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Sid Meier's Pirates! Live the Life

video game

Game developer and publisher MicroProse released the groundbreaking game Sid Meier's Pirates! in 1987. It received critical acclaim for its blend of role-playing, action and strategy, as well as its dynamic playing field and unique style of player-directed gameplay. These innovations set the standard for future electronic games and won Pirates! various awards and accolades. Pirates! is an open-world game set in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Free to sail throughout these waters as they wish, players experience the adventurous life of a pirate in their own way. They may choose to hunt buried treasure, ransack enemy ships, increase wealth through trade, attack hostile towns, recruit crewmates at port, search for a wife or explore new lands. The ultimate goal is to amass fortune and fame before the character grows old and retires. At this point the game ends and the character is assigned a future role in life, from beggar to King's advisor, based on his accomplishments. How to live a pirate's life in order to achieve a successful future is up to the player to decide. At the outset, players choose a starting year out of a possible five choices, beginning with 1569 and ending with 1697. Seafaring activity and commerce increase in later years and the dominance of European nations shifts as well. Players then choose their nationality and a special ability, such as navigation, fencing, or medicine. The randomization of various factors throughout the game ensures a different experience with each new play-through. Diplomatic relationships between nations are dynamic and can shift in an instant with war breaking out at any time. Similarly, the population and wealth of cities change constantly, making each visit a new experience. An immensely popular game, Pirates! proved the test of time with various successful remakes, including a mobile version released as recently as April 2012. Its groundbreaking open-ended style of play paved the way for some of today's most popular video games such as Civilization and The Sims.

  • Material: printed paper | plastic
  • Origin: USA
  • Object ID: 109.9236
  • Credit Line: Gift of Warren Buckleitner
Creative Commons License