User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates

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Description

Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates allows the player to create a pirate character and participate in an online society. Unlike most games in the MMO genre, Puzzle Pirates offers an alternative to monthly subscription fees. Although there are servers which do run on traditional subscriptions, there are others which are entirely free to play on. The important difference is that these latter servers have an extra currency called "doubloons". Most of the items in the game have a doubloon cost (in addition to a cost in "pieces of eight", the other currency), and there are two ways for players to obtain doubloons - they may either trade them for pieces of eight on an in-game market, or they can be purchased with real-world money via the game's website. This micropayment system allows players with cash to spare to pay to make it easier to obtain the more expensive items, while giving players who cannot afford to pay the option of working harder in the game to earn more pieces of eight to trade for their doubloons.

Many of the game's mechanics, such as the duties on board a ship (sailing, carpentry, bilging, navigating, gunning), involve playing a specific puzzle. The better the player performs at the puzzle, the better the ship will be able to do battle against NPCs or other player-manned ships. After a hard day's pillaging, pirates can relax in the inns and play a selection of games in competition against other players. These range from card games such as Hearts and Poker to massive swordfighting tournaments. Some of the puzzles in the game may be familiar to dedicated puzzle fans, as many are quite similar to popular titles like Puzzle Bobble, Super Puzzle Fighter, or the puzzlers by PopCap.

The game also features a robust economic system which allows players to invest money in opening a variety of different shops for the production of various kinds of goods. Some of these are necessities for successful piracy (cannonballs, rum, swords, and the ships themselves) and some are simply luxuries (clothes and furniture for your house), but all require resources which are specific to certain islands, meaning that one must travel and trade in order to operate a profitable business.

The game is available for free download online, but a limited run of boxed games was released by Ubisoft in 2005. This special release added a basic offline story mode and allowed new pirates to choose one of two special items unique to owners of the boxed version.

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Alternate Titles

  • "Puzzle Piraten" -- German title (gamigo version)

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The Press Says

Worth Playing Windows May 29, 2005 9.5 out of 10 95
Game Vortex Windows May 18, 2005 92 out of 100 92
Freegame.cz Windows Apr 01, 2009 90 out of 100 90
IGN Windows Jan 12, 2004 8.5 out of 10 85
1UP Windows Jun 23, 2005 B+ 83
GameSpot Windows May 13, 2005 8.1 out of 10 81
The MMO Gamer Windows Jul 30, 2007 4 out of 5 80
Cheat Code Central Windows Aug 16, 2005 4 out of 5 80
Boomtown Windows Sep 19, 2004 4 out of 10 40
Gamehelper Windows Jun 07, 2005 4 out of 10 40

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Trivia

The three archipelagoes in the Ice ocean are named Vilya, Narya and Nenya. These are the three rings given to the elves in Tolkien's books, and the developers also took the name of their company from this reference.

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Contributed to by snr0n (18)