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Sid Meier's Pirates! (Commodore 64)

90
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
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5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

Take on the life of a buccaneer in the golden age of Caribbean Piracy! This game lets you choose from 6 different "ages" (for example, "The Silver Empire" from 1560-1600, "War For Profit" from 1640-1660, etc.), one of 4 nationalities (English, French, Dutch, Spanish), 4 difficulty levels, and one of 5 special abilities (skill at fencing, skill at navigation, etc.). Nine different types of ships were represented.

The goal of the game is to retire with as much gold and land as possible, as many ranks/titles as possible (Colonel, Admiral, Marquis, Duke), and a wife. Finding long lost relatives helps too. You accomplish these goals by plundering cities, capturing and sinking enemy ships, getting in good with governors to receive titles, learn news of "evil Spaniards" holding your relatives, capturing evil pirates, etc.

The game is educational, as you will learn about piracy through the thoroughly researched manual. You'll smell the sea salt as you participate in wild sword fights, desperate sea battles, and daring attacks by land.

Screenshots

Sid Meier's Pirates! Commodore 64 ... and sometimes buy useful info or treasure maps
Sid Meier's Pirates! Commodore 64 RATS! I got caught!
Sid Meier's Pirates! Commodore 64 Encountering another ship
Sid Meier's Pirates! Commodore 64 Checking the weather

Alternate Titles

  • "席德梅尔的海盗" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Xide Meier de Haidao" -- Chinese title
  • "Sid Meier's Pirates!: Action and Adventure on the Spanish Main" -- Tag-lined title
  • "Pirates!" -- NES title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The most timeless game I have ever found Peter Brady (4) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
ABsolutely awesome game, even in 2004 stvrich (3) 3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars

The Press Says

Computer Gaming World (CGW) Oct, 1990 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
GamesAreFun.com (GAF) Sep 19, 2003 10 out of 10 100
All Game Guide 1998 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Commodore User Sep, 1987 9 out of 10 90
Power Play 1989 85 out of 100 85
Happy Computer Sep, 1987 85 out of 100 85
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Oct, 1987 734 out of 1000 73

Forums

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Trivia

1001 Video Games

Sid Meier's Pirates! appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Ages

Each of the six "ages" you could choose from were historically accurate. Some examples: Some ages featured cities that others didn't (the cities historically hadn't been settled yet), the four different European powers gained and lost power as they did in history, and different types of ships were more common in different eras.

Development

Sid Meier on his design philosophy and how he applied it to his favorite game (from the May 2001 issue of Computer Gaming World):
We have a joke that we only do the research after the game is finished. If I read too many books, I will create a game based on the books.
(...)
Pirates! was about pirate movies, not the period.

Extras

The original box came with a map of the entire Caribbean, with each of the cities noted with their founding date (so you'd know when not to visit them!)

Missions

Unlike the Apple II version, some following versions often lets governors offer the player special missions to accept or reject in return for potential rewards.

Music

If the player runs Sid Meier's Pirates! on a Tandy machine, the player will find snippets of 3-voice music throughout the game.

NES version

Unlike other versions of Pirates!, the NES port lacks "tobacco" as a trade item for the 1600-1640 time period. In its place? An item simply labelled "crops."

Awards

  • Amiga Joker
    • Issue 01/1991 – Best Adventure Game in 1990
  • Computer Gaming World
    • Hall of Fame member
    • October 1988 (Issue #52) - Action Game of the Year
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #18 overall among the “150 Best Games of All Time”
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #6 Most Rewarding Ending of All Time
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 03/2013 – One of the "Ten Best C64 Games“
  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #84 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by Andrew Grasmeder, Indra was here, JubalHarshaw, Kasey Chang, Nathan Jedinak and PCGamer77

Related Web Sites

PCGamer77 (3028) added Sid Meier's Pirates! (Commodore 64) on Apr 03, 2003
Other platforms contributed by Trypticon (6197), PCGamer77 (3028), Raphael (1160), NGC 5194 (17267), Martin Smith (63197), Terok Nor (17862), Scaryfun (11495), joyvalley (148968) and Garcia (4784)