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Home > Hardware Reviews > Games

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Sid Meier's Pirates!

5. The port

All your progress is carefully monitored by foes and allies. A visit to a friendly port will give you the chance to see the governor and to gain rewards for your achievements in both land and titles. You will also have the chance to meet his daughter and to start a romance with her, a romance that may end in a wedding. Earning the heart of your future wife wont be an easy task. She will invite you to dance with her only if you have been promoted, otherwise, she will ignore you. During the dance, the game turns into an in-game mini game and the player (using the numkeys) has to follow the lady's steps while a heart indicator shows the progress that has been made. If you are a skilled dancer you will learn valuable information about wanted villains or even better, about lost cities. Eventually, you will have to defeat her jealous fiance in order to give a happy ending to your romance.

In the tavern, you can enlist more sailors for your ship, get information about villains who know where your family members are and buy numerous items ranging from treasure maps which will guide you to buried lost treasures to false moustaches which help you disguise yourself when you infiltrate an enemy city. Moreover, you can find wanted criminals - asking the inkeeper - while the waitress can give you valuable information about the other pirates, treasure ships, etc. The local merchant will trade his goods with you while the shipwright will repair the damage and provide your ship with upgrades.

The more goals you achieve, the higher your fame indicator increments. You can earn fame points by vanquishing pirates, rescuing your family members, avenging villains, earning promotions and in many other ways. All the goals you have accomplished are listed on your status menu. Moreover, a pirate ?hall-of-fame? list records the 10 most notorious pirates and your efforts to obtain the first place among them.

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