I've been playing Pirates pretty much since it came out so I was intrigued at the prospect of a Pirates "Board Game." I still run Approved Play events on a semi-regular basis for Pirates so I tried it out with my regular game group.
I was disappointed with the vinyl play-mat. While the design and colours are very nicely done, the vinyl is very thin and it does not lie flat very easily. I was also surprised that WizKids did not make the play-mat 3 feet by 3 feet (the recommended playing area for the full version of Pirates).
The ships and crew were very well produced and of high quality. There were some problems with peeling paint in the "Pirates of Davy Jones' Curse" expansion for the full Pirates game but these seem to have been more than adequately corrected.
My players were relatively experienced but they enjoyed the way curse and Davy Jones' treasure worked. The game itself is fun but should be thought of as more of a learning tool for teaching new players how to play Pirates. I don't see this game as having a lot of replay value.