Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates

These days, there's a massively-multiplayer persistent universe online game to suit everyone - everyone under 30, that is. This is great if you can filter out the frequently offensive behaviour of your average teenage gameplayer, but what if you want a less aggressive gaming experience?

This is where the utterly charming Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates (or YPP to its players) comes in. Based upon the same persistent universe principles of Everquest or Anarchy Online, YPP offers the same level of involvement and interactivity with your fellow gamers, plus the ability to make your mark on the virtual landscape around you.

You start out as a lowly castaway with nothing but a basic blade and the rags you wear, taking jobs on navy vessels or local crews to build up your skills and earn pieces of eight (POE). Eventually, you may join a crew, and take your officer training. Then you can sail your own ship, hire your own crew and take to the seas in search of booty.

What makes this game so different is that the tasks (bilging, navigation, carpentry, swordfighting, carousing, etc) are all puzzle games - think variants of Tetris and Bubble Bobble and you'll get the idea. This makes it a more cerebral affair, and has drawn together a generally friendly (and often alarmingly committed) community, making the game extremely accessible to all comers.

Because your performance depends entirely upon your puzzling abilities, character levels don't really exist - it's your rank (pirate, officer, senior officer, captain or even king for example) that restricts what you can wear, do and own.

YPP can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. You could spend your time as a jobbing pirate, enjoying the on-ship banter as you save up for a new sword, but there's nothing stopping you from putting a flag of your own together, opening up shops and trading posts, creating your own merchant fleet, blockading islands, foraging for goods, or earning your keep by taking part in the frequent carousing or swordfighting tournaments held around the Midnight Ocean.

There are a couple of caveats, however. Like most online games, you'll find that activity peaks while the US is awake - though there are a couple of dedicated Aussie crews out there - and some may find that progressing from Pirate to Officer (at which point the game really takes off) takes a little too long. That said, YPP is one of those games that's easy to pick up and difficult to put down, and that's as much due to the community as it is the game itself.

If this appeals, you'll find the demo on this month's cover disc that'll let you play for free for 10 sessions, then it's $US9.95/month (or $US6.25 if you pay for a whole year). Give it a go, and if ye be lookin' fer a crew, tell Cap'n Silkprincess o' the Dagger Revolution that Bilgewash sent ye. Arr!

Visuals: Cute characters and isometric views give the game a toy-like feel
Audio: Occasional musical stings used more for punctuation than atmosphere
Gameplay: Engrossing, entertaining and completely habit-forming thanks to the game design and strong community base
Score: Four out of five stars
Developer: Three Rings Design
URL: www.puzzlepirates.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Laurence Grayson

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?