Parents' Guide to

Black Sails: The Ghost Ship

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Dark, violent tale features drugs, smuggling, flawed play.

Game Windows 2015
Black Sails: The Ghost Ship Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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This is an English translation of an adventure originally released in German; whether this is the reason for the horrible, artificial dialogue is uncertain. In any case, bizarre character exchanges, wooden voice acting, and sloppy presentation very nearly scuttle this ship. Fortunately, some interesting puzzles more or less keep it afloat.

Most of us know how real people talk, and that means fake dialogue is easy to recognize. Black Sails, unfortunately, is full of this. Its two main characters are strangely at odds with each another -- the man a belligerent jerk and the woman unbelievably caring -- and the voice acting is equally bad (though you have to wonder if it's the fault of the writing). Along with this, Black Sails suffers from sloppy presentation: Characters constantly reach through walls, voices cut out suddenly in the middle of scenes, and there are occasional game crashes. Though all this is annoying, the impact is lessened by interesting common-sense puzzles and an intriguing overall mystery. (Note: Things get pretty dark here, with clues regarding smugglers and the indeterminate relationship between a child and a sadistic doctor.) The start and middle of the game are truly absorbing as you explore the ship, discovering clues and seeing visions, but the end is a definite letdown. If you make it all the way through, you'll discover the promise of dialogue-directed multiple endings is utterly broken, with each ending playing out the same. Black Sails: The Ghost Ship should've been an engrossing horror adventure, but instead this vessel barely avoids sinking under the weight of its problems.

Game Details

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