Congratulations! You are the captain of your own new little pirate ship. It’s not very spacious, but at least you don’t have to worry about mutinies. Since you have a ship, there’s really nothing to do but go out on the high seas and loot and loot. A brief but slightly mind-blowing tutorial will walk you through everything you can do. Swipe to steer, tap once to fire your cannons, and double tap to launch your ship. Developer, your little wordless tapping animation can also be played as a swipe. There’s nothing wrong with using words to explain how to play. The tutorial ends with a battle with a Kraken, and no matter what you do, your powerful and cool ship will sink.
Congratulations! You are the captain of a second, a much weaker little pirate ship. You’re going to have to scoop up some cash if you want to take a ride fully geared up to get revenge on that stupid Kraken. The only way to get your hands on this loot is to take it from others. Wander around the map attacking ships that spawn, making sure to grab any crates or barrels they leave behind. There are different types of ships that can spawn, some of which are more than capable of fighting back, and you’ll also have to deal with other dangers unrelated to the ship. Your starting cannon forces you to face your enemies, and your starting hull can only take one hit. If you can last long enough, the Kraken might appear. Dodge its tentacles and you could earn a small bonus for your efforts. Good luck!
You’ll probably end up sinking another ship, of course. Luckily, you don’t lose this one. You can even use your ill-gotten loot to upgrade it, if you wish. There are also better ships you can buy if you have enough money, each specializing in a certain thing. Ships can be upgraded by three parameters. Armor gives you extra hit points, Sprint gives you a better boost, and cannons increase the range of your shots. There are also several benefits that you can get. All of this costs more and more as you upgrade, so it’s quite difficult to get a nice ship at max.
The biggest problem comes with the new maps, however. You’ll need a ton of loot to open the other maps, so expect to spend quite a bit of time on the first map before moving on to the second and so on. You won’t get your revenge on this Kraken for quite a while. I get that to some extent the grind is the game, especially given my love of role-playing games. But a long, straight grind is something you can only really get away with by carefully configuring the rest of the design, and I’m not sure small pirate ship succeeds perfectly.
So, first off, I’m not super thrilled with the controls in this game. There are times when you’ll want to fire your cannons quickly, but if you’re not extremely careful, you’ll end up boosting instead. Boosting unexpectedly in the middle of a fight is usually not a good thing and will often result in hits. I wish these two actions were more distinct in how you activate them, perhaps by doing one of them on a virtual button. I think the developer was trying to avoid such things, but preserving UI purity loses its worth when it comes at the expense of gameplay quality.
I’m also not too happy with how the game’s difficulty seems to work. Besides being a crusher, there is also a score attack element in the game. Your highest loot is recorded and there are leaderboards where you can compare yourself to other players. Ideally, you’d want to survive as long as possible, which would earn you a higher score. But the thing is, outside of the Kraken’s appearances, it never really feels like it’s getting any harder. It ends up feeling more like a battle of attrition, and the longer you play in any given session, the more boring it gets. I’m not sure how this problem could be solved, but endless games really need escalation to stay interesting and I don’t have that feeling with small pirate ship.
All that being said, I had a lot of fun with it. small pirate ship and will likely pull it for a ride here and there in the future. That’s really how it plays best. It’s more of a toy that you take out for a few minutes, like spinning your ring on a table or something. Treat the grind as something that will eventually work itself out. Ignore rankings. Just load it up, blow up ships, collect loot, and put it away after a few rounds. It doesn’t solve the control problem, but that problem loses its effectiveness when you’re not so obsessed with surviving those long sessions. It’s worth the few bucks it charges if you’re looking for a little action game to enjoy.