As Talk Like a Pirate Day was earlier this week, it’s something that I’m still thinking about.
When I was growing up pirate things weren’t as pervasive in the culture and media as they are now. Everyone knew about pirates of course, but it wasn’t something you encountered very often.
My first real experience with piratey goodness was the game Sid Meier’s Pirates! on the Commodore 64. That’s what really got me hooked.
In Sid Meier’s Pirates!, you can play the captain of a ship, or a fleet of ships, either acting as a pirate, or under the banner of one or more countries, earning letters of marquee and increasing in rank and prestige from there, including earning land and even winning the hand of a governor’s daughter in marriage.
While all this is going on, you can also sack towns and drive the governor out and install a governor from the country of your choosing to help further a country’s goals, find pieces of a treasure map to find buried treasure, rescue members of your family, capture the silver train and treasure fleet, recruit more sailors to your cause and expand your personal fortune, all while sailing, getting into cannon fights, and sword duels.
Sid Meier’s Pirates! remains one of my all-time favorite games. It was ported to a number of different platforms, including the Apple II and the Sega Genesis and was made into a number of versions, such as Pirates! Gold and the newer game, also called Sid Meier’s Pirates!, for all the modern video gaming systems, the PC, Mac, and the iPad. Each version plays a little differently, especially in the areas of fighting with cannons, sword duels, and attacking towns over land.
I always found the most enjoyable remake to be Pirates! Gold, but the original Pirates! for the Commodore 64 is still my favorite. I would recommend that anyone that hasn’t played one of the many versions before to find one and give it a try.