Facebook App Review: Battle Pirates

Battle Pirates is a real-time strategy Facebook App with the rather unique setting of modern (or a bit steampunk) pirates. Like most Facebook games, it relies on the interaction of its players. Players are in command of their HQ, or outpost, and build and upgrade structures and fleets with the intention of gaining more power and control over their area. They control each fleet of five ships separately, and move them around the world map, giving them orders to explore, mine, salvage or attack the world around them.

Pros: Relatively deep strategy, high level of ship customization, friendly playerbase

Cons: Restricted by politeness (you attack someone, everyone else in the world attacks you)

The world of Battle Pirates is a constant struggle between players for power and resources. You build ships, give them the weapons and armour you want, and put them to the ultimate test - the battlefield. After launching them from your dock, they'll be thrust out into the wide open, daunting sea, where you assign them missions such as mining for resources, attacking enemy fleets, and even taking down an outpost. There's a lot to be done in the big, wide world.

The world of Battle Pirates can be intimidating at times.

There's so much to do, it can get rather intimidating. So many people have such bigger ships, but don't worry - for the most part they'll leave you alone.

The way the game works is that you gather resources, either from the buildings at your HQ or from resource mines. Resource mines give you resources a lot quicker, but you need to manually send a fleet out to mine and you need to attack to gain possession of it and defend it from enemy players and Draconians, the game's NPCs. Because they have such a high resource production rate compared to your home base, they can be in very intense contention, especially the higher-level ones. Draconian fleets will attack player-owned resources every few hours.

When you attack an enemy, or when an enemy attacks you, a separate battle sequence starts. Each of your five ships can be ordered to attack any given enemy or go to any given spot on the battlefield. Smaller ships generally move faster than larger ones, allowing for flanking and other tactics.
Always try to enter battle with a decisive advantage.
The ships themselves are highly customizable, too. New hulls are unlocked in the Naval Lab. You can choose weapons and armour, too, which are unlocked in the Weapons lab and Naval lab. The different items have different weights, and each ship has a weight limit. Fleets have a total weight limit too, but it can be raised by upgrading the dock.

Battle Pirates Ship Customization

It's also nice that they've implemented NPCs, because without them the game would depend completely on PvP like in Combat Zone. The problem with Combat Zone, and to a lesser extent, Battle Pirates, is that politeness makes PvP difficult. Whenever someone attacks someone else without provocation, eveyone on chat is talking about it and gangs up on the aggressor. It's not so bad when fighting over resources, but attacking someone's base can start quite an episode.

This is what tends to happen when somebody gets cocky.

Score: 9/10

Battle Pirates is a relatively deep game (considering it's a Facebook app). The setting is very original, and the ship customization really complements its gameplay. This Facebook app has been one of the most entertaining ones I've played in quite a while, and it's well worth taking five minutes to check it out.