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REVIEW

PIRATES OF BLACK COVE

We're an ocean away from the days when Pirates embodied anything more sinister than Captain Jack and Monkey Islands.

Still, the colourful take on the high seas are perfect plunder for some real-time strategy action.

In Pirates of Black Cove, the player gets to sail around a somewhat stylized rendition of the Caribbean which features, alongside the usual colonial powers, four different flavors of pirate. There are the 'good' pirates: Buccaneers, Corsairs, and well, Pirates, which the player must somehow forge into a united front against the fearsome Black Cove bunch. To reach this point, one must travel back and forth on all kinds of missions, which are meant to bring about the trust of the good factions.

First and foremost, this is a fun game, which becomes evident straight away from the names and histories of the three available captains. The obvious comparison here would be with the Monkey Island games, yet there is no plagiarism here. The games do share a deep affection for puns and other terrible brands of humor, but Black Cove stands assuredly on its two wooden legs, and features quite the bundle of original writing.

Pirates of Black Cove
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The action takes place on land and sea alike. On the waves, one can navigate along simply by using the WASD-keys, where WS handles the speed and AD the direction. You needn't worry about the wind or the weather; the developer's decided to keep things decidedly arcade-friendly. Enemies are brought low using the cannons, as well as the various colourful special weapons, such as the human catapult, and the ship-seeking rockets. On land, Black Cove places its trust on the traditional real-time strategy conventions, and if you've played any such in the past, you'll find yourself immediately at home with the controls. The number of units is kept quite low.

These simple and familiar mechanics complement the light, fun feel that the game has. The graphics are also quite suited to it, because Nitro has steered clear of stark realism, opting instead for a stylized, cartoony approach. This might be the best part of Black Cove, as the design is instantly memorable and amusing. The characters especially stand out as original, and there is nothing wrong with the basic adventure view either. Ship-modeling is of course something that Nitro has done well for a while now, and the experience shows.

Pirates of Black Cove

Pirates of Black Cove features a dynamic soundtrack, which is quick to react as the events unfold, sometimes being the first warning sign that it is time to prime those cannons. It is not particularly original, but fits the feel of the game nicely, and can still be enjoyed after a couple of hours of playtime. The voice acting may have a somewhat divisive quality to it though. The voices are as cartoony as the faces they belong to, and at times they do reach some rather extreme levels. The beauty in this case, is in the eye of the beholder.

Many games these days feature all kinds of collectables to extend their lifespan. In Pirates of Black Cove, one can find a thousand different frightful jokes just floating on the waves. It is evident that the developers have been scouring the deep, dank pun-dungeons with some diligence.

So, if you are interested in a mighty entertaining and colourful adventure, you should certainly take Pirates of Black Cove under consideration. Eye-patch and parrot not required.

Pirates of Black CovePirates of Black CovePirates of Black Cove
08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
+
Wonderful graphics and character design, fun atmosphere.
-
Poor voice acting, not particularly nimble code.
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