Pirates: Tides of Fortune Review

With the popularity of pirates in media these days, such as in movies like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and games such as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, it’s no surprise for a pirate game to come up on Facebook as well. Read all about it in the Pirates: tides of fortune review

Pirates: Tides of Fortune is a free-to-play strategy game on Facebook published by Kabam. The game puts you at the helm of your own private pirate island as you vie for resources and supremacy on the open seas.

The game itself is visually stunning. It does a great job in creating that pirate feel from the 1500s and 1600s from the graphics and design of the game to even the voice acting. The game begins with you being greeted by Captain Bonnie Anne O’Malley (the name probably a tribute to pirate legends Anne Bonny and Grace O’Malley). She has recently boarded your ship and gives you a choice to become a pirate yourself. It’s either that or be lost at sea forever.

Pirates: Tides of Fortune

Cap’n O’Malley even speaks with an Irish pirate accent, giving that authentic feel of the open seas during the early age of exploration. She then sets you up on a tiny island as your haven in the middle of presumably the Caribbean Sea to do as you will and teaches you the life of a pirate. This becomes your tutorial for the next few minutes till you get a better hang of the game.

I was surprised by the depth this game had as I didn’t really have high expectations for a Facebook game. It has a good balance of strategy with construction and even technology research while making sure you are able to juggle your resources as well.

Pirates: Tides of Fortune

The Cap’n continues to give you a guided tour of the game’s interface which is very user friendly. It is very easy to get a feel for the game and dive in to start playing. She will first start you off with a bunch of quests to get you familiar with what you need to know of the pirate life. And the first order of business is to get some rum. And what is a pirate without rum!

To get the rum we need, the Cap’n orders you to build a rum distillery. Construction in this game is essential, especially to get the resources you need to do various tasks. This game is basically a resource strategy game and the game literally grinds to a halt with a lack of the three basic resources of the game: Gold, Wood and RUM! So the first order of business is of course constructing a rum distillery to keep your pirates happy. You’ll also need to build lumber yards and gold mines to get the ball rolling.

Pirates: Tides of Fortune

Another facet of the game introduced is technology. In fact when I first saw the technology tree, it kind of reminded me of Sid Meier’s Civilization. The tech tree is rather expansive for a game like this. There are a variety of technologies to choose from and each technology unlocks abilities, buildings and units that you’ll need to progress to higher levels.

O’Malley will walk you through some of the game’s key technologies to get you started. These technologies will eventually allow you to build better units or allow certain fighting abilities. Definitely useful, if you wish to really do some adventuring and a bit of raiding too. Let’s face it, what’s the point of the game if you can’t raid ships and other havens too, right?

So, after you have built up your haven with the right buildings and got the technology to back it up, you’ll of course need units. Units are essential in order for you to be able to raid passing ships. They are also important as defense. You never know who’ll want to invade your island and steal all your ill-gotten wealth. Ye don’t want that to happen, do ye? Arr, I thought so.

Once a tavern is built in your haven, you can begin recruiting all manner of pirate scum and villainy. You’ll initially only have the marauder as an option to build and just as Cap’n O’Malley says, they’re built for all manner of violence in the open seas. Ye better not give’m a wrong look, if ye know what I mean.

By this time, the Cap’n sees it fit that you are ready to get your hands bloody. And just in time too, because a ship has just made the mistake of passing by near your island. It’s time to send out your crew and raid!

Once you hit the world map, you get a better view of where you are. You start off as a small tropical island probably in the Caribbean. You get to see other havens as well owned by other players in your area. And oh look at that, a passing ship. It’s time to send in some raiders so we can make some profit.

Pirates: Tides of Fortune

You start off by clicking on the passing ship and clicking on the battle icon (crossed swords with a red background). A new menu will pop up showing the units you currently have under your employ. Remember some units are better for raiding while others are best for defense. Choose your raiders carefully and assign the number of raiders you will be sending. Once you’re done, just click on the raid button and off your pirates go.

Once your crew finishes its raid, you will get a summary of what are the spoils you get. Sometimes, you get gold, ships and even new recruits. As they say if you can’t beat them, join them. It’s a fate better than death, especially in this cutthroat world.

Final Thoughts

Gameplay is definitely superb for Pirates: Tides of Fortune. The UI is very intuitive and easy to navigate. I find that the initial tutorial with Captain O’Malley definitely helps you get a hang of the game and after a few minutes of the game you’ll be sucked in right away wanting to do more and more. Before you know it you’ve already spent hours playing the game. Time passes by very quickly in the life of a pirate, ye know?!

Gameplay does remind me of a few paid strategy games like Sid Meier’s Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic, so the game is definitely worth your time. It also borrows some elements from traditional web based browser games so you won’t feel at a loss when playing it for the first time. What’s also nice about this game that despite it being a Facebook game, it does not force you to invite other players and get player cooperation in order to proceed which has been the bane of some Facebook gamers. And let’s face it, if you just want to view your Facebook timeline for updates on your friends and family, you don’t want annoying invites to keep popping up. I’ve gone a few hours into the game and it relies heavily on resource development and possibly trade if necessary. Though if you get the right balance of raiding, you won’t need to trade as much for resources.

Pirates: Tides of Fortune

Visuals for this game is also very good. The design of the game is definitely inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and if you’re a big fan of those movies, you’ll definitely enjoy the game’s graphics. It’s definitely not your average Facebook game and obviously the game designers also planned out its aesthetic appeal. The voice acting and background sounds to the game add to the ambiance and creates an environment that really draws you in. I really appreciate the voice acting for this game, because you get a real feel that you’re talking to pirates and not just some random person giving you instructions.

The BGM does also give you the feel of pirate music that you often hear in movies and in television. However, I think it can get very redundant and after awhile you get this feeling that you just want silence. Fortunately for you, you can do that by simply accessing the settings button and pressing the sound/music button to turn it off.

Pirates: Tides of Fortune

This game was definitely designed with fun in mind especially for anyone who want to live a pirate’s life. However, I must remind everyone that this game is a strategy game so you won’t see a lot of sword fighting and swinging across on ropes to board ships. It’s pretty tame on those elements. However, the game has a lot to offer to keep you coming back especially if you are a strategy game enthusiast. Not only are you able to conquer ships but you can raid nearby islands and profit from them if their defenses aren’t well kept.

What I would have liked to see more is a deeper story in the game. As someone who is into lore when playing games, I expected to see more story unfold as you played along. A bit of history like actual pirate facts or maybe some fictional history entwined in the game would have added a bit of flavor to the game.

Pirates: Tides of Fortune

Overall, the game does deliver to be fun and entertaining and easy to get into and get addicted. The only drawback I really saw with this game is that background music as it can be repetitive and annoying at times. The game is definitely worth the time to look at.

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