Pixel Piracy can be a tough, unforgiving game. There are bugs, and you should expect from an Early Access game, but most of these can be avoided. When you begin a new game, you start on an island with everything you need to get started: a tavern to hire people; a weapons shop to buy better weapons; a food shop to buy some basic food; and a ship building shop where you can buy blocks to be used for your ship. You also start with enough blocks to build a small raft, which will be your ship for until you want to spend the money for more blocks (or by pillaging conquered ships). Using your first small raft, you and your early crew will pillage islands and ships to gather gold and supplies, which can be used to hire more crew, buy food, etc. While you explore the seas, you will come across inhabited islands that have services you can buy from (these islands are identified by a special icon). These islands will often have materials you couldn't find on other islands; for example, a cannon can't be bought on the starting island, but a few other islands may have some for purchase. The same applies to foods, parts, weapons, and crew members. There are various professions that crew members may have. Sailors are needed to keep the ship clean; fighters have bonuses when attacking; cooks prepare raw foods into better quality foods; first mates will take over the ship if the captain dies, allowing you to keep playing if you die; and there are many more, all having unique abilities that will keep your ship running and the gold coming in. Each crew member also has special traits that affect their strengths and weaknesses; some traits are good (loyal, gunslinger, etc.) and others aren't as helpful (traitor, weak, etc.). Each crew member, including yourself, have an inventory that consists of an item slot (where you can add armor, extra ammo, self-destruct bombs, etc.), a weapon slot, where you can add one of the various types of melee weapons (cutlasses, short swords, spears, etc.) and another slot for an additional weapon, either an extra melee weapon or a ranged weapon (pistol, throwing knife, etc.). The crew is also going to be one of your main problems: you need to pay them. And some crew member will require a lot of pay to keep them happy. But by pillaging enough ships and islands, you should be able to keep up with the expense. Just keep in mind that this game is unforgiving: if the captain dies, the game is done, and you need to restart from the beginning (though a recent update at the time of this review added a mode where dying doesn't delete the save).
I would rate this game an 8.5/10.
+ Lots of fun to be had.
+ The graphics complement the feeling of the game.
+ Customizable ships and crew.
- Some bugs, but this isn't really a bad thing, this being an Early Access game.
- Could be very frustrating, depending on your attitude.
Posted: December 22nd, 2013