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Pirates: Tides of Fortune

Pirates: Tides of Fortune is a browser-based MMORTS where players are the captain of a pirate fleet, building a base on the Isla Fortuna and sending their ships off to plunder their foes. Players command pirate ships, go on adventures, expand their base, and join Brotherhoods to head into massive group battles, making sure to collect gold, rum, and lumber on the way.

Publisher: Plarium Games
Playerbase: Low
Type: Strategy
Release Date: February 12, 2012
Pros: +Cash shop currency acquired through questing. +Great soundtrack. +Unique pirate theme.
Cons: -Cash shop sells power. -Retro graphics have limited appeal.



Pirates: Tides of Fortune Overview

Pirates: Tides of Fortune is a 2D strategy MMO available on internet browser and Facebook, developed and published by Plarium Games. Become a pirate legend and build a haven on the Isla Fortuna, attracting unique pirate units and other helpful denizens to conquer the seas. Captains are shown the tricks of the trade by Captain Anne O’Malley, a fully voice-acted, multilingual narrator, who instructs players on the interface and basic gameplay. Steal resources from enemy islands and ships to further grow your armada and join a Brotherhood to work towards a common goal with a team of allied pirates. Recruit a variety of unique units to help in different combat tasks and customize their strengths in the game’s skill tree system. Complete objectives to grow the barren island of Fortuna into a legendary pirate’s haven.

Pirates: Tides of Fortune Key Features:

  • Unique PvP send scouting units into enemy bases to gather information before raiding them for resources.
  • Voice Acting fully voice acted tutorial character named Captain Anne O’Malley.
  • Unique Graphical Style – retro, top-down graphics in a bright Caribbean setting.
  • Variety of Units – including Pirate Crew, Mercenary Crew, Fleet Units, and Armada Units.
  • Brotherhoods form alliances with other players to plan massive attacks against your enemies.

Pirates: Tides of Fortune Screenshots

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Pirates: Tides of Fortune Featured Video

Full Review

Pirates: Tides of Fortune Review

By Margo Sikes

Pirates: Tides of Fortune is a free-to-play 2D browser-based strategy MMO developed and published by Plarium, an Israeli gaming company responsible for games such as Stormfall: Age of War and Soldiers Inc. Players take on the role of Captain, recently acquiring the Isla Fortuna thanks to tutorial character Captain Anne O’Malley. Common to the genre, players build their initially barren havens under the tutorial character’s guidance, setting up buildings that generate resources, house units, and provide bonuses to combat. Eventually, players can take part in PvP raids that span the seas, either working alone to plunder their enemies or with their Brotherhood to take down and occupy huge targets.

Starting Out

The game begins on the Isla Fortuna, a barren island given to players by Captain Anne O’Malley, an experienced pirate who spends the rest of the game instructing players on how to navigate the interface and play effectively. She is fully voice-acted and offers a bit of pirate humor to breathe life into the game. Players are shown how to build new structures, gather resources, and participate in battles in an objective format that rewards premium currency, Rubies, as incentive to follow the pirate’s advice in building a base. She also explains aspects of the user interface and how to customize the base to suit a player’s needs through its Discovery talent tree system, a feature found in other Plarium games. PvP is introduced in a safe manner towards the end of the tutorial, under the protection of the three day new player shield that guards them from high level attacks until they reach level 30.

Building and Maintaining your Base

Headquarters to all of the game mechanics and main producer of resources is the Haven, the game’s base. Players spend most of their game time constructing and maintaining their base, as every structure unlocks or bolsters the actions players can take. Structures fall into different categories in the build menu: Resource, Command, Naval, Fortifications, Improvements, and Expansion; all of which are used for different aspects of the game. Without some buildings, basic player interactions are unavailable, such as war, trade, and exchange between Allies. To unlock new buildings, players must utilize the Discoveries menu, which allows players to gain great new units, boosts, and buildings after they offer the required resources. One thing to note is that nearly every action in the game has a long timer, increasing exponentially as Havens grow in level. Long timers are a common feature of MMO strategy games so choose upgrades wisely.

Producing Gold, Lumber, and Rum

Resource management is one of the challenges of any strategy MMO, and Pirates: Tides of Fortune is hardly any different. Resources are an integral part of its gameplay, used to build/improve bases, recruit units, and research new discoveries. The three primary resources of Pirates are Gold, Lumber, and Rum, generated by the Gold Mine, Lumber Yard, and Rum Cellar respectively. They are used to pay for most of the game’s actions. Units also consume Rum on a regular basis, meaning that players must balance their resources or else they may lose units, which can be done by upgrading resource buildings or by stealing resources from other players by raiding their islands.

The game also includes secondary resources which are special currencies used to perform specific tasks. The three secondary resources in Pirates: Tides of Fortune are Gears, Idols, and Pearls. Gears are produced at the Manufactory, a building that requests Resource investments to produce Gears that can in turn be used to create Steam units for a player’s fleet. Idols are a special currency gained only from attacking or defending during active Global Missions, and cannot be purchased by regular means. They are used to purchase unique Sketches that act as currency for Discoveries. Finally, Pearls are gained every time a player levels up and can be used at the Witch Doctor’s Hut to purchase unit buffs from a branching skill tree.

Customizing Your Play with Discoveries

A player can customize their gameplay experience either through the Witch Doctor’s Hut, or in the game’s Discoveries menu. After building the Witch Doctor’s Hut, players unlock a unit customization tree that is advanced by using Pearls obtained from leveling. The Witch Doctor's Hut also gives boosts to a player’s favorite units, such as Speed and Build time. Players can reset their Witch Doctor tree once and must pay in premium currency if they decide to reset a second time. Discoveries are unlocked after the player builds the Observatory, which generates one Sketch daily. Sketches are required to unlock Discoveries, and can be bought or traded for in the game’s Market. Once a player has acquired the Sketches necessary to unlock a Discovery, they can master the Discovery using resources and a timer. Only one Discovery can be upgraded at a time.

Growing Your Band of Scallywags

Pirates: Tides of Fortune players can recruit multiple unit types to fill their pirate army: offense-oriented units, defense-oriented units, and scout units. Typical to Plarium’s other games such as Soldiers Inc., each type of unit is strongest in attacks that are associated with their type: offensive units are best at aggressive combative missions, whereas defensive units are best suited to staying and guarding a location. Each boasts high attack or defense and can be split into multiple groups to attack and defend multiple areas at once. Units also have strengths and weaknesses to other units, as every unit has different defense values for every unit type, making it paramount to take advantage of the game’s units with high Scouting attributes. Scout units can visit areas beforehand to scope out the enemies, giving scouting players a clear advantage as they can build their attacking force to counter the defenders.

Join a Brotherhood!

Brotherhoods are Pirates: Tide of Fortune’s version of a guild where Captains band together under an organized banner to work together towards allied goals and help each other in times of need. Content is offered via group missions and capture points, as well as the ability to send and receive reinforcements to help players along in their goals. Brotherhoods can partner up with other Brotherhoods to keep their members even safer from attack by neighboring Brotherhoods, and to achieve even bigger goals such as capturing Presidios to control the entire sea.

Pirate vs. Pirate PvP

Not only does Pirates: Tides of Fortune offer PvP through joining Brotherhoods, it also has plenty of single-player PvP for the bloodthirsty pirate player. Neighbor vs neighbor combat is encouraged, as sometimes resources are too low and slow and being patient isn’t always an option. Players are allowed to take multiple aggressive actions against their neighbors: Raid, Scout, and Blockade. Raiding is a quick attack on an enemy’s base that brings back resources if successful and is the quickest, most efficient way to attack opponents. Scout uses scouting units to check the enemy Haven’s defenders so that players can plan accordingly when raiding or creating a Blockade. A Blockade is a cool feature found in other Plarium games that allows players to occupy an enemy base, taxing their resources and adding to their own. However, it is a somewhat risky strategy and may mean the loss of units because they can retaliate with their own units or get the help of their comrades.

Cash Shop

Rubies are the game’s premium currency, a necessary evil found in any free-to-play strategy MMO. Players who spend real money to purchase Rubies are at a large advantage against non-paying users and will speed past at a great rate. That said, it is not impossible for non-paying users to reach the top as well, although the journey is much harder. The game slows to a crawl after reaching level 30, and its grandiose timers can only be offset with patience or Rubies. Rubies can also be used to activate Prestige Status which offers players daily boosts and can be used in the game’s Smuggler’s Den to purchase unique, powerful units and buildings. The Infirmary additionally runs off of Rubies, which allows players to resurrect and heal units that were lost in battle for a varying sum of Rubies. Overall, it is a pay-to-win game, but its advertising is not over-the-top offensive and players can still receive small amounts of Rubies for completing objectives.

Final Verdict – Good

Of Plarium’s entire strategy MMO line-up, Pirates: Tides of Fortune had the most appeal to me personally due to its unique pirate theme, whereas most strategy MMOs I’ve played are more medieval-fantasy or sci-fi oriented. It is very clearly a game from Plarium, as it does not stray from the formula that works well in more popular games like Stormfall: Age of War, Total Domination, Sparta: War of Empires, and Soldiers Inc. without bringing much new to the table beyond its reskinning. Pirates: Tides of Fortune is overall a good, solid game—not terribly unique—that has fun theming and is worth playing for people who are fans of both pirates and strategy MMOs.


Pirates: Tides of Fortune Screenshots

System Requirements

Pirates: Tides of Fortune Requirements

Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Equivalent
Video Card: Any Graphics Card (Integrated works well too)
RAM: 512 MB
Hard Disk Space: 100 MB (Cache)

Pirates: Tides of Fortune is a browser based MMO and will run smoothly on practically any PC. The game was tested and works well on Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox and Chrome. Any modern web-browser should run the game smoothly. Pirates: Tides of Fortune is also available on Facebook.

Additional Info

Pirates: Tides of Fortune Additional Info

Developer: Plarium Games
Publisher: Plarium Games

Platforms: Web browser and Facebook

Release Date: February 12, 2012

Pirates: Tides of Fortune was developed and published by Plarium, an Israeli gaming company responsible for many other games in the genre, including Total Domination, Sparta: War of Empires, Soldiers Inc. and Stormfall: Age of War. Plarium owns and operates the game worldwide, and, despite being headquartered in Israel, has development offices in Ukraine. The game released worldwide on February 12, 2012 and is also available on Facebook.  Its voice acting is translated into multiple languages.