Ahoy mateys! From the Mind of Sid Meier, The Golden Age of Buccaneering has returned with Pirates! Gold!
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (19 reviews) - 68% of the 19 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 1, 1987

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Buy Sid Meier's Pirates! Gold Plus (Classic)

Packages that include this game

Buy Classic Explorer Pack

Includes 3 items: Sid Meier's Colonization (Classic), Sid Meier's Covert Action (Classic), Sid Meier's Pirates! Gold Plus (Classic)

 

Reviews

“A genre break-through, this is a fascinating simulation of the Age of Piracy. This reviewer's initial impression was somewhat muted, in that he did not know if the product had "legs," but it stands up far better than most computer simulations.”
100 – Computer Gaming World

“Pirates! is a great game in every regard. Ship, land, and sword battles are all exciting. Reading maps and locating treasures adds another dimension to the game. You can even take over a town and give it to any country you choose.”
100 – All Game Guide

“If Pirates! II is one tenth as good as the original, I'll be glued to it for months. I'd give Pirates! an eleven out of ten, but they won't let me, so it gets a ten out of ten. If you get a chance to play it, don't pass it up.”
100 – GamesAreFun.com

About This Game

Ahoy Mateys! From the Mind of Sid Meier, The Golden Age of Buccaneering has returned with Pirates! Gold!

You'll criss-cross your way along the 17th century Spanish Main in search of all-new adventures.

You'll lead a crew of hot-blooded buccaneers into rollicking harbour towns. And risk your booty and your life plundering enemy ships!

Hunt for magnificent treasures! Unravel the mysteries and clues of your adventure! Even battle your way through enemy waters on grueling rescue missions!

Will you win your rightful place in history? Or will you end up shipwrecked on a distant island? The answer can only be found in the swashbuckling Pirates! Gold.

  • Experience the untamed era of piracy through stunning new VGA/Super VGA art and graphics!
  • Feel the ring of crossing swords and the boom of mighty cannon with enhanced sound features!
  • Skewer scurvy rogues with enhanced sword-fighting capabilities!
  • Gain power, prestige or even the hand of the governor’s daughter!
  • Bombard enemy ships!
  • Explore more coastal towns, each with it's own dangers
  • Includes the original Sid Meier's Pirates! game! and bonus Map, Soundtrack and Cheat Sheets.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 100% DirectX compatible graphics
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% DirectX compatible card or onboard sound
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 100% DirectX compatible graphics
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% DirectX compatible card or onboard sound
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X Leopard 10.7
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card or onboard graphics compatible with OpenGL
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% CoreAudio compatible card or onboard sound
    Recommended:
    • OS: OS X Leopard 10.7 or newer
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card or onboard graphics compatible with OpenGL
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: 100% CoreAudio compatible card or onboard sound
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 100% OpenGL accelerated card or onboard graphics
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any ALSA supported card on onboard audio
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 100% OpenGL accelerated card or onboard graphics
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any ALSA supported card on onboard audio
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (19 reviews)
Recently Posted
Narrelama
0.2 hrs
Posted: August 19
ooo Nostalgia!

Some guy near put me off buying this as he thought there were no treasure maps here. As far I can see, it has all the features the good ol' amiga Pirates had. Only - remember that those pirate flags are CRUCIAL to identify, and you have to download or google that ♥♥♥♥ or else the game will "bust you for piracy" =P

Everything is here, only the graphics suffer from the conversion. Maybe something that could be patched, if someone bothered. But it is good old Sid Meyer's Pirates - and SUPERIOR to the 2004 version - in near every respect.

I feel the fencing has become easier, though. And I think because the CPU's clocking the time lapse is very much faster in-game than it is supposed to. A nerd may be able to script or otherwise work around that somehow but it is beyond me. It is not noticable in gameplay, but it has some serious effects:

namely - those treasure fleets WILL NOT be where the rumors say they are, unless they are in the immediate neighborhood. Because time literally flies. For the same reason, you age - like incredibly fast, and therefore a relatively fresh player should select medicine as his speciality. Otherwise you'd be hard pressed to progress particularly much in ranking - you simply age too much.

That being said, I play it A LOT, and I wonder what's up with Steam saying I've played it .2 hours this last week, because I've played it 24/7...

Highly recommended. Much better than those indie wanna-be-pirate-games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
billgarlic
0.2 hrs
Posted: August 1
Play the 2005 remake instead
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Anazasi
0.5 hrs
Posted: May 4
A very poor remake of Sid Meier's Pirates game in which nothing actually happens: no realistic ship battles, no treasure maps, no cross-country explorations. Where is the original game?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Com|C
4.2 hrs
Posted: April 16
Classic, amazing game.

Runs like absolute garbage. All of the people with keyboard issues... Use the mouse... left and right click while sailing tacks each direction.

copy protection is annoying.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The Bear of Bad News
0.3 hrs
Posted: October 10, 2015
I used to rock the original Pirates! as a young boy. My dad would go on trade routes, carefully building his wealth; meanwhile I would stab, sink, and raid anything and everything I could.

Fast-forward 20 years, and 15 minutes into this game I got stomped. :-P

8-year-old-me would have wondered how he grew up to be such a wuss.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Strategydojo
285.7 hrs
Posted: April 6, 2015
This Review has some CRITICAL information missing from the home page to enable you to play through with out loosing all your gold/guns to a security check.

This game is a literal port of the late 80's version of the game.

CRITICAL PIRACY CHECK INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW.
This game was designed with a anti-piracy feature (I know ironically funny) where each page of the instruction manual had a pirates flag on it with a real pirates name. During the game you sometimes come across a pirate and it asks you to identify the flag. If you choose incorrectly you will loose all your gold, all your cannons, and your crew will be very very unhappy.

Use this link to match the right flag during the... Anti-piracy check... In Pirates the game.
http://www.goodolddays.net/file/file,89/id,229/type,docs/

Saving: To save the game you must be in a town (not at sea) and go to your cabin. The dresser on the right has a chalk board and you click on this to save. Just because most don't have the manual, I wanted to stress you had to be in a town to do this.

This was one of my go to games in the early 90s and I played around with it A LOT more than most of my other games.

It is dated, and the newer version is probably a better game if you don't have a connection to the old game. But for me just seeing the MPS Lab logo during boot up took me back in a time machine. The music and lay out has such a nostalgically fulfilling aspect to it.

Things I like about this game compared to the new nicer looking version
-You can marry the Merchents daughter (which actually leads to an advantage if you want to be a merchant more than a pirate)

-You can "Spend a pleasent evening" with the bar maid and build up a spy newwork of lovers

-Does not have dancing (Which is fun the first time you do it, but becomes repetitive and boring and slows down the new version)

-You can select the time periods that you want to play in and the world map is geared historically to a balance of power of those years

TIPS
Sword Combat: I see a lot of people feel that sword fighting is random, and battles are random. Since I was a kid I learned that if you took the Big Cutlas sword and just button mashed over their head you would win 98% of battles even when outnumbered 3 to 1. The cutlas is broken and use it to have your 50 guys win a victory vs 200-300 groups.

Killing off crew:
Before breaking up pirating session and regrouping I found killing off the majority of my crew had a long term perk. Sure I did not get more shares because you get a % of the total based on your difficulty setting but the rest of the crew do get more and the amount they get plays into how they feel about a campaign and impacts your repulation and future recruiting efforts. So I would have several hundred men to go hunt with and then when I was done I would attack a spanish town and kill off all but 50ish of them. They would be happy when dividing the plunder and my reputation would grow.

Difficulty Setting
Starting on the highest difficult can be really challanging (which can be fun), but if you want a path to success have your first few campaigns as a apprentice and build up a ship and reulation when it is easy. Then you can advance in your difficulty to the next level when you have a good ship and reputation to get a good crew easily at the higher difficulty.

When in bad shape don't investigate ships
If you find you are having a problem and don't want to risk being attacked by another pirate (crew low, or ship damaged), when you spot a ship on the horizon you don't have to investigate. This will keep you safe as you try to make it back to port when you are in a vulnerable shape.

Town Interaction before Dividing Plunder
when you go to a town you can see the Gov and recuit crew. If you do this and then divide the plunder, months will click off and when you start your next outing it will still have it checked off that you talked to the GOV (or got crew) and not let you do it again until you leave town and come back. The Gov can update you on who is at war with who, so it is good to know not to see him before dividing plunder.

Merchant King:
As you buy and sell material the economy (available gold and goods) at a merchent in that town shifts. The more you trade the more a town prospers and the amount of goods and prices are impacted. If you marry a merchants daughter you get items at a huge discount. You get a even better deal if you pick the Chrismatic Smooth talker trait at the begining (rose icon among traits).

I once did an experiment, and I played one year as a pirate and got land and grew my title. The next outing I went and raided a bunch of spanish ships and got my fleet up, but had all but a skeleton crew on each ship (killed my men off in a controlled battle). I married the merchant daughter of a well off island to the east that was close to several other establishments. I then bought low, sailed a couple days and made 50%+ profit each trip. I broke the gold counter and maxed everything out. I forget if 99,999 was the max amount of 999,999... something like that. With that much gold and having the Chrismatic trait I was also able to continue my voyage for every. My personal log maxed out at 99 years (I guess they never thought some one would figure out how to be 100 year old pirate and still be active). It is fun to be a pirate Merchant King. You can max out gold and age.

So there you have it. Should you get this game? If you have a connection to the original the answer is YES it plays just like you remember and this version on steam is really solid. If you are fascinated by gaming history and like seeing how games evolved and you like the current version of Sid Myer's pirates then this is fun to see how it was done 25+ years ago.

I would buy on sale, and realize it is a game of the late 80s-early 90s. As you can tell from my review this game means a lot to me. It is part of my childhood, and was one of the first games that I looked at how it was made and found a way to "break" it with my merchant king approach which was a fun experience for me and before the days of the internet where you could look up ways to really get ahead in a game. This game is in my top 100 games of all time. It allowed a 10 year old me to be a pirate and rule the seas. I glady give them the price of a Starbuck coffee to revist that part of me and go be a playboy with all the Barmaids.

If you want a Pirate sim that lets you upgrade your ship, build specialty crew members, have tactics with different cannon shots for combat, has cute graphics for combat, and a better story focus for finding your lost family then I say get the newer version.

If you want to see what it was like to be a kid playing the best pirate game out in the late 80s/early 90s, then look no further to a game that lets you experince that.

If you have any questions about something just leave a comment. I love this game and will respond and help my fellow swashbucklers (or merchant Kings)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
hogie9
2.1 hrs
Posted: January 19, 2015
Comes with 2 games, the original (one of my favorites as a kid) and a 1990's re-release, which unfortunately doesn't have usable controls. The first game is fine, unfortunately I bought it for the second.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Freddy Spook
0.8 hrs
Posted: January 5, 2015
Well i guess this game would be good still if the sword battles actually worked and not on pure luck,,, the rest of the game is mediocre but it is 22 years old so i can't blame it.

for you who don't know how to battle use the numpad
Helpful? Yes No Funny
bunnymoon
0.1 hrs
Posted: December 13, 2014
This game I believe comes with
Sid Meier's Pirates! 1987
Pirates! Gold 1993

Honestly I bought this on sale, and for the price I paid for it was okay. At the normal price Id be a little less likely.
Since for a couple bucks more you can get the 2004 version.(which I already own)

If your looking for HD Graphics and a great storyline sadly you are looking in the wrong place. This game has aged ...... alot

I bought this game because it was something I played when I was growing up, and for its day it was a great game compared to its competition. If you are feeling nostalgic or are into retro games this is the game for you.

Its is the closest thing to a retro experience you will have short of pulling your old Tandy or 486 out of the closet.

So If you are a hardcore Uber retro Fanboy's and want to prove it buy it at full price. (Though I doubt Sid Meier or any of the people who originally developed this game get much out of this)

Even if you want to wait till this game is on sale, Id still reccomend it if you are into retro games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[FF]JamestheRed
0.3 hrs
Posted: November 28, 2014
Absolutely useless software. I loved these games in the past, but damn, what a horrible emulation of them now!
Thankfully I bought this on sale - but still, I wasted $3.50 on what I thought was good software...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
219 of 220 people (100%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
285.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 6, 2015
This Review has some CRITICAL information missing from the home page to enable you to play through with out loosing all your gold/guns to a security check.

This game is a literal port of the late 80's version of the game.

CRITICAL PIRACY CHECK INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW.
This game was designed with a anti-piracy feature (I know ironically funny) where each page of the instruction manual had a pirates flag on it with a real pirates name. During the game you sometimes come across a pirate and it asks you to identify the flag. If you choose incorrectly you will loose all your gold, all your cannons, and your crew will be very very unhappy.

Use this link to match the right flag during the... Anti-piracy check... In Pirates the game.
http://www.goodolddays.net/file/file,89/id,229/type,docs/

Saving: To save the game you must be in a town (not at sea) and go to your cabin. The dresser on the right has a chalk board and you click on this to save. Just because most don't have the manual, I wanted to stress you had to be in a town to do this.

This was one of my go to games in the early 90s and I played around with it A LOT more than most of my other games.

It is dated, and the newer version is probably a better game if you don't have a connection to the old game. But for me just seeing the MPS Lab logo during boot up took me back in a time machine. The music and lay out has such a nostalgically fulfilling aspect to it.

Things I like about this game compared to the new nicer looking version
-You can marry the Merchents daughter (which actually leads to an advantage if you want to be a merchant more than a pirate)

-You can "Spend a pleasent evening" with the bar maid and build up a spy newwork of lovers

-Does not have dancing (Which is fun the first time you do it, but becomes repetitive and boring and slows down the new version)

-You can select the time periods that you want to play in and the world map is geared historically to a balance of power of those years

TIPS
Sword Combat: I see a lot of people feel that sword fighting is random, and battles are random. Since I was a kid I learned that if you took the Big Cutlas sword and just button mashed over their head you would win 98% of battles even when outnumbered 3 to 1. The cutlas is broken and use it to have your 50 guys win a victory vs 200-300 groups.

Killing off crew:
Before breaking up pirating session and regrouping I found killing off the majority of my crew had a long term perk. Sure I did not get more shares because you get a % of the total based on your difficulty setting but the rest of the crew do get more and the amount they get plays into how they feel about a campaign and impacts your repulation and future recruiting efforts. So I would have several hundred men to go hunt with and then when I was done I would attack a spanish town and kill off all but 50ish of them. They would be happy when dividing the plunder and my reputation would grow.

Difficulty Setting
Starting on the highest difficult can be really challanging (which can be fun), but if you want a path to success have your first few campaigns as a apprentice and build up a ship and reulation when it is easy. Then you can advance in your difficulty to the next level when you have a good ship and reputation to get a good crew easily at the higher difficulty.

When in bad shape don't investigate ships
If you find you are having a problem and don't want to risk being attacked by another pirate (crew low, or ship damaged), when you spot a ship on the horizon you don't have to investigate. This will keep you safe as you try to make it back to port when you are in a vulnerable shape.

Town Interaction before Dividing Plunder
when you go to a town you can see the Gov and recuit crew. If you do this and then divide the plunder, months will click off and when you start your next outing it will still have it checked off that you talked to the GOV (or got crew) and not let you do it again until you leave town and come back. The Gov can update you on who is at war with who, so it is good to know not to see him before dividing plunder.

Merchant King:
As you buy and sell material the economy (available gold and goods) at a merchent in that town shifts. The more you trade the more a town prospers and the amount of goods and prices are impacted. If you marry a merchants daughter you get items at a huge discount. You get a even better deal if you pick the Chrismatic Smooth talker trait at the begining (rose icon among traits).

I once did an experiment, and I played one year as a pirate and got land and grew my title. The next outing I went and raided a bunch of spanish ships and got my fleet up, but had all but a skeleton crew on each ship (killed my men off in a controlled battle). I married the merchant daughter of a well off island to the east that was close to several other establishments. I then bought low, sailed a couple days and made 50%+ profit each trip. I broke the gold counter and maxed everything out. I forget if 99,999 was the max amount of 999,999... something like that. With that much gold and having the Chrismatic trait I was also able to continue my voyage for every. My personal log maxed out at 99 years (I guess they never thought some one would figure out how to be 100 year old pirate and still be active). It is fun to be a pirate Merchant King. You can max out gold and age.

So there you have it. Should you get this game? If you have a connection to the original the answer is YES it plays just like you remember and this version on steam is really solid. If you are fascinated by gaming history and like seeing how games evolved and you like the current version of Sid Myer's pirates then this is fun to see how it was done 25+ years ago.

I would buy on sale, and realize it is a game of the late 80s-early 90s. As you can tell from my review this game means a lot to me. It is part of my childhood, and was one of the first games that I looked at how it was made and found a way to "break" it with my merchant king approach which was a fun experience for me and before the days of the internet where you could look up ways to really get ahead in a game. This game is in my top 100 games of all time. It allowed a 10 year old me to be a pirate and rule the seas. I glady give them the price of a Starbuck coffee to revist that part of me and go be a playboy with all the Barmaids.

If you want a Pirate sim that lets you upgrade your ship, build specialty crew members, have tactics with different cannon shots for combat, has cute graphics for combat, and a better story focus for finding your lost family then I say get the newer version.

If you want to see what it was like to be a kid playing the best pirate game out in the late 80s/early 90s, then look no further to a game that lets you experince that.

If you have any questions about something just leave a comment. I love this game and will respond and help my fellow swashbucklers (or merchant Kings)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
39 of 44 people (89%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
This game I believe comes with
Sid Meier's Pirates! 1987
Pirates! Gold 1993

Honestly I bought this on sale, and for the price I paid for it was okay. At the normal price Id be a little less likely.
Since for a couple bucks more you can get the 2004 version.(which I already own)

If your looking for HD Graphics and a great storyline sadly you are looking in the wrong place. This game has aged ...... alot

I bought this game because it was something I played when I was growing up, and for its day it was a great game compared to its competition. If you are feeling nostalgic or are into retro games this is the game for you.

Its is the closest thing to a retro experience you will have short of pulling your old Tandy or 486 out of the closet.

So If you are a hardcore Uber retro Fanboy's and want to prove it buy it at full price. (Though I doubt Sid Meier or any of the people who originally developed this game get much out of this)

Even if you want to wait till this game is on sale, Id still reccomend it if you are into retro games.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
22 of 23 people (96%) found this review helpful
23 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2015
I used to rock the original Pirates! as a young boy. My dad would go on trade routes, carefully building his wealth; meanwhile I would stab, sink, and raid anything and everything I could.

Fast-forward 20 years, and 15 minutes into this game I got stomped. :-P

8-year-old-me would have wondered how he grew up to be such a wuss.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
Classic, amazing game.

Runs like absolute garbage. All of the people with keyboard issues... Use the mouse... left and right click while sailing tacks each direction.

copy protection is annoying.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
Play the 2005 remake instead
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 16 people (44%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 5, 2015
Well i guess this game would be good still if the sword battles actually worked and not on pure luck,,, the rest of the game is mediocre but it is 22 years old so i can't blame it.

for you who don't know how to battle use the numpad
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 35 people (34%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 19, 2015
Comes with 2 games, the original (one of my favorites as a kid) and a 1990's re-release, which unfortunately doesn't have usable controls. The first game is fine, unfortunately I bought it for the second.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 12 people (8%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 4
A very poor remake of Sid Meier's Pirates game in which nothing actually happens: no realistic ship battles, no treasure maps, no cross-country explorations. Where is the original game?
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
27 of 78 people (35%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
Absolutely useless software. I loved these games in the past, but damn, what a horrible emulation of them now!
Thankfully I bought this on sale - but still, I wasted $3.50 on what I thought was good software...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
18 of 64 people (28%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
Better than the 2005 remake
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny