Sid Meier's Pirates! has everything you would want in a pirate game and more. The game is huge with many places to explore and many ships to raid. Gold and plunder await you.
The game starts off with you escaping from your family's home while it is being raided by pirates. Ten years later you want revenge on the pirates and take sail on an adventure to find your family. The games story involves you finding clues to the location of your family members by defeating pirates with the information. You can side with the French, Dutch, Spanish, and English. There are also Indian, Missionary, and Pirate ports that you can visit.
When you visit a town there are serveral options. You can trade good at the merchant, buy upgrades and repair your boat at the shipyard. You can also hit up the local tavern to get information, recruit sailors, or buy rare items. Additonally, you can pay a visit to the mayor when he will reward you for raiding oposing countries ships. Maybe one day you can take his dashing daughter to the ball.
During ship combat, you postion your ship and attack with cannon balls. During battles, steer your ship into the enemy's to board it and fight the captain. When you are in sword fights, you use different moves to attack and ones to dodge. If you manage to defeat the ship, you can loot the plunder and riches and take the ship for your own.
The graphics have a cartoony style to them. The landscape is very bright and colorful. They could of used more realistic graphics to give the game a more serious feel, but I think the cartoony style fits the game well. The background music isn't that exciting. The sound of wind blowing while sailing and the sounds of a tavern while in the tavern are about all the ambiance you will get.
After awhile raiding the same ships over and over to collect more money and gain rank gets repetitive. Other than finding your family, there is a few things to progress over time like romance. The gameplay may take some getting used to. It isn't really difficult to learn, but it is different.
Sid Meier's Pirates! is an excllent game with a great variety of gameplay. The game world is huge and gameplay is very open. I suggest Pirates! if you love pirates or want a good action game.