April 13th was a good day for Qubic Games, who have already developed, ported, or published 6 games for Nintendo Switch since it’s release. You may remember Qubic Games from an interview we did with them in 2017, where their CEO informed us of their plans to bring at least TEN new games to the Switch in 2018.
Three and a half months into the year, and they have released their seventh total title and fourth in 2018. They have even helped to establish game studio SONKA Games, who recently released The Way Remastered for Nintendo Switch to very positive reviews. Prior to Pirates: All Aboard! by Qubic and I.V.O Games, we have seen Brawl, Mad Carnage, and Grid Mania released in 2018. You’ll also remember games like Robonauts, Astro Bears Party, and Tactical Mind, all released in 2017.
Pirates: All Aboard is similar to a number of these game in that it highlights the party couch experience that some of us (if you re above the age of 25) grew up with.
Pirates: All Aboard Game Play
The game play is rather simple overall and very easy to learn. In single player two game modes exist: a ‘runner’ mode, and a multiplayer practice battle mode.
If you are unfamiliar with runner type games, the premise is simple: dodge obstacles and collect items that give you extra points. In the case of Pirates, you take control of a ship and you must meander your way through the treacherous sea avoiding things such as land masses, sharks, or even cannon balls. If your ship takes any damage at all, it’s game over. Additionally, you must collect coins to help increase your score. The more coins you collect and the longer you avoid taking damage, the higher your score.
The catch to the solo runner mode is that the longer your ship stays afloat, the faster it moves, giving you less time to avoid the hazards that will ultimately sink your ship. Once you have sunk, you score is calculated and your high score is saved. You are then free to start again to compete against yourself.
The practice mode puts you in one of seven maps, where you get to select your ship to compete against the AI to sink enemy ships. Each ship has their own strengths and weaknesses. One ship is smaller and cannot take much damage, but has the ability to deal significant damage and move faster than the other ships. The largest ship of course moves the slowest, making it hard to take down some of the smaller ships who move faster.
The battle arena is filled with power ups that can enhance your ship and provide abilities like speed boost or the ram ability. These power ups are essential to taking down your enemies, as the one who destroys the most ships wins the battle.
The multiplayer version of this game is for local play only and supports up to four players in the battle arena. The controls are very simple and only a couple buttons are required, which makes joy-con play very viable.
Pirates: All Aboard is a bright and pretty game. The runner mode can be oddly addicting, but it is not something that promotes sustained game play. Unless you really enjoy chasing down your own score and pushing your limits, the main draw for this game is the arena battle mode.
Playing in this mode solo means you are practicing against bots. Ideally, you will want to dig up a friend or three to come play with you for maximum enjoyment. Hunting down your buddies on a pirate ship can be good fun, but again game sustainability is in question. For this reason, the price point becomes even more important and it is right in line coming in at $5.99 on the eShop. This is roughly the cost of a mobile app, but gives you the ability to play with up to four players, making it a really nice bang for the buck.
Pirates: All Aboard combines a couple fun mini-games into a single title and encourages the couch play of old. The pricing is right on point for the content, which means Redonkulous Gaming gives it a score of 6.9/10
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