Sid Meier's Pirates! (PC) Game Poster Image

Sid Meier's Pirates! (PC)



A great adventure for families to explore.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players can sack cities and towns, attack enemy ships to plunder them and betray friends and foes alike. However, the game takes a very light-hearted approach to all of these activities and appeals to the sense of adventure and action rather than dark, violent deeds.


Players can partake in duels and battle it out with other ships; however, characters are never shown being killed on screen.


Some of the barmaids and governor's daughters wear low-cut dresses.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Although the protagonist frequently goes to the tavern to speak with various characters, he does not consume any alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that players battle it out with ships and swords, but there isn't any blood, guts, or gore. In fact, the cut scenes at the end of a battle show enemies either surrendering peacefully or jumping into the sea to escape. Barmaids wear skimpy clothes and some gameplay takes place in a tavern. The game even contains some educational elements that may spark your kids' interest in history.

What's it about?

SID MEIER'S PIRATES! brims with adventure, action, and good-natured fun. This remake of the original game released in 1987 lets players traverse the Caribbean plundering enemy ships, rescuing governor's daughters and doing all things piratey.

The game offers an open-ended plot with lots of choices. Players start by attempting to rescue the pirate's family from an evil duke. However, players quickly realize there are many other things to do: For starters, there is buried treasure to be found, rival pirates to defeat, and even governor's daughters to be romanced. All of this leads to a game that has a lot of replay value.

Is it any good?


The game is deceptively easy, but it quickly becomes more challenging as play progresses. At the higher levels, the crews become mutinous more quickly, enemies are better swordsmen ,and the gold doesn't flow as freely as it once did. As time passes the player's character ages, making it more and more difficult to live the hardy life of a pirate.

All in all, this is a nearly flawless example of good family-friendly entertainment. You'll want to add this title -- or it's XBox counterpart -- to your booty of great games.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the real pirates that the game describes. Also, parents may want to ask: Why are we so intrigued by pirates? Think of other books or movies that feature them; why do you think they glamorized -- or at least made to look fun-loving? Do you think this is the truth?

Game details

Available online?Not available online
Release date:November 22, 2004
ESRB rating:E for Alcohol References, Suggestive Themes, Violence

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Teen, 16 years old Written byApostle April 9, 2008

Worst game from Fiaxis Games.

Sid Meiers has brought Firaxis Games plenty of good games including Civilization, Railroads, Alpha Centauri, and Pirates. Lately, however, Sid has been updating his games (this being one of them) and none of them have really been working (except for the Civilization games). While the story is good, and you do get to choose your destiny, the gameplay doesn't allow for an immersive experience that you can enjoy. I like the initial family friendly storyline and thought it among the top twenty of all time. There are also numerous ways to play with adventure, action, item collecting, and strategy involved. Everything seems like it would make this one of the best games ever, but I think the morals really brought me away from it (there is also rhythm style gameplay involved). Vioelnce is not the worst issue of the game. However, you do have plenty of swordfights, and you also witness the death of numeorus soldiers in the strategy sections, and all of this can be done in cold blood rather than self defense and war. Language can sometimes be minor as in insulting. If you dig up a famous pirate's treasure and later talk to him, he will insult you strongly and also there is some minorly violent talk. Although not necssary, you do have the choice of being an all out pirate. This isn't really fun though as you can't get the rewards of a person fighting for an actual country. However, when using this strategy, you will tend to betray your country for the soul purpose of getting wealth out of another nation that has plenty to give you. Crimes are punished as one time the price on my characters head was over 30,000 gold pieces (the Spanish were after me). The sexual content is the worst as every woman you meet (except for the Dutch and Spanish govner's daughters) expose a little too much, and also the tavern ladies will do it as well. What is worse is that they refer to the most sexually dressed ones as being the most beutiful. Also, the tavern lady will also get a little sexual with your guy if he is a good enough pirate. There is a little education as in you play the game, learn about pirates a little, and then refer to the instructions to give you more information about these famous people. This was also based on a real story, so you are learning an "unkown" part of history. All in all, while this game is awsome in gameplay, it isn't in morals. You will find the lack of morals tend to be a little bad (also there is alchoho refrence but no one drinks) and will keep you from enjoying this game. I would stay away from this title and start looking elsewhere.
Teen, 15 years old Written byJamesfire406 November 19, 2011

Amazing game, even for younger kids.

Wow people. I'm almost insulted by the reviews you have on this website. The best age to play this is age 10!?!?!?!??! I wasn't allowed to play M games back when i was 6 and 7, and so i played this. It actually gave me an okay storyline, and it gave me morals too. I NEVER attacked a ship from my own race, even if it had lots of stuff i could use. I never plundered one of my own towns, and i NEVER hit another ship unless I was trying to rank up or had a very specific reason. For the sexual part, i was never staring at the ladies because they don't give very good advice anyways. This game actually is fun with friends too. Some of the best times I ever had playing this game were when I had two other friends at the computer; I would steer the ship, one friend would fire the guns, and one would duel in the sword fight. And as for attacking towns, the strategy was ALWAYS fun. I learned about tactics and strategy's to help destroy my opponents, or, if I didn't have enough troops, distract the enemy troops while my soldiers snuck up to the walls. All I can say is that it's really stupid that people rate this game to be playable anywhere above nine, because by that time we've experienced better games, and so want those. For me, this was one of the best games I ever played, and I still sometimes play it today!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Educator and Parent Written byMr. Threepwood January 28, 2013

Arrrgh! ( A shout to parents out there!)

This game is wonderful. The graphics are great for a oldies, despite that it is a remake, and is loaded with historical facts. Great for those who want to let their kids have fun AND learn at the same time. Happy Pirating!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models