Black Pete, the nastiest, ugliest, hairiest, scariest pirate captain to ever terrorise the Spanish Main, has been spotted near Hispaniola, by Carlos, the Spanish captain who, was hoping that his orders to patrol the Caribbean was going to be a tropical holiday.
But, alas, Carlos' tranquil cruise was abruptly interrupted. Right in the middle of his afternoon nap, just when approaching the exciting part in his favourite dream - the mountain of chocolate pastries surrounded by 100 gyrating Moroccan belly-dancers - the lookout suddenly bellowed from the crows nest:
"PIRATES AHOY, SAH!!!"
Almost simultaneously, Black Pete heard his own lookout cry: "BOOTY TO STARBOARD!", was beginning to marshall his motley crew:
"WE'LL WANT TO BOARD 'EM, BOYS!!!......LET'S SLIT THEIR GIZZARDS!......WE'LL FLAY 'EM ALIVE!!!"
Piracy is a neat, aesthetically stylish pseudo-board game, based upon the checkers concept. However, I doubt whether in 1986, the year of its release, a board game was already released.
The concept may be based upon checkers, but it definitely has some novel differences which make for an entertaining experience.
One of these is the 17th Century naval setting, with the opposing galleons of Black Pete the pirate, versus Captain Carlos of the Spanish Armada. Each opposing ship has 15 troops (checkers) laying in wait in the cannon bays, ready to pounce out onto the "game board". Each of the five cannons bays has three troops. You have the option to play as Captain Carlos or Black Pete.
The game board is similar to draughts, with the squares represented by boarding net links between the opposing galleons. The troops are "launched" into the game by opening one or more cannon bays, enabling them leap onto the start of the net.
After your opponent (either computer or human) has completed their first move, you then have the option to launch other marines onto the net, or to move troops already in play.
The goal of the game is to kill all opposition by leaping onto their squares, or by detonating the cannon bays on the opposing ship (achieved by your troops completely crossing over to the enemy's galleon).
A humorous aspect to the game is that the two opposing captains can be seen pacing backwards and forwards, across a plank and the top of the cargo net. When your side is winning, your captain adopts an aggressive posture, leaping across the net, while your opposite shrinks away, twitching on his own ship. The captains' body language is a humourous indicator of how well your team is fighting.
Movement options are always sideways - never backwards. You can move horizontally, or diagonally downwards or upwards. All marines already in play have to be moved simultaneously.
Careful planning is required when moving towards the enemy galleon. Not only are there enemies to contend with, but there are also the four broken links in the net which mean instant death (falling into the sea) if they stepped into.
If you are finally able to kill all enemies, you are suitably rewarded by watching the enemy captain "walk the plank"!
Piracy is a genuinely fun game to play. It is easy to learn, and the four one-player difficulty levels make for a substantial challenge. However, the two-player mode is the most entertaining and gives Piracy lasting appeal.
|GRAPHICS - 9/10|
|Even though 20 years old, the graphics are still exceptional. They possess an animated cartoon-like quality which greatly enhance the gameplay.|
|SOUND - 6/10|
|Sound could have been better, but does the job. Pleasing naval ditties and spot effects which suit the game. |
|PLAYABILITY - 9/10|
|Uncomplicated. Easy to learn. Young kids and oldies alike will enjoy this. |
|OVERALL - 8/10|
|A fun strategy "board game" that has lost none of its appeal over 20 years. |