Have you ever wanted to live the pirate life? Sail the high seas and plunder ships. If you answered “no,” the truth is, we’d never thought about it either.
That doesn’t mean we weren’t interested in checking it out when we heard about it. Given that this portion of the game was available for free, we figured that Crimson: Steam Pirates was worth a try.
The game is developed by Bungie, a little developer in Bellevue, Washington that you may know for games like Halo and Marathon (yes, there are others, but the part of the Halo franchise they developed is probably what truly put them in the spotlight). So what’s a developer that’s known for creating AAA-quality games on PC and consoles to do on iOS? They make a freakin’ sweet iOS game. That’s what.
We’ve always believed that the best developers can adjust and come up with concept that work within the platform they are developing on. Bungie is no exception. We’ve seen what happens when developers struggle to find a suitable control scheme or gameplay idea for the iPhone or iPad. (Looking at you, Capcom. We love you, but seriously, your iOS offerings?).
Meanwhile developers like Bungie, Chair and id, have found ways to work with the touchscreen, realizing early on that soft buttons (software buttons?) do not work very well.
Crimson: Steam Pirates takes all that into consideration and uses the iPad’s 9.7-inch touchscreen to give the player full control of their ships and crews. Learning some of the commands took us a mission or two, but that’s because we never read instructions. Our bad. Still, everything is laid out in plain pictures. A wrench icon repairs the ship, the icon with the little smoke stacks means “full steam ahead” and so on.
It’s somewhat of a strategy game, but without the micromanagement and stat watching of some of the more complex strategy titles out there. Anyone can pick it up rather easily.
Other than that, there are funny character designs that seem almost as if they could be Bungie staff posing in pirate gear, and objective-based levels. It’s not a bad game to lie down with and prop up on your lap before bed. That’s probably what we’ll be doing tonight.