Pirate Video and Board Game Reviews

Online Casinos are Piratey, Right?

I’ve been to Las Vegas a few times. The first was for a wedding, another few times were for just plain-old hanging out and finding fun places to eat and drink, and once was for the World of Concrete, which sounds like it could be lame – and you’d be right if it wasn’t for all the giant freakin’ robots. But that’s another story.

(Fun fact: One time at Caesars Palace, Mrs. Bilgemunky and I were so wrapped up in our walking conversation that we nearly plowed into some poor blonde chick, right in front of her own bodyguards. We barely broke pace, giving a lame half-apology over our shoulders while continuing on with our chat. It was a moment or two later when Mrs. Bilgemunky thought to wonder why the blonde chick had bodyguards and it fell together. “Wait, was that Paris Hilton?” she asked me. I looked back and realized that indeed had been Paris Hilton. Probably. Maybe.

Yup, we almost ran over a self-absorbed celebrity because we ourselves were too self-absorbed at the moment to notice her. How the tables have turned! Hahahaha!!! [although they pretty much turned right back since Paris likely flew home in a private jet and we had to elbow our way into coach.)

Where were we? Oh yeah, Vegas. You know what I’ve never done in Vegas? Gambled. It’s way too intimidating – the barrage of numbers and cards and tokens and some dealer who’s probably psychic explaining to me once again how to play the simplest of games but I never remember because it all blends together. Plus, you just know every other player at the table is a con-artist or cardshark – I’ve seen Rounders and that’s how they do. (more…)

Review: Kinectimals 2 (a.k.a. Farcry 3)

Rating: ★★★★½
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Kinectimals is perhaps one of the most overlooked pirate games around – mainly because you probably didn’t know it was a pirate game. True, the basic idea is “pet the tiger” or “pet the leopard” or even “pet the bear” through the magic of Xbox Kinect, but it also involves the search for pirate treasure on a tropical island filled with ancient ruins. See? Piratey.

Of course, it was also pretty heavily targeted at kids, which is why it was such a bold move when they announced the sequel, Farcry 3. (more…)

Review: Raiding Parties Card Game

Rating: ★★★½☆

We live in a glorious age. There was a time not long ago when, if you wanted to enjoy some piratey fun, you couldn’t simply fire up the computer or break out the smartphone. There was a time when you had to use wooden swords, or perhaps some books with dice and mounds of scratch paper. Of course, there was another time not so long ago when many of the tabletop adventures took place in card form. I mostly missed out on those days – just a tad too old to get into Magic the Gathering or Pokemon. And this is why I shiver in fear whenever a pirate card game comes along – it’s not their fault, but I’m somewhat mentally stunted when it comes to card games. (more…)

Review: Operation Rum App

Rating: ★★★½☆

I love pirates, and I love physics-based puzzle games. I also sort of like rum. And so an app such as “Operation Rum” comes along and it would indeed seem custom tailored for me. The concept is simple enough – one or more fairly rolly-polly shaped pirates are standing there drinking their rum, and it’s your job to get them into the pub. This is done by manipulating their enviroment – mostly by eliminating obstacles or dropping things – to roll them through the door. Reminds me of New Orleans 2009, to be perfectly honest. (more…)

Review: Bridge the Gap

Rating: ★★★☆☆
iTunes Link

So in all my years of, I’ve never reviewed a pirate app. I guess that’s largely because, until recently, I didn’t own a phone smart enough to handle such things. My phone was ok for making phone calls, was mil-spec rated for dust and vibration resistance, and could handle about 23 seconds of submergence in what I’d love to claim was rum, but was actually some sort of knockoff cool aid. Did I say 23 seconds? Cuz 24 seconds means it’s time to buy a new iPhone, as I recently learned. (more…)

Review: Lego Pirates of the Caribbean Game

Rating: ★★★★½
When I saw that Lego was making a Pirates of the Caribbean Video Game, I had two immediate concerns. First, games based on movies frighten me – I’ve already seen the movie, and I don’t need to act it out again in video game fashion. And second, Legos to me are a tactile experience – I’ve never for the live of me understood why I’d want to play with Legos on a console.

Well, in this case I needn’t have worried on either account, and this fact is made clear right from the opening sequence. Yes, it starts with a Lego reenactment of the first scene from Curse of the Black Pearl. But then, just when the viewer thinks he knows what’s going to happen next, the Lego figures pull a fast one and do a little pirate dance – and it’s AWESOME. This is the key to this game – playing along with the audience’s expectations, and then suddenly shifting course for comedic effect. And as to the Lego thing? Well, it’s LEGOS!!! Everything is cuter/awesomer/more piratey when Legos are involved. I wouldn’t have believed it, but it’s true.  (more…)

Review: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal

Rating: ★★★½☆

talesofmi_guybrush_screenshotWe had given up hope, mostly. True, it remained close to our hearts, but rarely at the forefront of our minds. Some fansites remained, although others had shut down for lack of material or purpose. And those in the know? They told us time and again to give up – there would be no more Monkey Islands.

Monkey Island represents a strange yet significant event in pirate history. Those of us who love pirates more than average; most of us would point to the Pirates of the Caribbean rides as the most influential element in our piratey formative years. This is a common experience we share across a wide age range – from the old to the young. But there exists a sliver of us – the piratey Gen Xers – that also largely fell in love with another piece of piratey pop-culture long before the floodgates were opened by the Disney films, and that was the 1991 videogame The Secret of Monkey Island. In many ways cutting edge at the time, today’s audience would likely view it as only a little better than Donkey Kong. (more…)

Review: Pirates of the Burning Sea

Rating: ★★★★☆

Aye, I really should have reviewed this game some ages ago. Hell, it was only due to my participation as a DJ on the late YarRadio (official online station of Pirates of the Burning Sea) that Bilgemunky Radio ever came into being. And I’d spent a good amount of time on their beta – testing the waters, so to speak. But perhaps it was these very things that had my mind moving elsewhere by the time PotBS was released – my relationship with YarRadio had soured, and they’d pulled the plug on the station well before the game was even released. And though I’d learned much about the game, none of it was legally yet available for public consumption. And, lest we forget, the blasted game was in development for, what, five years? (more…)

Review: Buccaneer – The Pursuit of Infamy

Rating: ★★★½☆

Some pirate games are quite complicated – not only do you sail, but you also have to worry about swordfighting, minding your investments, replacing your old lame clothes with new, more piratey clothes, and so on. Not so with Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy. This arcade style is quick and to the point – take your ship out, blow apart the enemy, and collect your reward. It’s a refreshingly simple concept that when combined with stellar graphics and rousingly piratey sound effects (not to mention music provided by Swashbuckle!) makes for a fine way to kill your real-world productivity. (more…)

Review: Pirates of the Caribbean Online

Rating: ★★★★☆

Let’s face it, most of us don’t live the sort of lives that allow us to indulge our love of piracy – we don’t own sloops with cannons, we can’t walk around our neighborhoods with swords strapped to our hips, and so on. This is where Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMO) are such a wonderful modern creation. For those not familiar with the concept, an MMO is essentially an online world where you create a character and do whatever it is you wish you could be doing in real life. For people like us, this usually means looting and pillaging.

Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean Online is a relatively young MMO – it’s only been live for a few months and is still growing and developing to best suit the desires of its players. In it, you create a pirate character – male or female – and customize their look to suit your tastes. The characters are a little cartoony, with the menfolk being rather burely and the girls leaning towards the cutesy, but this works well enough considering that the game itself is a bit fantastic and cartoony, rather than attempting to mimick reality outright. (more…)