Pirates! Gold is the excellent remake of 1987's Pirates!, Sid Meier's classic about swashbuckling on the high seas. Despite the pedigree of the original version, the game suffered the same fate as Railroad Tycoon Deluxe when it was initially released in 1993: the game was very buggy, and plays much slower than the EGA original. Fortunately, Microprose shortly released this Windows 3.1 version of the game, which fixed many bugs that were shipped with original DOS release, and finally made Pirates! Gold a game worthy of its name: although it was too late to drum up gamers' attention again.
Anyone who has played Sid Meier's 1987 classic will be at home with this SVGA remake. The object of the game is to retire in high social standing, having amassed a huge fortune in the process. How do you do that? The usual 17th century way of becoming a mighty pirate, sacking towns and other ships, and searching for buried treasure on faraway islands. To acquire social standing, you also must play the dangerous game of politics with four European superpowers (England, France, Holland, and Spain). Gaining their favor may require marrying a governor's daughter, or doing various dirty deeds such as attacking that government's rival countries. Along the way, you will engage in mortal sword duels with other pirates, survive cannon battles in ship-to-ship combat, loosen tongues at bars, and piece together torn pieces of treasure maps. Four countries, four skill levels and six historical scenarios set in different time periods add a great deal of variety to the game. The random map option ensures virtually unlimited replayability.
With Sid Meier's uncanny knack for striking a perfect balance between strategy, action, and even adventure elements, excellent watercolor-style SVGA graphics, and virtually bug-free gameplay thanks to the Windows 3.1 update, Pirates! Gold for Windows is a must-have for anyone interested in the era. And if you like this game, check out Pirates! 2, an excellent freeware remake of the original classic. Two thumbs up!Reviewed by: Underdogs