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I have been toying with the idea of buying a new PC for a while now, and this game has just about made my mind up.

I have only been able to play for a small amount of time due to the 4GB memory of my computer not being enough to handle the superb graphics and animations for more than a few minutes at a time.

However, in the time I have played I have had several sea-battles, boarded a defeated ship, been defeated and boarded (and killed) and traded goods up and down the coast. I have also felt seasick or vertigo or whatever you want to call it from the rolling and rocking and swaying of the ship on what has to be the most realistic ocean waves (point of order: Can you get SEA sick on an Ocean ?) I have seen in a computer game. To coin a phrase, they have really pushed the boat out on this one.

The game uses several already known commands, such as WASD for sea (and land) movement - the W (at sea) unfurls the sails to allow forward motion and the S rolls the sails back up to slow the ship down. F switches from your view as Captain at the Wheel (or just Captain) to the crew member in the Crow's Nest and once there the G raises your SpyGlass for greater vision. + and - speed up and slow down the ship once the sails are with the wind.

There are three levels of difficulty and unless you are already expert I would advise you to take the Rich (Easy) route and begin with enough money to at least give you a reasonable start. Regular (Normal) and Poor (Hard) are the other options but as I say you would do best to ignore them to begin with.

So I took my ship, the Revenge, and having chosen the decal for the sails and flag, I went to the Tavern and arranged for a crew. I then looked at the Message Board and took a Quest to rescue some scrolls from an abandoned ship, the Brazen Albatross. Before sailing I went to the Market and bought as many goods as I could afford, maybe not such a great idea, spending virtually all my cash, but what the heck if I get defeated and boarded I'm going to lose the lot anyway - been there done that allready on my first sailing.

The Market lists all the goods available in the game, as the Docks list all upgrades, but in both cases not everything listed is available at every Market, Port or Dock. Upgrades are costed if available and greyed out if not. Goods have numbers next to them in parenthesis to show how many of each are actually in stock and beneath each Good is a chart of how much a single item or ten items can be bought and sold for.

Cargo Refit - allows you to carry more stock but at the cost of firepower.
Reinforced Bulkheads - add extra planks of timber to the ship's defences.
Streamlining the Hull - adds speed and maneuverability
Then there are Firepumps, Armour Plating, Heavy Timbering, Add Guns to Port side, Starboard side, Long Range Guns and Heavy Guns.

Food, Spices, Timber, Sugar, Coal, Textiles, Rum, Iron, Wine, Gems, Jewellery, Weapons, Tin, Silver, Gold Bullion.

A source for adding Crew, hearing Rumours, buying "Treasure maps" etc

Quests and Missions can be found here. Your choice of accepting them.

There is so much to do ashore that it is virtually a game in itself, but of course the main action is when you board your ship and sail towards adventure. This comes under the sandbox game style in as much as you are pretty much free to sail wherever you want. M brings up a map that shows the world as you currently know it, it's up to you to explore and discover the rest for yourself.

In the short while I have played I have had a great time in this world, but it is too much to play just a few minutes at a time then have to restart my PC. I have done everything I can to free up as much memory ass possible but it appears that my poor old computer and its i5 Intel Processor plus 4 GB RAM just cannot cope, at least that's all I can think is the problem why I get the regular "not enough memory" messages.

Below are some of the screenshots I took during play: As soon as get a new PC this is top of the list for playing again, and again .....









© Chris Baylis 2011-2015