This game is quite impressive for being oldish (2003)! I love construction management simulations like RollerCoaster Tycoon and the like. :)
- You can hotkey your pirates and pirate ships. - It holds my attention quite well despite not having the graphical advances of modern games!
- The dialogue can be pretty funny. :3
- There are a lot of things to do at once, and it's quite overwhelming at the beginning. There are notices about low pirate happiness all over the place, and it takes constructing many, many things to satisfy them, but getting the captives in order to construct such things requires them sailing out, which they'll outright refuse to do if they're not happy enough to begin with. Touchy, touchy. o_o
- The game crashes often, most notably when coming back from a cruise. I stopped playing after the 8th campaign level because of constant crashing when I tried to continue.
- There aren't many in-betweens. For example, it's hard to appease the highest-ranking pirates while also appealing to the lower ones, and it can be especially difficult to target those in the middle. The buildings that are available are often only satisfying to a subset of pirates, so you just have to keep building. I can see how this adds a bit of strategy and realism, but there really should be an option between the extremes of Cheap Eatery and Inn.
- The interface could be better laid out. It'd be lovely to have a "select all" button for the wealthy captives, for example. It's difficult to see all the things you need to see all at once without pressing a multitude of buttons. Since there are certain things you always want to see on a mass scale (happiness and the location of subcategories of pirates, for instance), these shouldn't be buried in the interface!
- The keys are not very intuitive. Pausing is the "pause" button, which often isn't present on laptops (such as mine), and you use the mouse in conjunction with a lot of keys on the right side of the keyboard (instead of the left, which would be much more convenient).
- There's not much of a point in amassing a large hoard of gold, as fun as it is to cruise and raid. Kidnapping prisoners is far more fun, but even that has a limit to its entertainment if the gold is next to useless. Once you get to a constantly-earning stage, there's no real point to continue each game, unlike games like Sim City or perhaps even RollerCoaster Tycoon where you can still make tons of decisions that affect your city or just continue to build rollercoasters, or prettify both.