March 31, 2019

Review: Braveland - Pirate

game format: turn-based casual combat strategy

puzzles: none

playtime: 4-6 hours | difficulty: moderate | size: 377 MB

developer & publisher: Tortuga Team

links: official site | gamehouse

Braveland - Pirate
game brief: The Braveland trilogy concludes with #3, the Braveland - Pirate strategy game. A crew of pirates led by Captain Jim embarks on a search for the Eternal Treasure. Hordes of undead, chests full of gold, devious pirate captains, and breathtaking adventures await you in the Free Islands. (official site)

rating: 5/5

review: It's time to take on the High Seas and Free Islands with Braveland - Pirate, the final - and arguably most entertaining - round of the Braveland turn-based combat strategy games. This adventure, led by you as rookie pirate Jim, follows in the footsteps of the original Braveland, which featured a Warrior, and Braveland - Wizard.

In Braveland – Pirate, you the Hero and your squad, a merry band of drunken pirates, barefoot and musket-wielding cabin boys, sassy Daredevils and other sundry worthies you pick up en route, search the Free Islands and open seas for a mythical treasure map and the riches it promises. Your tortuous route is crowded with all sorts of folks - other rogues seeking the treasure, as well as well-meaning mages and healers attempting to protect it. It's an interesting conflict, since as a pirate, you are not a benevolent 'hero' either.

The major gameplay happens in 'combat zones' - chessboard style arenas where your crew and opponents move in turns and attack each other with specialised weapons and tricks. The combat sequences are by no means cakewalks - you must plan your melee, range and magic attacks properly based on the composition of your opponents, and mix-and-match your squad to best suit your gameplay style. It can take a few rounds to get familiar with the moves and strategies, since each character can do several things within a turn. Pirate has an improved interface compared to the earlier titles in that you the Hero are part of the line-up and can lead your squad from the front.

Battles yield experience points and gold, which are used to level up, expand the squad, and purchase goodies. You can level up across skill sets like attack, defence and knowledge of magic, and amp up your stats with armour, helmets, belts and cutlasses. You can also learn 'tricks' i.e. special attacks, through various encounters. There's also an element of 'luck', which determines what you get when you open treasure troves.

Braveland - Pirate, like its predecessors, is a super-sleek production. The artsy hand-drawn maps and landscapes are super-cute and let you wander from verdant green tropical forests to the icy slopes of the northern islands and lava-strewn volcanic mountains jutting from the ocean. The cartoonish animation is deceptively detailed, with facial expressions and movement quirks of characters, such as the slight shudder of the wrist when bowmen fire their arrows. The music matches the ambiance, with up-tempo tunes when you are exploring, and a more tense, drumbeat-driven track underlying the combat sequences.

The story is tightly woven and involves a number of well-defined plotlines, characters and artefacts. There's a lot of banter and snarky jibes between the squad members, and with the opponents. The journey can take between 4 - 6 hours, depending on how efficiently you fight your battles.

summary: Braveland - Pirate is clever, attractive and super-fun, and a must-play for anyone looking for a swashbuckling adventure on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

This is an original review written by me. Please do not distribute / adapt the text without written my consent.