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Kevin Nesbitt
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GENERAL OVERVIEW: Players in this game must decide whether to use gold or rum to bribe various unsavoury characters. Gold is more of a permanent bribe whereas rum is drunk immediately and only useful for that turn.
The characters bestow items on their "owners". These items include rum and a cutlass (a sword used commonly by pirates). The first player to 10 cutlasses (is that even a word?) wins the game.
Added in to spice things up a bit are the characters special abilities. If you should win the bidding for the pilot, for example, you will choose where the ship sails for the next round, and thereby help decide who collects what items (or in some cases, items are lost).
HIGHS: Nice theme if you enjoy that sort of thing. Interesting use of rum/gold bidding where gold is semi-permanent, and the rum is not (bribes of gold can be removed too, if you wish to save some cash for later).
It plays quick, and without too much confusion about what you should be doing. The learning curve is also quite quick. I would consider this to be the exact opposite of "Ra", where most players have no idea what is going on until they have 1 game under their belt. This one is basically playable, with a decent strategy no less, right out of the box.
LOWS: Much like many games being produced these days, it breaks no new ground. Sure, the theme is well thought out. But, all in all, there are similar games out there.
It is definitely NOT playable with 2 players, and isn't really all that great with 3, either. It really shouldn't be attempted with anything less than 4.
OVERALL: I can't say that I am terribly impressed by this game, but I don't have any major complaints about it either. There are so many choices in the auction/bidding catagory, that this one may simply be lost on my game shelf forever. I would recommend this title to someone who really likes pirates (as the theme seems to fit reasonably well). If pirates aren't your thing, keep looking. This isn't a unique game by any means.
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