Fun Pirate Plundering Game on the High Seas (4 out of 5)
So, pirates are all the rage these days, and it seems that most gaming companies (both PC and Console) have several that revolve around the notorious riff-raffs. And, it seems that the PC game area has the vast majority when it comes to pirate games. I have tried several on the web, both free and paid, and let me tell you that most are pretty much a waste of time. But, Tradewinds from Yahoo! Games reminded me of an old school pirate game that I used to play on my Commodore 64 that I loved. So, I downloaded the free trial versions of each of the three versions of this game and began my play time.
Let’s start this review with Tradewinds. This is the first installment of the trillogy of this PC game and a good trial download to sink your teeth into before you buy one of the other two versions. Basically all of the three are the same, you get to choose a pirate (either male or female) and off you go. There are two different ways to play: story mode and free trade mode. In story mode, you get to accept and do tasks for the governors of the ports that you visit, working your way up the “pirate ladder” until you beat the game and you get to do all the trading for goods that you want to do as well. In free trade mode, you simply sail about from port to port buying goods low and then selling them high at the next port. In both versions (free trade and story mode), you will encounter other pirates on the sea who will try to sink your ship, so you have to fight them, and sometimes up to 10 ships to keep all your loot. It’s actually pretty easy, and when you start making money, you can buy ammo for your ship that will sink 2-5 ships at once. You can also build up your money so that you can buy bigger and better ships. Each new ship you purchase offers a different specialty, such as faster guns, larger cargo area, or ultimate compass that keeps you from getting blow off course in a storm. There are also special items that you can save up for, such as a moneylender doll that will lower the interest rates from moneylenders when you need to take out a loan. Tradewinds is set in the Caribbean, with some of the most beautiful ports, such as Belize and Guadaloupe. So, it is easy to believe that you are a pirate, plundering your way through to becoming the most feared pirate on the sea.
Tradewinds II is extremely similar to the first, with only the characters being different and the ports in the Caribbean change. The graphics are all the same great quality and the game flows smoothly. Tradewinds II is harder than I, but still pretty fun to play. There are more story line tasks and more challenges when it comes to attacking and saving ports.
Now, Tradewinds Legends is along the same lines, but this one is set in ancient times and your pirate choices are all Asian pirate masters. You are also sailing around the Indian Ocean, China, and the Middle East to ancient ports. The other aspects of the game are all the same, you have two modes of play, several character choices, plenty of ports to trade in, and more.
Personally, I chose to purchase Tradewinds II. I did like Tradewinds Legends just as much, so it was a hard decision. But, I didn’t feel like shelling out $40 for two games…. I mean, Age of Conan was coming out soon! I played Tradewinds II on both modes, but I prefer the story mode since you can gain lot of money from doing tasks for the governors of the ports.
My only problem with the game is that I beat the whole thing after only 4 hours of play time. I would much rather the game be longer, so that it takes a while to beat and not just a few hours. I still play it… but it does gather virtual dust on my computer. So, if you are not a hard core gamer that devotes most of their waking hours to gaming, then you probably won’t beat this as quickly as I did. Don’t get me wrong, I do still play this one as it is a fun game. I just wish that it was longer.
So, overall, I give it a 4 out of 5 rating, only because I beat it in 4 hours….