Republic Of Pirates is a more relaxed Anno-style city builder, out today with a demo

“The Republic Of Pirates was meant to be different…” laments the narration in the opening of the seafaring resource-chain-em-up strategy, out today with a demo on Steam at time of writing. This made me laugh, in the same way someone saying “the failure of Bastard City was deeply sobering” might. Yes, I know the pirate republic was a real thing, ended not by the infighting and treachery shown here, but by the British. I will avoid easy gags about Plundering Loisences and instead lightly recommend the demo to you. It’s got enough meat on its bones for a less brainwidth-hogging gulp of city building, assuming you like the pirate theme enough. Spy the trailer I’ve shoved in a dangling cage below, as a warning to others who might trespass around this RPS-pelago.

Watch on YouTube

Before we move on to the resource-chaining of it all, I’d like to draw your attention to the naval combat itself, since that’s the feature that makes the best use of the piratey theme. Combat itself is a familiar RTS blow-trader, though with low numbers of units. However, in possibly the most elaborate and pleasing unit bark I’ve ever heard, your ships sing full shanty verses when you select them. They’re not just one bloke in a cupboard with a USB mic and a bottle of Captain Morgan’s either. We’re talking layered harmonies and full-arsed pipemanship. What’s a slight bummer is that this is the most considered and interesting thing about the ships, at least the ones in the opening hours. There’s no real considerations around navigation or facing, although each class of ship does have a hotkey ability. The starting sloop, for example, gets a cone-AEO shot.

After you’ve taken down a ship, you can gather resources from the wreckage, and this is where the bulk of the clicking begins. You make land, you plonk down a port, and this becomes your hub, since you’ll need to connect every other building to the same road network. The basic economy is a circular system. You need workers for resources to build ships, workers who want booze and fish and brothels and the bloody moon on a stick, as per. You provide those, you upgrade your houses, allowing for more complex jobs with different resources to build better ships. Some resources like wood and fish are gathered from the map. Some, like cotton for sails and sugar for booze, you’ll have to plant fields of. Depot workers ease along the supply chain from one link to another. It’s low stress, leaving you more time to enjoy the jaunty and elaborate soundtrack, or gaze upon the very pretty water as it sparkles in the sun, like a glass eye somebody dropped in the toilet.

My own personal enthusiasm for the game can likely be gleaned from the fact that I was planning on writing a chunkier impressions piece, but now reckon I’ve had my fill with the demo. But there’s a silver lining here, since the complexity I’d hoped for not being present has revealed a much lighter and easy-going builder that I imagine some of you might be in the mood for. A freshly plucked pearl from a slightly emaciated oyster, then, and your own opportunity to be the Bastard City mayor you want to see in the world.

By admin

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