Over two years after the C64 version first appeared comes the Amiga version of this swashbuckling adventure, that puts the player in the boots of a 17th Century buccaneer.
Out in the Caribbean, the general idea is to take command of a ship and sail around seeking fame and fortune. You start off at an English-owned port (usually the town of Port Royale in Jamaica) with a small sloop and a handful of men. Sailing around will soon have you coming face to face with an enemy ship (at the start of the game the English are at war with the Spanish and Dutch) and, as you have been charged to seek and destroy enemy ships and towns, it is time to engage in combat.
Combat involves moving your small ship around the screen and trying to get a shot off at the enemy while avoiding any of his salvos. Almost invariably, though, the two ships collide and combat is ultimately resolved by taking the enemy captain in a duel, which is never too hard to win. Then you are left with the option of either plundering and sinking her or sending a prize crew over and making her part of your mini fleet - handy because you can always sell unwanted ships at a port. Either way you will be making money, which always impresses the governors of English ports.
While you spend your life sailing around plundering enemy ships and towns - or your own if you fancy becoming a real pirate - you can often be sent off on little subquests like delivering messages or searching for your long lost sister. You can also sail around collecting pieces of a map to guide you in a treasure hunting expedition. Once you have had enough of the seafaring life you can always retire and take up another life depending on how successful you were and whether you have found a wife.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The little tunes that play occasionally are nothing special, but fortunately the graphics are much better, even though most of them are just still portraits or pictures of towns and the like. During the action scenes - sea battles, or attacks on towns - the graphics are very simple and blocky, but at least you can see exactly what is going on and whether you have hit or missed your target.
The game save option means you can keep one character going for a long time, which means you will be coming back to this whenever you feel in the right frame of mind. Which is surprisingly often, because the game has a strange sort of addictiveness about it.
MicroProse have a nerve to bill this as a simulation but it is still lots of fun to play. After a while it becomes a bit repetitive but it certainly appeals to the greedy nature in most of us as it is hard to resist going out and plundering a bit more to make some extra money. If the gameplay had been deeper and more complex, it could have been better.