New Game Review

Review – Pirates: All Aboard! (Switch)

I'd rather walk the plank

Pirates: All Aboard! sounds like the call to action this developer instituted within its studio when they decided to sell this game. Not that the game is filled with money grubbing tactics like MT’s or LootBoxes, but the game is so bare bones there is no way this should be sold for anymore than $.99.

The description for the game states that Pirates: All Aboard! is a “competitive battle game for solo and multiplayer pick ‘n play fun”. Let me paint you a more accurate description. Pirates: All Aboard! is an extremely casual bare bones game for solo and couch multiplayer for pick ‘n throw away boredom!

Pirates: All Aboard!
Practice mode is absolutely. . . riveting?

Despite what the game info states, there are actually three modes and not only two. Sounds great, right? Well, the third mode is just a practice mode, the only one with actual AI. This could have easily been amore fleshed out solo mode, but the developers decided to gimp itand give you no options. You cannot change the map, difficulty, amount of AI ships or anything. All you can do is pick one of the three ships and then just attack foesin a relatively small map for points that mean absolutely nothing.

Speaking of meaningless points, the “Endless Mode” is the prime example of this being just another overpriced cell phone game. All you do is move a small ship from left to right as you sail through random generated areas collecting coins. As you proceed, it does speed up to offer some challenge, but the areas repeat so often that you’ll quickly get used to where you need to go. The hardest part was trying to wrangle in the wonky controls. Oh, and the coins? They are just there to collect and get points, you don’t actually use them for anything in the game.

Pirates: All Aboard!
Collect all the pointless coins!

The multiplayer mode really is the only one remotely worth playing, since it was fun to make fun of it with a partner. You get to play with up to four other players, but the gameplay isn’t fun enough to even entertain said group. You’ll each be able to choose one of a staggering three boats, and choose between “Small Map 1-3” or “Big Map 1-3”. They really went all out on these names and yet again, playing and scoring points literally means nothing besides an arbitrary leaderboard since there isn’t an online portion.

The graphics are extremely simplistic as well, there isn’t much to really admire here. I guess it has a bold color pallet, but the water is just random blue pixels with no movement. Sound design actually sports two well done pirate-y theme songs, but that’s it the rest of the general effects are not well done.

It may seem like I have nothing positive to say about the game, but that’s not completely true. I mean, the game isn’t broken. It also has a couple of decent songs, however, the rest of the game is just a boring pointless waste of $5, and most importantly, your time.

Graphics: 3.0

Visually nothing special. Everything, besides the title screen, is bland.

Gameplay: 3.0

Gameplay is extremely simple and when playing docked the controls aren’t responsive.

Sound: 4.0

The two songs actually available are actually well done, however, that is the only thing that stands out.

Fun Factor: 2.0

With only three modes and one of which is a practice mode, boring gameplay and janky controls. There is not a lot of reason to play this game.

Final Verdict: 2.5

Pirates: All Aboard! is available now on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of Pirates: All Aboard! was provided by the publisher.

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Our resident Californian ginger, also one of the only ones on the team who has a family (aka life). When he’s not taking care of sick kids he’s playing games with a wife who’s just as much a gamer as him or actually reviewing them for us, making him a valuable member of the team. Even if he’s pretty much stolen all our souls. His favorites include Dark Souls, Fallout 2, Majora’s Mask, and Shadow of the Colossus.

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