Pirates Tides of Fortune Review
5 Overall Score
A wide variety of game mechanics and features to explore
The features are pretty much the same as most other games of this type and doesn’t offer anything new
We recently took some time out to check out Pirates: Tides of Fortune from Plarium, a free to play browser-based strategy MMO where players build up their own pirate haven and are responsible for acquiring resources, constructing buildings and taking on challenging AI enemies as well as attacking other player strongholds.
Signing up to the game was as simple as a quick registration through the official website and their hitting Play, which took us directly into the game where we were greeted by a lady pirate that acts as our guide, instructing us on the various features of the game.
We started off by having to construct a variety of different buildings to gain access to our ongoing resource production, first and foremost (and most importantly) was our Rum, required to keep our crew happy (which acts like food in other games of this genre). Similarly we created a lumber yard and a mine to place on the available gold vein resources on our island; with these complete we had an income of the three primary resources needed to construct other buildings, units and access other features.
Every building that we constructed required resources and an amount of time before it was completed, though at these early stages it was a manner of seconds as opposed to hours or days, which some of the later game builds and actions can take. We had the chance to instantly complete any builds by spending the Rubies premium currency, which we were earning through completing our tutorial missions as well as levelling up (we took full advantage of this, but if we were playing the game for real would no doubt stockpile these for more important actions).
We were continuously being awarded Rubies, XP and other bonuses such as units and resources for completing the various tasks and quests that were made available to us, each time we completed a quest another would quickly pop up in its place even beyond the tutorial missions. Early in the game it did feel like pop-up after pop up after pop-up, whether giving us character fluff information about a quest, then the instructions of how to conduct the quest, then the rewards for a quest, pop-ups to open this panel, click that panel, etc. The tutorial was probably a little more expensive and informative than it needed to be, these games aren’t that complicated, and whilst the quest fluff was nice it was at times a little long winded and we, as we expect most people would, simply skipped over it.
The game has a rather extensive (although slightly linear) technology tree that players will advance down over time unlocking various text that will give them access to new features, buildings and units. One of more interesting elements was that after unlocking a tech, players are still able to upgrade it to improve the rewards from it, offering a lot more customisation for a players Pirate Haven than initially seems. The technology tree however, as with many of the other features, isn’t something we haven’t seen in dozens of other games in the same genre.
Combat was simple enough and from our experience consisted of clicking one of the viable targets from the ocean overview map that shows any ships nearby as well as all the various strongholds for both NPC AI havens and also those belonging to other players. When attacking one of these areas we are able to send in our chosen units, though this early on our choice was limited, and you are able to get an overview of their vital statistics to gauge how many you may wish to send into the battle. Once the attack is launched it takes the units a certain amount of time to reach the target depending on how far away it is, and then the units will make their way back home with the spoils of the battle if they were successful in their assault.
All in all the game isn’t terrible, but unfortunately it as nothing new that we haven’t seen done over and over and is the same features from other games simply reskinned and with a different theme. That isn’t to say that the game can be formed, particularly for players that haven’t played this type of game before, but for anyone who likes the genre and is looking for something new then they’re probably going to get the same old experience. The sounds were repetitive, particularly music in the background, but the voice-over pirate mentor guide was well done and we appreciated the pirate accent (though players can switch between various languages including non-pirate English). The graphics were unfortunately quite dated and we’d have expected more even for a browser-based MMO.
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