Pirates Assault is available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace and put's a swash buckling twist on the tower defense games. The goal with Pirates' Assault is to protect your treasure chest from raiding pirates.
You do so by strategically placing canons along the coastline in hopes of blasting the pirates out of the water before they can sail off with the loot. Pirates' Assault is a little more than your typical tower defense game and to find out how it keeps you on your toes, sail on past the break.
Yo Ho and a bottle of rum...
Taking a gander at Pirates' Assault's main menu, you have options that will take you into the game, view the online leaderboard, tinker with the game options, and read more about the developer.
The online leaderboard breaks the scores down by day, week and overall for each of the games four levels. Options cover the basics (music, sound, vibration) as well as a reset button where you can wipe out any progress you've made and start at square one.
As you begin play, you'll have the opportunity to choose your level or view a brief tutorial on how to play the game. As mentioned earlier, Pirates' Assault has four gaming levels that are progressive (e.g. you have to complete level one to unlock level two, etc.).
The layout of the game screen has your level, wave and storm (more on this in a minute) information in the upper left corner, your score in the upper right. Along the bottom of the screen you will find your defensive weapon choices, your rum total and your treasure balance.
You purchase and upgrade weapons with rum and you will start out each level with just enough rum to get you started. To build up your rum balance, periodically during each level a rum ship will pass through (it's the ship that's lightly colored and flashing). To collect the rum, just tap on the ship as it crosses the screen.
To place a weapon on the coastline, tap/hold the weapon of choice and drag it to where you want it placed. If the location isn't suitable for placement, a red ring will appear around the weapon. If the location is suitable, the ring will be white.
To upgrade a weapon, just tap on the weapon of choice and a dollar sign and arrow will appear. If you want to sell the weapon, tap the dollar sign and to upgrade it (more range and damage) tap the arrow. The cost of upgrades is typically twice the purchase price.
Each level will have a number of attack waves you have to survive in order to advance to the next level. As you advance through the waves, they get more challenging to defend. If a pirate ship gets close to your treasure chest, it will loot the gold. While you can sink a ship loaded down with stolen gold, you can only recover it by tapping that particular ship five times before it leaves the screen. Obviously, it is best to sink the ships before they get close to the gold.
Along with the arsenal you can plant along the shoreline, you also have a storm that you can summon. As you sink ships, the storm indicator will increase and when the lightning bolt appears in the cloud you can wipe out all the ships on the screen by shaking your Windows Phone. It's best to use the storm strike before the ships get close to the gold treasure. If your storm destroys a ship that has already looted the gold, you loose the gold.
Once all your gold is gone, game over.
I liked Pirates' Assault. It has the strategy of a tower defense game with the pace of an arcade styled game. Defenses have to be well placed to thin out the incoming ships and you have to be quick on your fingers to collect the rum and re-capture any treasure that is stolen.
Game graphics are nicely done and the animation smooth. Pirates' Assault ran smoothly with no glitches, bugs or crashes experienced. The only nit I would have with respect to game play is that it doesn't seem fair to loose your gold when you sink a fleeing ship. Then again, it doesn't do you any good sitting at the bottom of the ocean.
Pirates' Assault comes in two flavors. You have a free, ad-supported version that you can find here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace. You also have an ad-free version that runs $1.99, which you can find here at the Marketplace.