Pirate’s treasure – review

Arrrghhh, keep ya hands off me’booty, you scurvy dogs! Or it’s down to Davy Jones locker you’ll go…

I’ve mentioned before how the twin stick shooter has come into it’s own on the iDevice platform. Made popular by games such as Geometry wars, the twin stick shooter is an arcade style game where you control the movement of your character with one v-stick and the direction of fire with the other. It’s a potent mix and has spawned a multitude of games, such as iDracula, MiniGore and Guerilla Bob… it’s even come somewhat full circle with the release of Geometry Wars on the iPad.

pt1Minigore has become the most popular of these, and has already become somewhat of a classic. This game is where Gamelab – creators of Roswell fighter – have drawn inspiration, certainly visually, with Pirates Treasure. One problem many have with Minigore is it’s gameplay depth. Essential one level, you play in survival mode, racking up scores until you can no longer fend off the hordes of enemies. Pirate’s Treasure takes this idea, but adds a campaign of sorts. Based on a treasure island you are presented with an over world map, from which you can access the levels through stone doorways. Only one doorway is unlocked to begin with, and so you must complete levels to collect keys which ultimately unlock the doors to more levels and more keys… and so on. Each door contains a different area and new and varied enemies to encounter. Survival is the main order of the day, but each level contains objectives that must be met. These range from simply surviving for a set amount of time; killing a quota of enemies; collecting coins (dropped by downed foes); or a combination of the three. Occasionally you will encounter a boss level, generally a super sized version of an enemy type that must be slain.

pt3For a pirate game I was disappointed somewhat by the enemies you encounter. I expected some good pirate swash buckling, but alas, the enemies here are mainly bugs, strange golems and the occasional native. It seems our pirate is on the search for his buried treasure, but the island is a rather wild place with a bug problem. The insects come in all shapes and sizes, and get faster and more aggressive as you progress. Your pirate carries a trusty Gun to dispose of them with, and through a shop that can be accessed in the over world map, you can upgrade it’s power as well as your pirates movement speed…. essential considering his peg leg. Also available for purchase is Kracken power. The Kracken is a mythical sea beast made popular recently with both Pirates of the Caribbean and Clash of the Titans. If you rack up enough kills in a level, you can unleash the Kracken, temporarily turning your pirate into a invincible multi-tenticled beast. This only lasts for a short time, so purchasing more Kracken power in the shop will extend it. Shop items must be purchased using coins picked up in the levels, and as you upgrade the next becomes more costly. It’s important to upgrade however, as later levels become impossible without it.

pt2Presentation and graphics are pretty good for the most part. The levels themselves are bright and colourful and vary in look and feel from door to door. The bugs are varied too, and are rendered in a cute cartoon style similar to what you find in games like Rayman. If I had any qualms about the visuals is that I’d like our pirate to have more character, his face is covered by his large feathered hat.

The music in the game is great, with a score that mimics that of Pirates of the Caribbean, adding to the ‘Yo Ho’ pirate experience. The sound effects are pretty good to, though both the continuous sound of your gun firing and the often repeated mutterings of your pirate can begin to grate after a while.

Overall, its a solid shooter. For fans of Minigore that thought the gameplay was lacking, you’ll certainly getting more out of Pirate’s Treasure. But despite the campaign adding longevity to proceedings, it manages to become very samey after a short time. Rather ironically, the game can be summed up by a sound bite heard from the pirate himself during the game: “{YAWN} this is getting old!”


Pirate’s treasure is out now for $1.99. Get it on Pirate's Treasure

TwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksDiggStumbleUponShare
  • jacques b

    nice to see i’m not the only one to have got the irony in the sound bite!