by MicroProse Software, Inc.
You want to be a Pirate? Then Sid Meier's Pirates! Gold is the game for you. Sid Meier was always producing great simulation games and Pirates! Gold didn't disappoint either. The story was set in the Caribbean and though the player can sail free as much as he wants, there are some invisible limits just northeast of Bermuda and southeast of Trinidad. However, the graphics were awful, even for 1987, and it kind of ruined the interesting idea of Meier. The player can choose to be a pirate for France, England, the Dutch Republic or Spain.
Choose from the following: 1560s' The Silver Empire, 1600s' Merchants and Smugglers, 1620s' The New Colonists, 1640s' War for Profit, 1660s' The Buccaneer Heroes, or 1680s' The Pirates' Sunset. You can also select your nationality, difficulty level and one of five special abilities your character will possess, including fencing, navigation, gunnery, medicine, or wit and charm.
After typing in your family name, you'll have to first win a duel on board a ship before you can start sailing from an overhead view of the Spanish Main. You're then left to your own devices on how to play the game. Earn titles by fighting for kings of different nations, battle ports, attack and acquire bigger ships, hire crew members, sell goods or even search for buried treasure.
Besides starting a new career, you can assume command of one of six famous expeditions, practice sword fighting or view the Hall of Fame of top pirates. Up to four games can be saved to cartridge, so you can resume your buccaneering whenever you feel the urge to pillage and plunder. Just make sure you have enough rations to last your trip and gold to divide among your crew!
The whole game is based in one area only; the Spanish Main on the Caribbean Sea. There are over 50 towns in the game. After you've played this game alot, you'll memorise the names and location of each town!
Whatever you do in Pirates! is based on 3 objectives. You are to find fortune or commonly known in this game as gold, become famous across the Carribbean to recruit more men and to find your lost family one by one. Lets not forget that you can go teasure huntin! Along your adventure, you must fight. Sure you can peacefully trade, how boring! You gotta get the action on from the start, because you have a crew, and the only thing they want is gold. And the best way to do that is by plundering ships and towns, or go treasure hunting!
Graphics are colourful, bold and beautiful. While sailing around the Caribbean may not look life-like, it is worthy of being a real life map. Animation is used almost anywhere in the game to add plenty of atmosphere.
To keep you happy, there is a happy pirate tune whenever you're at sea. Then the music changes to best suit the situation you're in. There's also a bit of speech. Whenever you sail near a ship, your lookout man will yell ''sail ho!'' and whenever you reach a town he'll yell ''man ho!'' During a duel, you've got your funny piraty grunts. All sound is of high quality and hard to fault.