User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 210 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 210
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  1. Wetwebwork
    Jan 21, 2005
    5
    Great presentation and amusing gameplay. But you quickly come to wonder why you're playing it as you repeat the same tasks over and over. Pirates lacks the structure and magic to make it anything than an okay game, and while I don't regret buying it, I couldn't recommend anyone buys it.
  2. MarekM
    Nov 18, 2009
    5
    For first 6-8 hours this game is a real fun! Taking galleons with small sloop is experience easy to like :) But afer this time it gets too repetitive. Still it's not bad - it's just average.
  3. Mar 31, 2011
    7
    Game's great, make no mistake, but there are some fatal flaws that make it awful or not lasting long enough. Here I'll try to devide + and - in sections:
    + Innovative gameplay, the difficulty rises slowly at your decision letting you get accustomed to the game.
    + Many minigames within one package, arcade naval warfare, arcade fencing, tactical assault of the cities, treasure hunting. + You
    Game's great, make no mistake, but there are some fatal flaws that make it awful or not lasting long enough. Here I'll try to devide + and - in sections:
    + Innovative gameplay, the difficulty rises slowly at your decision letting you get accustomed to the game.
    + Many minigames within one package, arcade naval warfare, arcade fencing, tactical assault of the cities, treasure hunting.
    + You can do many things in SM's Pirates, do quests, rob caravans, follow rumors, collect valuable items, romance royal women, upgrade your ship, board and capture other ships, represent one of 4 nations or meddle in their business and become a notorious pirate, give and receive gifts, share collected gold with your team, etcetera, etcetera...
    - Controls on the tactical map are just awful... Sometimes you hit Page Down instead of 7 and you automatically retreat from a fight.
    - The game is way too repetitive. The good experience will not last very long.
    - It's a sandbox arcade game. A good sandbox game is a game in which you have overwhelming amount of possibilities and everything is happening at random, making up for more fun! Although in Pirates, events are happening at random, randomly generated, they are getting old very fast, due to your limited possibilities e.g. you put your money in a bank, you have some items, but you don't have a character's doll, so at some point (very fast actually) all of the items are applied to your character and this aspect disappears from the game. Moreover, fencing challenging it may be at first, get's overly easy later on due to your equipment. Ship upgrades can only be made in specific cities (What?), so you'll have to sweep the damn Caribbean if you want to find them all. Back to the idea, all of your possibilities uncover VERY VERY fast, after that you don't discover anything new, everything else is just repetition of thing you did one hour ago.
    = Conclusion: A great game it may be, but it's way too lengthly for an Arcade and way too shallow for a Sandbox. While trying to get the best from each, SM's Pirates end up being none and losing it's greatness somewhere along the way.
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  4. Eddie
    Apr 17, 2005
    7
    I have played the original a lot back in the 90s, and I must say that when I first started playing it I loved it. Now I have the game for a week and I think its way to easy. In the original Pirates! it was realy hard to get a good end ranking, but in this new version it is far too easy. I played it once on the 3rd difficulty setting and made it to Bishop (only Governor is better) already. I have played the original a lot back in the 90s, and I must say that when I first started playing it I loved it. Now I have the game for a week and I think its way to easy. In the original Pirates! it was realy hard to get a good end ranking, but in this new version it is far too easy. I played it once on the 3rd difficulty setting and made it to Bishop (only Governor is better) already. Presentation is nice but it becomes a little repetitve after a while. I am glad I didn't spend 45 dollars on it and got it through ebay for 14 dollars including shipping. Expand
  5. Aaron
    Mar 17, 2007
    6
    I've only played it for a day, but it's getting pretty frustrating at this point. I loved it at first, but it seems like it punishes you for getting better. For example, the more money you make, the more you lose when you divide it among the crew you spent so much time assembling, right before you send them packing, along with the extra ships you captured. And the difficulty I've only played it for a day, but it's getting pretty frustrating at this point. I loved it at first, but it seems like it punishes you for getting better. For example, the more money you make, the more you lose when you divide it among the crew you spent so much time assembling, right before you send them packing, along with the extra ships you captured. And the difficulty rises far too steeply at the Swashbuckler level. How are you supposed to complete a dance or win a swordfight on that mode? Anyway, it's fun for a few hours. I picked it up for $20, can't complain I guess. Expand
  6. Jun 10, 2014
    7
    Remake de uno de los juegos más influyentes de una generación entera de americanos que se aprendiendo todos los nombres de las islas del caribe gracia a él. Sigue funcionando bien las mecánicas, que son muy variadas. En super rebajas vale la pena para ver un Meier de primera generación.
  7. J.J.Rush
    Dec 31, 2004
    7
    As a Pirates remake this game succeeds 100% The only problem is nostalgia doesnt make a great game. After seeing the same cutscene/animation for each gaming section for the 100th time you might start to get a bit tired of it all. Limited fun for a while anyway.
  8. RobertL.
    Jan 10, 2005
    5
    Perhaps the appeal of this game to many is that it reminds us of Sid's original "Pirates!" Those of you who haven't played the original may wonder what the big deal is, however, and I don't blame you. It seems over the years other Pirate games have taken Sid's format and improved it, and if you've played many pirate games in the last few years, you'll miss Perhaps the appeal of this game to many is that it reminds us of Sid's original "Pirates!" Those of you who haven't played the original may wonder what the big deal is, however, and I don't blame you. It seems over the years other Pirate games have taken Sid's format and improved it, and if you've played many pirate games in the last few years, you'll miss those improvements badly playing this game. The animations are well done, and the fencing and dancing are colorful, interesting and simple, but they all get old fast. The nostalgia is great, and may be worth the re-visit, but all told there really isn't much to this game. If you're a big fan of the original I suggest buying this game and displaying it on a shelf for the memories. (It'll be worth more un-opened in 30 years, and you wont play it long anyhow.) If you're new, I know it's painful to pass up anything with Sid Meier on the cover, but if you buy it you'll wish you had your money back to buy a cheaper, more substantial game. Expand
  9. Dale
    Nov 28, 2004
    7
    This could be the best remake of a game to date, the graphics are outstanding and the open ended playability is a big asset to the game also the newly added content is a big uplift to the old shoot, slash, capture. i would love to see this be a multi player game.
  10. Sep 19, 2016
    5
    No depth whatsoever, and you begin to see this within the first 2 hours of the gameplay:
    - Only 5 goods to trade
    - You never know if you should switch to a different ship because you don't know if it's going to be better or worse - You don't know how many canons your ship can support - You win all hand-to-hand battles by just pressing buttons (and you ALWAYS win) - Sea Battles are
    No depth whatsoever, and you begin to see this within the first 2 hours of the gameplay:
    - Only 5 goods to trade
    - You never know if you should switch to a different ship because you don't know if it's going to be better or worse
    - You don't know how many canons your ship can support
    - You win all hand-to-hand battles by just pressing buttons (and you ALWAYS win)
    - Sea Battles are extremely repetitive (board and kill the captain - don't even need canons) and become unnecessary tedious if the wind is unfavorable
    - Dancing? There is dancing? My Lord!
    - All cities are the same - come visit Tavern, sell ALL 5 goods (can't even buy anything, unless you play as a trader, but why play as a trader in a game called "Pirates"?)
    - For Pete's sake - lack of basic Options in the game (no - you can't bind keys) and the tutorial give away this title as a joke and money grabber.

    This type of game - this genre in general - requires depth. Such games simply cannot exist without depth.

    This title is not worth to be played as a phone app, less so deserve to be called Sid Meier's.
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  11. Oct 30, 2017
    6
    The problem I have with this game is that it's shallow. It's a bunch of different genres in one, meaning that there are a lot of things to do, but it's spread very thin. The main selling point of the game is sailing around, battling with other ships, and visiting ports. All of that feels good enough, but takes some getting used to, because the control scheme is a bit strange (you use theThe problem I have with this game is that it's shallow. It's a bunch of different genres in one, meaning that there are a lot of things to do, but it's spread very thin. The main selling point of the game is sailing around, battling with other ships, and visiting ports. All of that feels good enough, but takes some getting used to, because the control scheme is a bit strange (you use the numpad for most things). Everything else though is represented through various minigames which range from turn-based strategy to rhythm action. It has that "Spore" problem of trying to do too much at once instead of focusing on something specific it can do well, but this game didn't seem to get criticised in the same way. Maybe people love it for the atmosphere and the pirate theme (still rare in gaming), and I can respect that. But while the minigames are varied, none of them are particularly complex or refined, and they're basically the same every single time, just progressively more difficult.

    I can totally see the appeal, it's a very unique game, and it's fun for a few hours, but it just became repetitive after a short while and I lost interest. If you're looking for a pirate game you can play casually, it might be the game for you. But if you're looking for something with more depth to it, it won't be.
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  12. Jun 13, 2012
    10
    Gets an instant 10/10 for being the best pirate game ever made (don't believe those "Monkey Island" purists). The difficulty can be changed *while playing*. This is awesome! If you find you're having too easy a time plundering you can divide the loot and up the difficulty. Higher difficulty settings grant you access to different items to help you in your piracy and new quests. YourGets an instant 10/10 for being the best pirate game ever made (don't believe those "Monkey Island" purists). The difficulty can be changed *while playing*. This is awesome! If you find you're having too easy a time plundering you can divide the loot and up the difficulty. Higher difficulty settings grant you access to different items to help you in your piracy and new quests. Your reflexes get slower with age, making swashbuckling duels tougher. There's all kinds of nice details like this waiting for you AFTER sinking everything French stops being "fun" and starts to feel more like "community service". All I can say is play it. Collapse
Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
  1. 80
    Won't appeal to everyone, but if you're nostalgic for the original or like unstructured and open-ended games, this booty is well worth seeking. Yarrr!
  2. There's really only one word to describe Sid Meier's Pirates! and that's 'charming'. The excellent presentation, clever gameplay design and exquisite pacing mark it out as a unique and well thought out game. It's full of confidence and style, eager to impress and even if it won't keep you playing for months on end, is bound to provide an enjoyable experience while it lasts.
  3. Its huge open-endedness does an excellent job of establishing the proper atmosphere while the balance of combat and economy produces a quality strategy title. It does, however, have its problems. Open-ended gameplay can lead to a lack of focus, and this game is very light on tutorial, how-to material which creates a somewhat larger than average learning curve; preventing me from recommending Pirate's to all gamers as a whole.