a multitude of weapons that buff up its “battle points.” When a battle begins, you’re asked to fit your vessel up against your opponent’s own ship. When one or more of your rafts touches your opponent’s raft(s), the game tallies up each raft’s battle points. That tally determines how many dice you and your opponent may roll, and whomever gets the higher roll strikes a hit. When a raft’s battle points are depleted, it sinks down into Davy Jones’ locker. To the victor go the spoils. Namely, more scrap.
Raft Pirates is a creative free-to-play title that calls for strategy and forethought. Its visuals are also adorable: Your robot crew mans weapons with names like “The Pain Sprinkler” and “The Bilge Rat-a-Tat-Tat,” and they do it by running on treadmills and dancing on DDR pads (let’s assume that Konami sank a lot of dance pads after the rhythm game boom).
Raft Pirates is free-to-play, however, which means some waiting around while weapons are built. Moreover, you have a finite number of moves on the map, and they recharge at one per hour. There’s a “sonar” item that lays bare the locations of nearby pirates and their levels. The sonar assures that every move will be fruitful, but it’s a premium item. Luckily, the game is generous about handing them out when you level up. Going up a level typically earns you some free moves, too.
Raft Pirates is a clever game that offers lots to do. Go on and whip the waters into a bloody froth, robo-matey.