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Buccaneer Blitz

For:   Also on: iPhoneiPad
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Pieces of alright

Product: Buccaneer Blitz | Developer: Namco Bandai Romania | Publisher: Namco Bandai Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Multiplayer, Strategy, Tower defence | Players: 1-2 | Networking: wireless (network), Bluetooth | File size: 16.4MB | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.0
 
Buccaneer Blitz iPhone, thumbnail 1
It’s getting harder to tell what constitutes a pirate these days.

In the past, the image of a salty sea dog sat on a barrel of rum would have instantly sprung to mind. Nowadays, it’s more likely to be a bearded Swede sat on a server farm.

Buccaneer Blitz takes an even more left-field approach to the term by ignoring pretty much everything to do with pirates altogether, despite what the name suggests.

It also takes a less-than obvious interpretation to real-time strategy, adding more elements to the standard framework. Sadly, this doesn't make it any more compelling.

Yo ho-hold that land

You and a second player (either local, online, or controlled by the computer) start the game with a certain number of areas – in this case islands – housing a certain number of people that gradually increases over time.

By tapping on an island, you can move half the population to another location, ideally an enemy island with fewer people living on it than your ship of refugees. Should your men outnumber the people living on the targeted island, you capture it.

Whoever takes all the islands or certain marked islands first wins the game.

Catapulting

Whereas most touch strategy games have been happy to stop here when it comes to depth, Buccaneer Blitz infuses the proceedings with a bit of action.

This mainly takes the form of catapult islands: special locations on a level where you can zoom down to ground-level and engage in some basic tap-to-fire shootouts, picking off enemy ships as they sail nearby.

The catapult itself is incredibly powerful - a long-range killing machine capable of destroying multiple enemy ships in a blink of the eye. It’s temptingly easy to rest on the catapult and ignore all the strategy, striking out from your fortress only when your mana reserves are filled to the brim.

This mana can be used to cast a range of spells, from speeding up your ships to causing a tsunami that destroys every enemy on screen instantly, with the latter being such a game-changing skill that multiple missions base themselves around using it to turn a desperate battle around.

Learner Pirate

It takes a good ten or so levels for the game to get going, but it turns out to be challenging and varied.

While one level will have you defending a lone island against a never-ending slew of ships from all directions, another might place a few objective islands in striking distance of one enemy-held catapult for you to storm.

It's a shame there’s only 15 levels, unless you buy more via in-app purchase.

In theory, online multiplayer via Game Center provides replay value, though a consistent community needs to get going for that to occur.

Until then, you can enjoy the single-player component and play with friends locally for a couple of hours of fun. Buccaneer Blitz may not have the right value, but it certainly has the right gameplay.
 
Buccaneer Blitz
Reviewer photo
Will Wilson | 17 December 2010
Buccaneer Blitz provides fun, action-packed strategy gameplay, but never truly manages to raise its sail before it arrives in harbour
 
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