Welcome to the Pirate101 review! I’ve always considered Wizard101 to be the premiere MMORPG experience for kids; it’s clear that developer Kingsisle are dedicated in their goal to create genuinely safe and fun virtual worlds for younger audiences – and as with all great children’s products, you know you’re doing something right when adults start enjoying them, too.
Such was the case with Wizard101, a game that captivated audiences young and old from across the globe, and now with its sequel set in the same universe, Pirate101 – a swashbuckling adventure for all ages that’s overflowing with a loveable cast of characters, innovative gameplay mechanics and plenty of monkeys and pirates.
Pirate101 begins in much the same way as its predecessor; you’re asked to create a character, and must choose from a variety of different options, such as your preference in weapon, or the profession of your foster parents – with each choice shaping your character toward your own personal style. As such, some players will fight with swords, others with magic and others with guns – so too will their companions be selected via these choices, with some players fighting alongside a Crane, others a Bull and others a Goat.
Though these choices aren’t endless, as with the choices in name and costume, there are more than enough to create an almost unique character that looks, acts and fights in a way that best suits your play style. Even here, much of the charm and hilarity offered by the many supporting characters is evident, and before long you’ll find yourself a true, high-spirited pirate, learning to fight atop the deck of a flying pirate ship.
Oh, yeah – ships in Pirate101 don’t sail, they fly, soaring through the air at breakneck speed, fully capable of boarding and attacking enemies, dropping anchor to regain health, and come equipped with several very awesome spells and abilities that can be used alongside your cannons to quickly and strategically eliminate opponents.
Boarding an enemy ship or running into an enemy in the world will begin a turn-based battle scenario, similar to those in Wizard101, and yet, very different too. In essence, battles are made up of 2 teams – your team, consisting of you, your supporting allies and any nearby players, and your enemies team, consisting of multiple NPC opponents that scale dependant on how many players are participating in a battle.
When you first enter a battle, a strategy screen will appear, allowing you to move your characters around the playing field and attack enemies that are within range. Other players are also visible on this screen, as are their own companions, so working together requires careful attention to which enemy is being attacked.
Outside sailing and combat, much of the gameplay experience is spent exploring the floating islands and hidden caves scattered throughout the world. Quests are offered by many of the characters that litter these areas, so there’s always somewhere to go and something to do.
Completing these quests and winning in combat will reward you with experience and gold – experience will automatically level up your character, whereas gold is used to manually increase the level of your companions. You’ll also come across a lot of weapons and equipment that can be used, sold or traded with other players.
So, in essence, you’ve got a full-featured MMORPG dripping with polish and quality at every turn, an awesome combat system that takes the time to show each epic attack in slow-motion cutscenes, while still providing a simple, tactical gameplay experience that’s great for kids, and fun for everyone else, that also creates a social dynamic allowing players to work together to survive – not to mention the chance to pilot your own pirate ship, alongside a bunch of addictive little mini games – and all that’s before you reach level 5. I can only imagine how much more Pirate101 has in store in the higher levels, not to mention the content expansions that are no doubt being worked on as I write this now. It’s… exciting. And it’s fantastic. And if you’ve got kids yourself, or even if you’re just hopelessly in love with Pirates like me, you’re guaranteed to find something loveable here.
Check out our Pirate101 Game Page to start playing today.Kingsisle, MMORPG, Pirate101