What do you get when you mix robotic pirates, monkeys, water cannons, and water balloons? The premise for Pirate Blast from Zoo Entertainment.
Several weeks ago I got Pirate Blast for the Wii as a review copy. The game is designed to be played with the Wii Blaster, although you can use just the Wiimote and the nun-chuck. It’s a two-player game and rated E 10+.
The very first thing our family noticed was difficulty in actually starting the game. Most games with a map start in the upper-left corner. This game starts in the lower left corner. There’s a red X that you don’t click; rather, you click the small scroll below the red X. This took three people and two emails to the PR firm to figure out. Before you yell “old dude, try to play the Wii,” it also stumped my kids — not the best start to a game they were excited to try out.
Once we got past the hurdle of actually starting the game, our family found that really it only appealed to the youngest members of our family (ages 9-12). My teens had zero interest in this game.
The object of the game is to defeat the robotic Captain Greasebeard. In the game you move between eight different areas using your water gun and water balloons to defeat the robotic pirates, robotic monkeys, and robotic hench-bots that are hurling cupcakes, squid, and coconuts at you.
There are three difficulty levels — Easy, Medium, and Hard — that go through the eight levels. You cannot defeat Captain Greasebeard in just one trip through the eight levels. Instead you travel from early morning, afternoon, evening, and night through the same eight levels. Each time you take one more cog from Captain Greasebeard, and each time through the eight levels it gets a little more difficult — but really, once you’ve mastered how to shoot your water cannon and launch water balloons, there’s very little differentiation between early morning and night.
Our family found that this is certainly a two-player game — cooperation is key to moving through the levels. There are several spots where one person looks to free the good guys while the other person takes out the bad guys with their water cannon. We’ve also found this game to be pretty limited in the appeal to anyone over the age of 12. I played this game through an entire set with my youngest child for this review. Since finishing the level, we haven’t really picked up this game, even though it’s an easy game for people to figure out.
Wired: Easy game to pick up; encourages cooperative play; silly game play.
Tired: Children over 12 don’t have much interest; difficult to figure out how to start the game; not much variation between levels.