Windows Phone Game Review: River Pirates

The majority of the Windows Phones tower defense games take place on dry land. River Pirates is the latest tower defense game for your Windows Phone that adds a little water into the mix.

River Pirates has an invading horde of pirates sailing up river to attack your stronghold. You defend your keep by placing a variety of defenses along the river's banks to prevent the pirates from navigating the river from one side of the screen to the other.

River Pirates is a simple tower defense game that has enough challenge to it to keep you interested. Graphics and animations are nice but also simple. There's just not a lot of pop to the game but for some reason River Pirates kept pulling me back in.

River Pirates main menu is simple (and that may be a recurring descriptive term with this game). There are options to play the game, view your statistics, access a how to play menu and view other games from the developer.

When you go to start a game there are eight maps to choose from that have various river patterns to them. Above your map selection is your gaming stats showing your game stats for that particular map. If you've finished a game using the map, the stats reflect your high score. If you have a game in progress, the stats reflect your current score.

Once you find a map to your liking, just tap on "new game" and your in business. From the battlefield you will see your current funds, the attack wave you are battling and the number of lives you have remaining across the upper left half of the screen. In the lower right corner is a button to fast forward the game play.

Pirate ships enter from the left and work their way across to the right of the screen. Ships range from slow moving sail boats to speed boats to heavily armored barges. As you destroy the ships, you earn money that can be used to buy your defenses.

To defend your land you have five defensive units. You have a tank, a canon, a gun that shoots goop (slows down the ships), a rocket launcher and a flame thrower. Each unit varies in price with the tank being the cheapest and the rocket launcher being the most expensive.

To place a unit, simply tap the screen where you would like to place the unit and a selection menu will pop up. Tap the unit you would like and can afford and you are in business.

Once in place you can tap on the individual unit to pull up options to sell the unit or upgrade the unit. Each defensive unit can be upgraded three times to improve the range, fire rate, and destructive ability of the unit. Graphically, the unit will not change with the upgrades. Instead, the change is noted simply by a colored dot on the defensive unit. Green is level one, orange is level two and red is level three.

Game play was simply yet challenging. You use the goop guns to slow the ships down to give your artillery more time to bombard the ships. But if your goop gun misses a speed boat then you need to make sure you have enough defenses down river to stop the faster boats. You also need to maintain your defenses and upgrade them to keep pace with the more heavily armored ships.

All in all, I found River Pirates to be an enjoyable, challenging and addictive tower defense game. While I would have liked better graphics and animations, what's in place works. River Pirates is a simple tower defense game for your Windows Phone but it has an intangible quality to it that kept pulling me back into the game. If you are looking for a fun, simple yet challenging game for your Windows Phone to pass the time with River Pirates is worth a try.

There are two versions of the River Pirates available. You have a free, ad-supported version of River Pirates that you can find here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. There is also a $.99, ad-free version of River Pirates that you can find here at the Marketplace.

QR: River Pirates Free

QR: River Pirates

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.