Just a few days ago, Epic Pirates Story (EPS), the long-awaited Kairosoft-inspired simulation game featuring a motley crew of sea-bound pirates was released on the Google Play Store. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.epicdevs.epicpiratestory). Don’t worry, Apple users! The pirates will be headed your way too eventually~!
Since I’m kind of lazy in writing up a thorough review, I’ll list everything in point form. And from the perspective of a Kairosoft fan. :3
Edit on April 16th: iOS version is now available at the App Store~! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/epic-pirates-story/id633274175?mt=8 There’s also a free/Lite version as well that’s exactly like the paid one. Remember to support Epic Devs if you’re a fan or like the game!
Before I get into the pros (The Good) and cons (The Bad) about Epic Pirates Story, let me explain how the game works.
The Basic Flow of the Game
- Build homes for your pirates + facilities for them to visit to earn stat increases, fame, money, and experience (XP).
- Go on side quests to earn even more money, XP, and fame. Doing side quests are also the only way to obtain weapons and equipment.
- Go on story quests to unlock new facilities, environmental objects, and events.
- You don’t NEED to build every single building. Giving pirates less of a choice will work out better in the long run.
- Raising the attraction value of buildings can be advantageous!
- Always do side quests whenever you’re able to for (possibly) better weapons and equipment.
- If a quest is too difficult, consider raising the fame counter to the target level to trigger a new pirate to appear. New pirates are generally higher levelled and have higher stats. Consider bringing this new ally on quests that you couldn’t finish before.
- You may not always need to bring the maximum number of members allowed. Sometimes just 3 of them can do the job of 4!
- Events can provide quick increases to certain stats for all pirates simultaneously. However, they can be expensive and will always increase in cost after each use.
Now, it’s time for critiquing the game.
Er, while the section for The Bad contains more words than The Good section altogether, I would like to point out that it’s due to explaining and comparing EPS to the 2 Kairosoft games that it borrows from. Overall, The Good has more points. XD
All images have been resized to fit the page format but you can click on them to see their original, larger versions. Incidentally, the fame counter at the bottom of each screenshot displays a greater number than the maximum allowed which is a small coding oversight. It will be fixed soon.
- Simple and familiar gameplay style. If you’ve played Kairosoft games before then you’ll feel right at home with EPS. In fact, the overall gameplay is a mixture of Epic Astro Story and Dungeon Village where the building management aspect is borrowed from the latter and the battle mechanics are similar to what’s used in the former. Having noted this, it should be pointed out that there are no building combos or relying on Google Docs spreadsheets to worry about and square-offs with enemies are automated.
- The soundtrack and illustrations are wonderful!
- Colourful pixel presentation! Don’t like pixel art? Sucks to be you then.
- Silly humour and puns abound! There are even jokes referencing stuff from pop culture. :3
- Easter eggs! 😀 If you’re ever bored enough, try clicking on the seagulls a few times. ^_~
- Unfortunately, because it uses mechanics from EAS and DV, the gameplay ends up being a bit shallow.
Here’s the problem: In Dungeon Village, your role was mostly limited to planting buildings and environmental objects around the land you owned and hosting quest after quest for little pixelated heroes to undertake. The heroes would also visit facilities randomly determined (to an extent) by the game’s AI to hone their skills and strengthen themselves. This resulted in the player becoming like a spectator and simply watching things unfold. In Epic Pirates Story, you also spend a lot of time just staring at the screen as you wait for your pirates to beef themselves up by visiting the Armory or other buildings that boost stats. Of course, you can set your device aside and wander off to do something else in the meantime. Oh yes, in Dungeon Village, there are various consumable items that can quickly increase a character’s parameters. Sadly, these aren’t available in EPS.
Other similarities to DV: the quest system; raising the Fame of your pirates is akin to raising the Popularity of the village where after reaching certain milestones, a new character will appear; and holding events to raise stats.
To break the monotony of doing nothing, you can send the pirates off on either side quests or story quests. Story quests unlock new facilities, environmental objects, and events while side quests are a prime source for gold and new equipment. Questing consists of selecting a set number of pirates determined by the holding capacity of the ship and then watching as they fight off 1 – 3 lines of monsters and rival pirates.
It’s obvious the inspiration for the battle layout and system came from Epic Astro Story which isn’t a bad thing … if it weren’t for the fact that EAS battles are automated. And it just so happens that the fights in EPS are also automated. The only thing the player has control over is pre-battle set-up; i.e., where to position party members.
- Inability to sell old equipment. As you progress in the game, you will undoubtedly came across vastly superior weapons and armor. You will also wish that you could sell off the weak stuff that no longer serves any purpose other than to take up space on the list as you scroll down to select the things with better stats. >_> Epic Devs LLC founder, Bossland, has explained that he DID want that feature to be in the game but it didn’t make the cut in the end.
- Bugs here and there but this is Epic Devs’ first effort in producing a game from scratch for Android, iOS, and other platforms so it’s not surprising that there are little things here and there that are imperfect. You can read more about their hardships and experiences as well as what lessons they learned from making Epic Pirates Story on their Facebook page (check the updates from Jan 2013 till April).
Honestly, the comparison to Epic Astro Story and Dungeon Village shouldn’t really be listed as a con since EPS is an example of what happens when specific mechanics from both are successfully integrated into one game. As for the whole sitting around and watching and doing a whole lotta nothing issue, Bossland has commented that an upcoming update should re-balance the game a bit which means the pirates should benefit more from their local tavern and other facilities. What this means for the player is that their pirates will develop at a faster pace than in the current version, allowing you to take on missions at a more regular pace.
At any rate, I still like the game quite a bit despite the lack of things to do. In a way, you can say that the simplicity is part of its charm.
If you’re a fan of Epic Pirates Story or just want to chat about the game (or even give suggestions for the upcoming sequel that’s in the works), please join us at AdeptGamer. 😀