This article is sponsored by Joycity.
With Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise due to get a reboot for its forthcoming sixth installment, now is a great time for fans to celebrate the original run of movies by diving into Pirates of the Caribbean: Tides of War, which is currently celebrating its two-year anniversary.
Developed by Joycity, the free-to-play sim/strategy game sees you play as a pirate captain, building a fleet of ships and recruiting crew mates to help you conquer the seas and amass piles of gold and treasure, all while upgrading every aspect of your fortress, from weapons, to ships and crewmen, to research, taverns, and everything in between. Hunting down sea monsters and out-plundering the competition can become dangerously addictive, and there’s enough depth to the gameplay that you’re not likely to run out of things to do anytime soon.
Here are five ways Tides of War keeps the spirit of the original Pirates of the Caribbean movies alive:
Old Friends (And Foes)
What makes the Pirates movies so special are the unforgettable characters, and with Tides of War, you can spend as much time with them as you like, working with (and against) all of your seafaring favorites as you plunder the seas. Mainstays like Jack Sparrow, the formerly undead Captain Barbossa, the avuncular Mr. Gibbs, the daring Elizabeth Swann, the debonair Will Turner, and more lend a helping hand on your road to reaching legendary pirate status.
Armando Salazar, the ghostly pirate hunter from Dead Men Tell No Tales (played in the films by the incredible Javier Bardem), also joins the fray, with several more characters from the movies referenced in the game’s storylines. The writing stays true to the movies, and it’s fun to engage with the characters in a new way.
Early in the game’s campaign, you’ll meet with sea witch Shansa (she appeared in Dead Men Tell No Tales but actually debuted in Tides of War when the game launched in 2017), who presides over a cave on a hidden island where, through some freaky black magic, you can relive some of the most memorable moments from the Pirates movies. This section of the game is a delightful fan-service treasure trove.
From the Isla de Muerta rescue mission from Curse of the Black Pearl to the epic showdown with Davy Jones from Dead Man’s Chest, all of the best moments from the movies are paid homage to in fun quests that allow you to bask shamelessly in Pirates nostalgia.
What’s a pirate without a ship? The most legendary ships from the movies—The Black Pearl, The Flying Dutchman, The Silent Mary, and more—can all be added to your fleet, which is about as cool as it gets.
It’ll take some time to collect all of the unique ships the game has to offer (you can also build and customize your own), but for fans who’ve always dreamed of captaining these infamous vessels of naval warfare, the rewards are well worth the effort.
Better with Buddies
Dominating the open waters is more fun with friends, and you’re sure to make plenty in Tides of War since you’re always connected to the rest of the worldwide community as you play. Joining an alliance (or creating your own) reaps endless benefits as you upgrade your fortress and fleet, including extra resources and special gifts that make your life on the high seas just that much easier. But the coolest thing about alliances is that you get a chance to hang out with fellow Pirates enthusiasts and geek out to your heart’s content.
The Adventure Never Ends
While the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie might evolve the story and introduce a whole new cast of characters, with Tides of War, you can continue to swashbuckle in the style of the original Pirates movies for as long as you want. In fact, the game received a major update in June, so while we may not see many of our favorite pirate captains on the big screen ever again, their adventures rage on in Tides of War.
Bernard Boo is a freelance contributor. Read more of his work here.