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Player's "ships" start in their harbor and have to race to get the "treasure" in the center of the board and then get it back home. It looks like lucky rolls will let you win quickly, but not so fast! You can't get the gold back to the harbor until you get your other two ships out. That gives everyone else enough time to catch you. The treasure can change hands many times.
Little questions about the rules are addressed, so there is no ambiguity. Illustrations are first rate.
This game caught my eye because it was a "Mensa Select" National Competition Winner, but don't let that scare you. You don't have to have a high IQ to enjoy the game. I expect it won this award because, like many good games (even Battleship!) good planning can pay off.
Every good review needs criticism and I'm struggling to come up with something fair:
1) From my kids, "it can be frustrating that you have to move the whole roll of each die in one direction, you can't split a 5 into a 3 one way and a 2 the other"
2) It can be easy to forget where a piece was when you are looking at where you want to move it. If ocean squares were more unique (sea serpents, mermaids?), you would have less of a chance to lose track of where it was.
3) I give it only 3/5 on the "Educational" scale because it's doesn't teach you school subjects. It does encourage planning and strategy, however.
In conclusion, this is a great game. If you like board games such as Battleship, Sorry, Risk, Checkers or Chess, you'll like this too.
*If you really have a thirst for blood, nothing beats Risk, but this takes much less time. A game can end in as little as 15 minutes.
**Two can play, but it's more fun with three, and better still with 4 players.
***a great aspect of this game is that you can change around the rules and adapt it to your mood. If one person gets out too fast we will sometimes decide to let them become a "ghost ship" that moves around and sinks other ships.
****We don't have any other games that are really like this. It is different from most "roll the dice and move a game piece" games because the moves are more freestyle.
*****Not particularly educational, but good fun, and there is some strategy, so your brain will enjoy it.
I have both the original 1978 Privateer version with the roll-up tough cloth, along with wood playing pieces, all in the thin but nicely printed cardboard box with a lid at the each end (I have two copies), and the newer 1994 Pirateer game that also came in a roll-up format along with plastic playing pieces, all inside of a metal box with a hinged lid at just one end. Then there is the Avalon Hill-style box version. Two different covers are available---the first with a treasure chest and three pirates on a beach, and the second with two ships. All versions are the same game from the same creator, Scott Peterson.
The game was not ever meant to be some kind of tough-guy "gamer" game, so please get over it if you want it to be that kind of game. I used to go to our local "Game Faire" for many years. You wouldn't believe how much the gamers (who regularly play war games, D & D, etc, etc.) loved this game. This was before the newer 1994 version. I made photocopies of all the game components on an office copier, took the copies to the Game Faire and just gave them away, and the guys thought that was cool, because they couldn't buy this game if they had to. These guys weren't kids, so that "Kid" argument never makes any sense to me.
To the game now:
This is a game you can play very quickly and just have a relaxed but fun play-through. Yes, there is the luck-of-the-dice issue, but so what? D & D has dice rolls all over the place, also. You have to make intelligent decisions about what you should do with that dice roll. It evens out. Add to this the fact that everyone obviously has to do the same thing, so you never know what's going to happen. It's not always a good idea to just go for the treasure.Read more ›
My boyfriend met the designer of this game back when he was still producing it in his garage, and played and loved the game back then, but lost the game somehow over the years. I bought this edition for him and found I loved it as much as he did, if not more.
Pirateer's a very fun game with clear rules and a simple goal: bring the treasure back to your harbor. It's easy enough for kids to play, but definitely interesting enough for adults. The game plays differently depending on what sorts of strategies the players use, but if you want to shake it up, the instruction booklet also includes a number of "variants" which can change the game a little or change it drastically. Additionally, if you have more than four players, multiple boards can be put together for a larger game. I've only played with two boards, but I imagine three would work just as well, and four might work too.
It's a great game that's a lot of fun and endlessly variable, so it will never get boring. We play a game or two at least every couple of weeks, and everyone we've taught the game to has had fun. I've bought two copies for myself already!
I highly recommend Pirateer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had this game for a few years and absolutely love it. I will say I have no idea what is the deal with the price Amazon has it listed for... It's a board game.... Not worth $60. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Zack
I purchased the game "used" because it was one third of the "new" price, but was
supposed to be in excellent condition. Read more
Really a fun and challenging game. And an interesting story behind it. It's a game kids and adults can enjoy.Published on October 8, 2013 by Peggy Lowe
It was a gift to my nephew and he loves the game, he plays it all the time! Was in good condition and on time.Published on February 15, 2013 by Ken W Bangsund
My husband and I have the 1970s version of Pirateer and brought it to my parent's house for gamenight. Read morePublished on October 15, 2010 by Kay Ehrmantrout