One of the best things about being a pirate (aside from rum and wenches) is that there is no uniform. We’re each free to pick from a near endless variety of colors, styles, and accessories to look our unique piratey self (and if many uniquely choose to look like Jack Sparrow, hey, who am I to judge?)
So, let’s say you’ve already created a wholey unique pirate wardrobe? What’s next? How’s about a truly unique, custom made leather tankard? Personally, I know I could spend forever and a day searching for that perfect mug that just screams “Bilgemunky” – all to no avail. But as you can see from the photo, I gots me one! This is thanks entirely to ScurvvyDawgs.com. They make a variety of leather goods, but it’s the tankard that I’ve had the pleasure to experience first-hand. All I had to do was provide a picture of what I wanted, they embellished that with their own colors and stylizations, and there it was – a lovely tankard that is truly worthy of the Bilgemunky. Continue reading
As anyone that’s played Front Porch Classic’s Dread Pirate knows, this is a company capable of making some gorgeous, heirloom quality games. But where Dread Pirate was full of gold and silver doubloons, lovely multi-colored jewels, and gorgeous metal ships, Shut-the-Box is surprisingly plain – a box with 9 numbered tiles mounted in it, and two wooden dice. It might cause one to say, “it’s very nice looking, but is it fun? And more importantly, what in the world does it have to do with pirates?”
Answering the second question first, while other board games are based on recreating the pirate fantasy, Shut-the-Box recreates the reality – this, in fact, is the very game many a pirate and sailor actually played during those long voyages. Whether drunk on the decks, or drunk in a tavern, some version of Shut-the-Box was likely close at hand.
So on to the second question – is it fun? Continue reading
I never played Port Royale 1, so I can’t compare. But popular opinion has it that the first was actually the better of the two.
Port Royale 2 is primarily a game of economy – managing your businesses, expanding your influence, and instructing your captains on trade routes. You can also do a fair share of privateering on behalf of the governors, possibly even winning one of their daughters’ hand in marriage. Sound familiar? It should – a little bit Sid Meiers’ Pirates! and a little bit Tropico 2, the game doesn’t really live up to the standards of either. The graphics are decent, but I felt substandard. This I can easily forgive.
What I can’t easily forgive is the overall atmosphere of the game – in short, it has none. Many games have some sense of emersion – even if you’re looking down on a pixilated pirate ship from third person view while punching a keyboard, somehow the combination of music, imagery, strategy, and overall feel gives you the impression you actually ARE commanding a mighty sea battle. Not so with Port Royale 2. I found initial sea battles to be very tricky, but after some practice it became tedious and mechanical – send in ship, beat enemy down with chain shot, send in second ship with grapes, board. Wash, rinse, repeat. Continue reading