Puzzle Pirates Review
The world of Puzzle Pirates is what you'd expect from a pirate-themed game. Clipper ships and war brigs sail the seas, crewed by all manner of scalawags and sailors. Islands populate the landscape, inhabited by numerous seafaring folk. Like most any MMO, the populace of Puzzle Pirates has to earn its keep by performing assorted labor tasks, like being part of the crew on a ship or taking on assorted tasks for businesses while on land. However, you don't run around killing monsters or collecting rare items like you would in most any MMORPG. Instead, you perform your work via puzzles, and each one is uniquely tailored to the task you're charged with.
For instance, when on land, you can opt to take a job with an apothecary, a distiller, or a shipwright, among others. If you choose the apothecary, you'll see several orders for potions and concoctions that have been placed by actual players in the community. The puzzle itself revolves around rotating a number of pipes leading from colored jars at the top of the screen to a position where they'll pour out into color-coded vials at the bottom. You can create combos to up your rank, but if you screw up, you'll break your jar. Even though you can just play the puzzle as it is without even worrying about the available orders, you'll earn more money and a higher rank by filling the orders. Every task is just like this, featuring a unique type of puzzle that fits the type of work you're doing, and essentially providing you with a way to perpetuate the economy. You earn money for your work; you help a local business fill its orders; and you help other players get the items they want.
From a technical standpoint, Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates is just about the easiest thing in the world to boot up and play. The game starts up instantly and quits out just as easily. It runs on basically any machine, from a high-end PC to a Mac to even a Linux box. Granted, this is because this is just a Java client that doesn't take up more than a hundred megabytes on your hard drive. Make no mistake; Puzzle Pirates isn't bad looking at all. The puzzles all have a nice look to them, and you'll see an appreciably precious art style while you're wandering around a ship or island. Because of the game's visual limitations, you won't find anything especially impressive. However, the visuals are just fine for what they need to be here.
Overall a nice little game and is also free so there is no reason not to try it.