A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Assassin's Creed Pirates is an action game based on the popular and successful Assassin's Creed console franchise -- particularly Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Although there are frequent naval battles, there's nothing gratuitous in the violence, and it's actually rather low-key. Pirates may not be good role models, but you could do worse than the ones in this title.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Players battle other ships by firing cannons and swivel guns, both of which operate on a cool-down system, meaning you must pause between shots. Aim by swiping the screen at a moving boat. When a hit exposes a critical weakness of the opposing vessel, you can use the swivel gun to line up red crosshairs and inflict major damage. When under attack, you'll attempt to dodge fire using buttons at the bottom corners of the screen. Other missions include navigating obstacles (swiping the steering wheel to navigate your ship) and doing timed cargo runs.
Is it any good?
Piracy is a scenario that very few games have mastered -- and to its credit ASSASSIN'S CREED PIRATES gets it right for the most part. The battles are simplistic but thrilling. Navigating the ships is exciting. And raising money to staff a crew is rewarding. Where the app stumbles, though, is in its lack of diversity. Enemies become harder, but the mechanics don't change. That makes the game fun in short bursts, but, if you play longer than half an hour or so, you'll really start to notice the formula.
You may not mind, though. The game is beautiful to look at -- and the gameplay mechanics are done so well they make the repetition forgivable. Just be sure you have a powerful-enough tablet or phone to run the game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about pirates. Pirates are a popular theme in kids' media, even for preschoolers. What's the appeal of pirate stories? How do the stories compare to piracy as it exists today?
Parents should be aware that most of the games in the Assassin's Creed console franchise are violent and not for kids. The violence in this app isn't representative of what you'd see if you were to play one of the console games -- it's much tamer.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Price: $4.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: December 5, 2013
- Category: Action Games
- Topics: Pirates
- Size: 537.00 MB
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Version: 1.0.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 3.2 and up
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.