Swords and Crossbones: An Epic Pirate Story is a high seas swashbuckling adventure! Explore the oceans, battle brigands, defend the helpless, find the lost treasure of a forgotten people, build and maintain your very own pirate island, and more! All of this in a fully realized role playing adventure from Epic Devs.
User reviews:
Mixed (52 reviews) - 67% of the 52 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 30, 2015

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Recent updates View all (10)

February 22

Last weeks release notes


we made some small changes last week, but forgot to add the change notes.

Here they are:

There was an error with one of the buildings, it never unlocked after the mission was successful. This issue is fixed - not only for new games - but also for all the old games. Load your game and you automatically will have the building unlocked.

A fix was made, that the win conditions in vs beats battles can be not only by killing them but also by capturing them.

Added shortkeys for skills in battles, you can now freely chose your keystroke from 1-9 to be bound to the chosen skill.

0 comments Read more

February 11

Small improvements

We added an extra window when leaving the game, it tells you that if you leave, the game will be saved automatically.

Battle animations can be speed up now. This should speed up not only automated fights but also manual battles.

You are free and welcome to give us more hints at what to improve and what you dislike.

5 comments Read more


“Swords & Crossbones: An Epic Pirate Story is a very interesting game”
7/10 – http://www.biogamergirl.com/2016/01/swords-crossbones-epic-pirate-story.html

“A clever, fun, pirate RPG”
3.5 – http://www.hardcoredroid.com/swords-and-crossbones-android-rpg-review/

“Swords & Crossbones Show the Way”

About This Game

Swords and Crossbones: An Epic Pirate Story is a comedic role play adventure. Duke A. Blizzardo the most feared pirate in all the seas has kidnapped your friend and employer. Hook up with a zany crew of swindlers, cut throats, and hooligans in this whirlwind adventure involving ancient treasure, pirate lords, tourism, killer parrots, and mad mad monkeys.

Explore the islands of the Antipodal Archipelago. Sail the three oceans, including the volcanic waters and the frozen seas. Find ancient shipwrecks, battle for lost treasure, build and upgrade your pirate ships to accommodate your ever increasing crew!

Organize and develop your own pirate island. An entire build mode lets you manage the exact layout and functionality of your hideaway as you use it as your base of operations for your escapades.

Customize the load-out of each and every battle ready member of your pirate entourage. You'll need every sword, every buckler, and every ability you can spend your points on for the dangerous flintlock and cutlass filled battles that await you!

  • Tactical combat! A well crafted turn based tactical RPG full of nuance and depth!
  • Upkeep your pirate island! Build and expand, even turn it into a tourist attraction to rake in the dough!
  • Sail the ocean! With over a dozen islands to explore, there's a lot to see, and to fight, there's monsters, treasures, and more!
  • The Antipodal Archipelago! The island chain you'll pirate in is a strange place, the frozen waters to the north and the volcanic seas to the south have their own mysteries to be discovered!
  • Daring battles! Defeat the ten pirate lords of the archipelago and stop their terrible reigns of terror!
  • A customizable crew! Gather up miscreants and scalawags, each with their own set of skills and abilities to help you on your quest!
  • A grand adventure! Discover the lost treasure of the Cenote, go on daring rescue missions, and battle interesting enemies and fauna, such as zombies, parrots, monkeys, royal soldiers, and more!

System Requirements

SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7, 8 or later
    • Processor: 1.8 GHz Processor or better
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1 Compatible
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04.02 LTS or later
    • Processor: 1.8 GHz Processor or better
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1 Compatible
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Mixed (52 reviews)
Recently Posted
( 15.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 2
Basically Final Fantasy Tactics made simpler, making this game easy to pickup and play. The simplistic mechanic, in other hand , makes this game repetitive after 5+ hours. Still good game though. And cheapmlem
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 10
This game is impossible to follow and there is no help available at all.
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( 15.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 13
Swords & Crossbones: An Epic Pirate Story is a turn-based strategy, base building, RPG that follows your character, the brand new Pirate Captain, on their quest to take down the evil Duke A. Blizzardo and rescue your friend/employer.

A quick note to make about this game in your mind is that this game is a very comedical game and, as such, doesn't take itself seriously at all. If you are looking for Dark Souls X Firewatch seriousness then you are out of luck.

The game has a smart story
The writing in the game is very well done and will provide many laughs
Game doesn't tend to hold your hand
Extra Side quests and Adventuring to do
Upgrade-able equipment
Leveling and Perk system
"Quick Combat" system that allows for speeding up for combat
Town and City upgrading
Did I mention that you are a pirate captain? And get your own crew?


UI is very difficult to put up with
Combat is extremely repetitive
Game is fairly short
UI designed more like a mobile game than a PC game
Tended to be very grindy and take a long time to build up town

Overall I had a great time with this nice little indie title. If you can get past the coating of bad UI and repetitive combat. You will have a great, original, funny, turn-based, strategy, RPG, pirate game.

Rating : 6/10
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( 17.3 hrs on record )
Posted: February 17
Swords & Crossbones was a very interesting game for me to play. It's basically a "Tactics" game, following the Final Fantasy Tactics combat-style, which is essentially taking a normal JRPG and adding terrain to its combat. Now, units actually move around, have AOE abilities, etc. etc. which adds quite a lot of depth to the more traditional JRPG combat, with a few new interesting possibilities.

I have not played any of the tactics game, but I remember one of my friends playing it. This game made me want to go back to those games (which I'll do, sooner or later, now) in a very unexpected way.

The ideas of the game are cool, and I really had a blast in the beginning. Unfortunately, and perhaps due to the mobile roots of the developing team, the game ends up falling apart after a couple of hours. It's full of potential, though! Especially since it's a genre that I don't think I've ever seen on PC (not often, at the very least).

I won't write a long review, just focusing on a couple of points that I feel were very relevant when I was playing.

Going against some other reviewers, who claimed the game to be both "deep" and "casual"... well, I wouldn't call it depth, as much as breadth. The game does a lot of different stuff. Not only does it have the Tactics combat, but it also has a city-builder element, where you must manage resources in order to build a growing island, to construct buildings that provide resources or upgrade possibilities for your characters.
It also has some exploration element, where you sail to find new islands (unfortunately purely linear, going along with the story), and some other repeatable quests.

I disagree with the "depth" because of a single, yet huge problem with the game: the combat is too easy. I've spent most of the game without even knowing there were abilities (the game explains everything in the first 30 minutes, while some of the things are unlocked hours after the fact... later), and even then, the combat provided no difficulty at all.
This is mostly a problem when you realize that the whole upgrade/skill system is rendered pointless. Which, in turn, renders most of the city building system pointless as well.
It lacks depth in the sense that you'll never have to think about the combat situations you're in. The game is also very much extended by repetition (again, mobile roots), keeping you stuck in the gameplay loop of discovering islands to unlock more upgrades, to discover more islands, to get more upgrades, ad infinitum.
Well, not again infinitely, but for far longer than it should.

So, except a lot of the same battlefields, enemies, etc. while at the same time requiring no thought to get through it.

It has an interesting button: auto-combat. The AI isn't very good, but it works. 5 hours in, I stopped playing most battles. There was no point. I just hit the little button, and very sub-optimal AI would do the obligatory grind for me!

This is not enough, since the UI requires you to still click quite a lot of times to get the auto combat started.

There are a bunch of problems created by the previous one. Random encounters during exploration, some obligatory battles while you're doing the main quest, etc. etc.
If the combat was well tuned, it might have been good.
Unfortunately, the game is mostly a skinner box. It would almost work better as a clicker game.

And this is all very unfortunate, but it's a useful example to have, I guess.
The game seems very cool. The visuals are pleasant, the writing was actually good (I was laughing at the start of the game! And I rarely appreciate the writings in videogames), and the various system had incredible potential. The combat system and skills may have even been good, if the enemy encounters were balanced. As they're not, the game turns into a huge, huge grind... There's no point.

I apologize for just hitting the same point over and over and... But that is the single problem that ruined the whole game, for me. If it was shorter, I would have enjoyed it, as I would not have experience much down town. While I was learning the systems, it was cool! After that, the game couldn't keep up and still extended itself (rather artificially) for a good 10+ hours.

You have a bunch of characters, equipment upgrades, etc. You never get to explore any of it.

With all this said, I look forward for the developers' next game. This was so close to being great... hopefully, they'll take similar concepts, but with a larger focus on the game's core, instead of all systems that are mostly skinner boxes.
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( 16.1 hrs on record )
Posted: February 14
It's a good game, but I wouldn't recommend it to hardcore turn based RPG fans. UI is not that user friendly, and tactical elements are hard to find. Stupid AIs. And please do not rub tutorial tooltips all over the beginning of the game. That's not nice.

I liked that there are plenty of female characters in game, and that the default heroin was a girl. We need more female protagonist for sure. What I didn't like was the crewmen. I felt that they had some potential to be great characters, but that was it. 11 characters were seriously too many to handle. I don't even remember their names. Almost none of them recieve decent character development, except probablly that thief lady. Crewmen were just fawns to me, not comrades.

Above all, It was really hard for me to watch every single one of the characters from the game try to be witty and horribly fail, repeatedly. Not to mention those awful running gags like blizzard-o name jokes. O, the humanity... It was not something I could withstand, so after some time I decdied to skip every dialogues. Good riddance. Storyline needs some patchwork, too.

Pros for me: the concept. the Protagonist. the tycoon style of island building.
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( 12.0 hrs on record )
Posted: February 14
I'm in love with this game. Pirates, RPG, town builder, the sims, you named it !!!.
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( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: February 13
This is a tablet game ported to the PC, and it feels like it.

Unfortunately the menus and buttons are all over the place, forcing you to move across your mouse across the entire screen. Even confirming attacks requires quite a bit of mouse movement. Also there aren't any sound effects for the buttons. While the ui's buttons do work on mouse-up.. they don't have a pressed state.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 37.8 hrs on record )
Posted: February 13
this is a really fun an addictive defo a really under-rated Gem !!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 21.4 hrs on record )
Posted: February 13
This game simply breaks down to Sims management on a pirate tourist trap, and turn-based combat with an interesting storyline albeit riddled with typoes and grammatical errors but i'll just assume that the dev's first language is not English. Also you're a pirate so you upgrade pirate ships, craft stuff, etc.

I paid a $1-ish for this game and for that, it's amazing. At $5, it's still worth it and I would still recommend it. I didn't "dilly-dally" too much and got 21 hours out of the game, start to finish with all achievements unlocked.

-Game can crash A LOT. Sometimes it never happens, sometimes it happens... TOO often. It didn't really crash initially but I started building my island up with tourist-ey stuff and utilizing the 16x speed and it can freeze up a lot and crash unexpectedly. I have also had it crash in lots of battles when too many units are doing too many things too quickly. Seems to happen when the game is trying to keep track of all the effects on the map currently for each person.
-Weird AI behavior so be careful if you're playing and want your team to kind of do their own thing, they can sometimes send out people such as the healer to the front of the line??
-Some stuff in the stores even end-game I could barely afford, so the prices aren't completely sensical where-as other items I had an over-abundance of supplies.

It's fun, but buggy is the short answer which is imo as expected for a game that came from mobile devices and got on to Steam. :O
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( 11.9 hrs on record )
Posted: February 13
This is a very fun and little pirate-sim game, but the game lacks shortcut keys, for skills, for building and buying in bulk, you're only option is to click on everything via mouse and down the road this becomes very tiresome!!

It have alot of battles and it lacks an auto-resolve quick button, which can save alot of time.

And these 2 are biggest draw-backs in the game that made me not finish it.

buy only on 75% discounts
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
38 of 43 people (88%) found this review helpful
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 2, 2015
Swords and Crossbones is an interesting game. It's a lot bigger and more indepth than I was origionally thinking it would be. The game's exploration element took me by surprise. Though it has open world elements, I wouldn't really call it an open world game. You can look around but generally you'll only be getting quests on a specific island and if the quest isn't there there's not a reason to be there.

Unlike some people on here I actually like the music. The sound effects are kind of cute but get annoying after awhile. The music is actually one of my favorite parts.

The waiting around for resources can be annoying. It looks like it's based on a lot of those weird freemium games models. Though as this game is something you pay for and there's no reason to wait around I don't know the point of that. However I do rather enjoy the whole building buildings on your own island and setting it up. Moving them around is a bit too expensive but some good planning keeps that from being an issue.

I'm a sucker for tactical rpgs and this seems like a doozy. The early stuff is pretty simple but things start getting more fun once you get off the main island. I think so at least. You start exploring and fighting pirate bosses and that's pretty neat.

The graphics are charming as well. But I grew up in the era this game is kind of mimmicing, so it's right at my heart.
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30 of 33 people (91%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
49.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 8, 2015
First off, i haven't finished the game yet, but i'm planning to.
This should already tell what i feel about the game:
I truly like it.
The turn-based combat is solid. There are enough enemy units and crazy bosses to play for a while (30+hours).
Each unit has its own use, being effective in its own way.
The "create your own pirate island" part wasn't important to me, i just hoped it wouldn't get in my way:
I have to say that it's quite fun to figure out where to place buildings and decorations (the last enabling to upgrade the first).
This game is not an open world game like i thought, but the exploration part is still consistent.
I also love the art and dialogues, some cliché of 8 and 16 bits RPG are turned into puns and jokes in a satisfaying way.
If you like turn-based combat and pirates, go get it!
If you like building up characters/cities, go get it!
If you're none of the above, take a look at some vids and...decide to pick it up now to help the devs.
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15 of 21 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
37.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2015
A great time killer and a truly fun game.
Doesn't take itself seriously what so ever.
All though it's a new game it has an awesome blast from the past retro feel to it.

For the asking price, it's a steal.
A LOT of meta humor in there.
All Monkey Island fans should own this game :)

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35 of 59 people (59%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2015
The concept is quite interesting, and I'm sure it would be extremely fun to trudge through the story.

However the UI needs a lot of work, you have to mouse-click everything, with the number of fights you encounter, this makes the game pretty exhausting to play.

If auto-battle were in the game (or extremely fast battle speed), it would make the game a lot more fun to play.
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
23.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2015
Well this is a pretty nice game, I like it, the game isn't perfect and got a few flaws but overall its still a appreciable game, and for the price its still a fairly good game.

Now the main issues I'd say with the game mostly are centered around the resources, you need alot of gold to build your village, upgrade your stuff, craft stuff, etc... but the thing is you get very limited amounts, you'll need to grind to enough and that is one of the unpleasant aspects of the game, you'll need to grind alot for resources to do everything. Heck what make it worse is considering how much you need to do everything the trader where you sell your resources doesn't give you much for them, at least the more basic ones, and same for the Weaponsmith, selling weapons bring very little money, considering how much resources you need to make them its a pretty steep imbalance. I mean seriously you need to do as many side quests \ grind quests as possible and steal as much gold as possible with your thief if you ever want to manage to have enough gold, the rest of the resources isn't so bad but early on at least, gold is Hell to manage.

Now beyond that your character selection is limited, I don't have the feeling you can get 'generic' troops to recruit, if you can I haven't seen it, and yet I am close to 5 hours in. The skills the characters I do have are very limited, at most about 10 skills, a mix of active and passive skills, that you need to invest points in, and that cost every more every upgrades, with this little amount of choices their isn't all that many options for how to level your character up, also one of your starter char seem to have skills that rely on a resource that isn't available for a while, so its pretty useless to invest in anything but the passive in his case. Another one seem to capture beasts to put them in the Zoo, I have yet to see anything I captured in there, so I don't know if its a bug or merely I tried to capture too beasts that require an upgraded zoo to be available. Also the skill progression is fairly limited, my thief got Steal Gold lvl 3, and it gives 56% chances typicall to steal, while Steal Gold lvl 1 gives 50%... at about 3% per upgrade the skill will be effectively useful... about at level 10, problem is its not the only skill you need to get... but however gold is so much an issue... now if you could steal the equipped gear I'd understand 50% or lower rates... but merely for gold... I'd expect it to be a easier to begin with.

Now the Village construction is an interesting aspect the fact you have an entire island to build up is nice, but it cost ALOT to build stuff, to build even the decors cost a bunch, now while I understand in this game the decors have a use, you still have issues managing to get enough resources to build up properly, also it cost like 500 gold to move something, which make any mishaps in setting up your Village and any needs for relocation to be fairly costy.

Now I'll simply say beyond that, that the combat is not the strongest elment of this game, as I said early limited skills available, getting new gear is difficult since it cost so much per item, it means you'll play your characters mostly one way with very little in term of effective variations, you'll also do the same side missions over and over for the sake of grinding those few precious resources early on at least, however I expect later too to a level.

Still even with all the complaining I did about the game, it got a fair amount of charm and is pretty interesting, it combined Tactical RPG with Town Management, its story is quirky and amusing, our party characters seem to be novel and have alot of personality and tend toward being very unique, if albeit in a sort of caricatural \ parodical fashion. Anyhow its even with its flaw still a good game and the developers have shown much willingness to work on it and better it, so they get alot of appreciation from me for being so willing to cooperate with the players and correct the flaws to their game.

Well it seem the developers once again listened, the new update did help with two of the issues I mentioned, namely they reduced the price for moving stuff around, so its now down from 500 gold per move to 200 gold per move, which is nice, I'll be frank I would have prefered more along the line of 50-100 but this is already 60% cheaper, so its a nice drop, its going to help when we need to rearrange the Village for sure. Also they fixed the Zoo issue so now we should be able to capture beasties fine. So thanks to the developers for those fixes. Also they added a 'speed' so that the time on the map can be sped up and thus you can generate resources faster, that should be fairly helpful too to help avoid some of the tedious wait for some of those basic resources build up.

So at this point I'd say much of my complains about resources are gone... after trying the game with the Speed Options I noticed it was fairly easy to gather up resources and selling them for gold take care of that, at this point I'd say much of the complains maybe short the combat being too simplistic also maybe the fact that you can't buy equipment and must craft it, maybe there would still be some complain when it comes to resources for crafting being required in too large quantities, at this point dividing all numbers, received and to use for crafting by 10 might have been more sensible than requiring hundreds of items for one piece of gear. Anyhow, oh yea and somehow the Tier 3 Farm cost WAY more to get than the other buildings at this point, is the food resources justifiable of a 3k gold for the upgrade to Tier 3? Along with alot of other resources, it may be overkill. However considering how easy it is to gather up resources with the massive speed boost of x16, it might not matter all that much.
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16 of 26 people (62%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 6
It's not horrible so far, but the UI is pure pain. No tooltips either.

In order to attack an enemy (which is especially early one the only action you can do):
1) Click "Actions"
2) Click "Attack"
3) Click on target (The pseudo-height means this is sometimes quite difficult / buggy)
4) Click "Confirm"

Instead this could be changed into:
1) Click on target to attack
(Alle relevevant information shown as tooltip on mouseover)

Or another example:
KO-Units block movement. In order to walk past them you have to use the action "swap" to swap position with them. It's just terrible UX design.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2015
Swords & Crossbones, aka Dark Cloud Tactics! Well, kind of. ;-)

I bought this game for a mere $3 during the Steam halloween sale, not expecting anything spectacular, but I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised by this game. I started it up for the first time planning to kill some time waiting for some other games to download/install, but then I just ended up playing Swords & Crossbones for like 5 straight hours.

COMBAT: On one hand, it's a tactical RPG. You're going to be fighting lots of battles where you move specialized units on a grid map and engage enemy units in turn-based combat. As your units participate in battles, they gain XP which levels them up and improves their overall stats, but they also earn Ability Points which can be spent to unlock and upgrade their unique abilities in whatever order you like. The game follows essentially a revenge plot, where first you have to go one-by-one bust your pirate friends out of various island prisons, which is how you get your new recruits. There are various bosses to fight as you go. When you're on a battle map, in addition to just plain old fighting, you can also trap non-human monsters and use your thief to open locked chests that randomly appear on some maps. Maps also frequently include powder kegs, which you can hit with a ranged attack to blow up and deal massive damage to any units standing directly adjacent, which is useful for kiting and damaging more difficult units.

MANAGEMENT: When you're not in combat, the game shifts to being a sort of simulation/management/trading/economy type game. Your pirate band takes over their own island and starts setting up houses, storage buildings, a tavern, a pier, etc. You have to build a house for everyone in your party if you want them to work for you (otherwise they just stand around doing nothing). You recruit various non-combatant NPCs onto your colony that take up professions like lumberjacking, farming, building, smithing, mining, cooking, etc. You have to build a house for all of these people AND a shop for them to engage in their trade. Your combatant allies will serve as generalized laborers that help carry resources to storage. The resources you create can be sold directly or they can be used to build and expand. A little later you can even start a thriving tourism industry on your island, once you're able to build leisure/entertainment businesses. There is even a weapon/armor crafting system, although it isn't entirely available until several hours into the game.

EXPLORATION: This was the surprising part. You also have to explore in this game. When you first land on an island, it's covered with fog and various battle symbols that show each unexplored section of the island. You have to battle your way through each section to uncover it and make it passable/useable. On your home island, this makes the land useable. On islands you visit on the ocean, it just makes that area passeable or sometimes unlocks hidden objectives or reveals underlying towns where you can rest your party or pick up missions. Exploring over land is pretty simple, but exploring over sea requires a boat. The boat can only hold so many party members at first, so upgrading to bigger boats that hold more party members is an obvious goal. You also can only stay on the open water as long as you have food supplies on board (which you bring with you from home or catch using a fishing equipment upgrade). If you run out of food, you are forced to return home immediately.

All in all, it's a fun combination of tactical RPG combat, simulation, and exploration. It's pretty cartoony and lighthearted as well, which I tend to prefer over grimdark.

Does the game have any downsides, though? Yeah, a few. The tutorials don't explain certain aspects of the game clearly enough, so you should be prepared to be somewhat confused at first on how certain systems work. For example, the game explains to you that upgrading buildings requires meeting certain decoration requirements, but the game doesn't sufficiently explain the symbols used in the decoration system, what they mean, or what to do about them. There can also be a certain point at the beginning where you may feel frustrated because you don't know if you should be focusing on exploring/fighting or just letting your economy run and focusing on development. It would also be nice if the game had some kind of hotkeys to use for battles instead of making you click all over the place, but clicking all over the place you will have to do. I also feel like there is a huge disparity in the usefulness of abilities, with some of them feeling extremely helpful and others being so heavily penalized (e.g. using a lot of abilities forces you to deal 0 damage in exchange for inflicting a status effect, but the status effect usually only has like a 30 to 50% chance to hit, so when you first learn them they feel pretty useless). It can also be frustrating that enemy units use status effects so aggressively, and your only defense against it is the healer's "remedy" spell, which only has like a 30% chance of success, which again feels like a pretty steep handicap. But you CAN get through it.

I also encountered two bugs while playing, though it wasn't so bad, since they turned out to be the kind that help you. On one particular island, there were two battles in a row where I placed my units and clicked the "ready" button to begin the battle and was immediately shown the VICTORY screen as if I had won, but not a single unit had moved. I still got all the loot and XP though.

It would also be nice if the ships or units, when traveling on the map, would cancel their current destination when you click on a new destination. At present, they will continue traveling to wherever you first clicked and won't recognize new clicks until they reach wherever they're currently traveling. It's not so bad on land, but it can be annoying on sea where you have rations to worry about and they get burned away because your boat isn't smart enough to abort the current destination and switch to a new one. But it's still manageable. Just use short "baby step" clicks to your destination and you'll be alright.

Finally, I wish there were something like secrets or treasures or some other kind of unique discoveries to make when exploring. Even though you can explore and fight as much as you want, your progress and objectives are still ultimately pretty tightly woven to the game's story missions. I like that the game has sidequests available from the tavern, but it would be nice if there were some sidequests that were a little more interesting than just battles.

Overall, I am pretty pleased by this game. I would love to see a sequel to it or just another game similar to it that expands on the ideas and makes both the TRPG half and the exploration/management half even more complex and engaging.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
33.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2015
Overall, I would recommend this game for the sake of the comic tone and the play, which is similar to Beastie Islands from Keiro.

Several points of improvement :
The game is too easy, as long as you improve your main character and his gunner before moving out. All I had to do was to fight the crocs and bird on my main island a few times and I am OP for the next few islands.
The building process is too troublesome. It is hard to find the correct building I want in the midst of all the others. For example, I need to upgrade the house of the correct person before I can upgrade his workplace. But I can't find it if there are 15 more people on the island!
The production for the basic commodities (food, wood, cotton, etc) is too slow, in the end, i just go out there to salvage shipwrecks and use the gold I find to buy commodities.
The MMI for buying and selling commodities needs to be improved. I have tons of money but need to buy tons of wood and food to build stuff. Unfortunately, I can't buy it in the same store window and have to move to find the market place.
At the end of the day, I can easily leave the game to idle for half an hour and find my stores all filled up to use.

But those said, the game is still recommended for the comic relief and turn-based strategy fights.
I love the references to several games I have played before within the game as well as other characters in real life.
The varying terrain and combat maps are good.
The difference classes are varied enough with their own strength and weaknesses to make the strategy very interesting.
I love the exploration sailing, simply to clear out the map and go from port to port. Perhaps add in a trading aspect to the game?
I also love to build my own island. I practically spent more time shifting things around so that they look nice and function than sailing around... I do wish that the tourism aspect can be more complex, like making the tourist visit the party's houses to offer them unique weapons and quests?

3 more things to add.
1. Pirates whom are added on later in the game ought to start with more training points for their skils or at least have some skills already invested in
2. The barbarian's weapons skipped a level in production as the Executioner's Axe and the one below it require the same weapon for upgrade
3. The zoo and aquarium are hard to fill up simply because the monsters are too weak and get killed before i can capture them
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
41.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
Let me start by saying I enjoyed this game more than I expected. What follows is a somewhat spur-of-the-moment review wall of text since I had just completed the game. Don't pay any attention to my game time though as I did a lot of idling. Still I probably got a good 20 hours out of the game.

TD:DR; A casual tactics RPG with city management sim elements. Good casual fun best served in bite-sized portions.

Swords & Crossbones: An Epic Pirate Story is tactical battle rpg with city sim and exploration elements, packaged in a casual wrapping. The pixel aesthetic is easy on the eyes and works, and the character design unique, if somewhat unusual.

First, the RPG parts. The combat system in this game is an old-school turn-based grid-based system reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea or any of a multitude of N64/NES/Gameboy tactics RPGs that used to be so common. Characters can move anywhere within their move radius, no matter how many steps they have to walk around to get there, and vertical layers can be traversed by jumping based on the character's jump stat. Since this is a pirate-themed game most maps include substatial amounts of water tiles -- these can be traversed freely but restrict using actions. On actions, each character can move and act in a turn, and actions include regular attacks, skills/spells/abilities, using items, or even swapping places with an enemy corpse that's blocking the character's passage. There are lots of skills and abilities to choose from and each character is themed slightly differently.

Enemies are a mixed bag -- story enemies are mirrors of player characers so make for decent combat, but these encounters are limited to some two dozen or so boss battles. The majority of combat is in random encounters and generic battles, and those enemies only come in limited archetypes and some pallette-swaps so eventually fighting them becomes a grind. Thankfully there are ways of avoiding the random encounters so only island liberation battles against pirates are obligatory. If taken in small chunks the grind is manageable enough though.

Story is cheesy and fun, an epic rescue and pursuit of revenge. It works well with the varied characters and original graphics design. I won't say much else because anything else will pretty much spoil what little of the story there is. It goes well with the game though.

Aside from the combat the game has elements of city building/management. It comes in the form of building up a pirate island to provide houses for the crew, collect resources, craft better equipment, and build bigger ships. Eventually players can expand into tourism to entertain residents of liberated islands and provide a level of gold income to fund further expansion and upgrades. Needless to say, plans for each building have to be obtained by defeating enemies and clearing islands. Resources and items can also be found while exploring the seas and recovering sinking wrecks.

It's all casual though, so no deadlines no rush. Time can be sped up at will up to x16 speed to simply wait for more resources when needed. Battles can be re-tried however many times needed -- getting the whole team knocked out simply sends the team back to the pirate island to train up and upgrade equipment.

That pretty much sums up the game, in way too many words.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2015
Swords & Crossbones is a fun mix of the tactical RPG and simulation genres. The writng and art design are fun, and the graphics look fine scaled up for the PC. It's another pseudo-retro game, but don't let that keep off this. If you want a well polished (aside from a small typo, i.e. "ahything") game with a fun story, I highly recommend Swords & Crossbones.
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