|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Certain Affinity||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 5, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Pirates don't play fair, and you don't have to either. Sometimes you'll pick up curses - special items that allow you to pilfer resources from opponents or wreak an extra level of havoc on unsuspecting foes. Bombs, for example, can be laid out and will deal damage to ships and towns in all adjacent hexes, and whirlpools will suck a ship up and spit it out elsewhere on the map at random.
From the ground up, the gameplay is clearly tailored for multiplayer. The single-player campaign - a 21-mission challenge mode featuring increasingly difficult battles set on a broad range of maps, will do in a pinch - if you don't mind playing around with the inconsistent A.I. controlling your teammates. However, Age of Booty is far more enjoyable when played with other humans, and being able to collaborate on tactics is a big bonus. It's not that the solo missions are a bust. Foes are reasonably challenging and appropriately tough on harder maps, but your A.I.-controlled teammates are only occasionally helpful. There are moments where they'll pull through when you least expect with a surprise capture for the win or lending a hand in battle, but they're often off doing their own thing.
For being such a simple, straightforward game, Age of Booty possesses a certain intangible catchiness. Many players may find the solo campaign to be a little too limited, but jump online, and you'll find the gameplay shines brightest with others involved. At a paltry $9.99 download, this piratical RTS is worth getting keelhauled over.
CCC Staff Contributor