A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
As with any strategy game, the challenge here is on a sliding scale. The game does a nice job of introducing players to the gameplay mechanics with a few introductory tutorial levels, and from there on it's really all the same concept but with increasing levels of difficulty. The concept is easy to grasp -- players build up their troops on an island, and then send the troops to attack an opposing island that has fewer troops. While the difficulty does increase as the game goes on, the basic premise still holds true so even younger players will have a fighting chance at the highest levels.
Violence & Scariness
The entire point of this game is to conquer as many neutral and enemy islands as possible. However, even though violence is the predominant method of gameplay, the depiction is minimal. Players send tiny pirate ships to invade enemy islands, and either succeed or are destroyed by cannons being shot from the islands. It should be noted that players are not directly performing any violent acts; they merely direct where to send their ships, while the takeovers of opposing islands are done with canned animations.
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Introductory text boxes for each mission -- which take a back seat to the strategy and action at the heart of the experience -- contain no profanity but sometimes involve tongue-in-cheek references about life as a pirate and the need to destroy anything and everything to conquer the high seas. There are references to "blasting" the opposition and "doing what pirates do," but nothing over-the-top.
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Products & Purchases
Extra modes and levels can be purchased in-app. They appear in the menu screen but won't activate unless players purchase them -- making it an easy temptation to do so.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Buccaneer Blitz is a pirate-themed strategy game in which players are tasked with taking over entire chains of islands. The game is similar to the board game Risk, in that players will learn to build up their troops at one island/territory before sending them off to attack an opposing island. Without doubt, troops will be lost at almost every battle, but this is presented more as a game of numbers than a game of life and death. It's all about strategy and maximizing the allocation of troops, and if players can figure out how to manage their resources correctly, they'll become king of the high seas.
Is It Any Good?
BUCCANEER BLITZ is not a terribly deep or profound game. Its gameplay design is rather basic in scope, and even when fleshed out to its fullest extent it only goes so far. This makes it more accessible to players as it does not rely on extremely difficult, mind-bending levels to weed out the less skillful. All it takes is a good sense of resource management -- the ability to add troops to islands as needed, but making sure other islands don't become too isolated -- to conquer the opposing side. And while the entire game is about violence and battling to conquer the enemy islands, the depiction of violent content is minimal and secondary. It's really more about the strategy and figuring out how to map out the best course of attack -- more of a strategic board game than a violent video game. As such, it's a good, reliable game that gets players thinking, without causing too much frustration.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.