I feel like over the years I’ve been very consistent on my platform of “Puzzle Pirates needs to be on the App Store." I feel like I’ve been playing the game on and off since it’s early (and incredibly basic, comparatively) release in 2003. In a nutshell, imagine a pirate-themed MMO, except unlike World of Warcraft and similar MMO’s where you play the game by leaning back in your chair and munching on Cheetos with one hand while you press “2" as fast as you can with your other, Puzzle Pirates requires significant brain power to do well. See, every action in the game is accomplished by solving a puzzle, and the way this all goes together is so stupidly clever that I honestly can’t believe there haven’t been more Puzzle Pirates clones released.
For instance, something you’ll do a lot in Puzzle Pirates is go out plundering which basically amounts to joining up with other players (or NPCs) in a huge pirate ship where everyone fills a specific role. It seems like I (somewhat appropriately) always end up pumping the bilge, which means I play a water-themed match-3 where the rate that I’m matching at directly correlates to how much water I’m pumping out of the ship. Similarly, there’s a almost Tetris-like game for repairing the hull, another for navigating the ship, another for setting the sails, and so on.
There’s a robust player vs. player community as well, both in ship battles as well as individual games such as sword fighting, fist fights, and various pub games- All of which, again, are executed by playing puzzles. In fact, even if all you did was stick fighting (Oh, yeah, that’s a thing too, it’s sword fighting without any items equipped.) with other players, you’d still have an awesome time with the game. I’ve even told people before that I feel like I’m taking crazy pills when you consider that for whatever insane reason Puzzle Pirates is still a niche MMO that not many people have heard of. Maybe an iOS release will help.
Puzzle Pirates is finally coming to the iPad this year. The actual release date is still a nebulous Coming Soon™ with Three Rings reluctant to get any more specific than that. They were showing the game off at GDC, so, fingers crossed that means we’ll see it sooner than later. If you want to get a jump on the competition, you can play the game right now. It runs on both the Mac and PC, you just need to have all the requisite Java junk installed.