Age of Booty
|Age of Booty|
|Designer(s)||Max Hoberman, David Bowman|
|Release date(s)||October 15, 2008 (XBLA)
November 13, 2008 (PSN)
March 5, 2009 (PC)
Age of Booty is a downloadable real-time strategy video game created by Certain Affinity and published by Capcom. The game was released October 15, 2008 on Xbox Live Arcade, November 13, 2008 on PlayStation Network, and March 5, 2009 on Windows. Three additional map packs were released on December 4, 2008 at no cost.
Age of Booty was nominated for two Xbox Live Arcade 2008 awards: "Best Original Game" and "Best Competitive Multiplayer Game".
Gameplay largely revolves around the maneuvering of a boat around a sea. The sea is made up of hexagons called Hexes. The player controls the boat by selecting a hex for a destination. If the ship becomes adjacent to a hex containing an enemy ship, merchant ship, town, or settlement, it will automatically attack it with cannon fire. Cannon damage depends on the number of upgrades, but if more than one enemy is adjacent, the ship will split its fire, firing at a different one each time. The objective is to capture a specific number of towns, which is given in mission briefing: the upper right corner of the screen displays the number cities owned, the ones owned by enemies, and the target number. The Pirate Lair can never be conquered by enemies, but the mission will end in failure if the enemies conquer the target number of towns before the player.
To capture a town the player must be adjacent to it and bombard it until it has no health left; the town will continue to fire on the ship until the health is depleted. A town upgrade applies on both town health and cannon power. When health is depleted a "capture" bar shows, and when full the town will be conquered. If an enemy ship nears the town, the "capture" will be paused until one of the ship sinks or flees. Towns automatically heal adjacent ships of the same party, so a defending party has an advantage.
Players control a 3D avatar of a pirate ship with colored sails depending on which team they are on. Ships have three attributes that can be upgraded: speed, armor, and cannon—each of which can be upgraded up to three times. Speed determines how fast the player's ship sails, armor measures the amount of damage the ship can take before it is destroyed, and cannon measures the damage the ship can cause. The Cannon attribute is displayed over the ship as small circles under the life gauge. Upgrading attack strength also decreases speed.
In the game players use different resources to upgrade their towns and ships. There are three different resource types: gold, wood and rum. 4 gold and 2 wood will upgrade a town, and 4 rum and 2 wood upgrade ships. Players can acquire resources by picking up boxes floating in the water, destroying enemy ships, plundering villages, using one of the four curses or capturing towns and using them to produce resources. Each town/village displays the resources it will produce with icons floating over its avatar. The player ship can only be upgraded in the Pirate Lair, but a town can be upgraded regardless of ship position.
In the waters, merchant ship are frequently spawned, who attack any nearby ship, regardless of flag. While they do not have strong firepower nor hard hull, they release a curse crate when sunk. The player can only have one curse at a time, so if the crate is salvaged, it will give either a curse from 4 different types, or a random resource. The four curses type are:
- Bomb: Heavily damages anything within a hex, must be placed on an empty water hex
- Whirlpool: Warps a ship to a random part of the map.
- Ghost Ship: Makes the player ship invisible until cannons are next fired
- Pilfer Monkey: Steals up to two resources of one type (Gold, Rum, or Wood) from an enemy depending on availability
There are 7 different challenges for solo play, each featuring 3 differing maps of easy, medium and hard difficulty levels for total of 21 single player missions. Multiplayer has a four player game (Dueling Duos), six player game (Triple Trouble) and an eight player game (Four By Four), which is all divided into two teams. There is also Battle Royale pitting 4 teams of two players against each other. Players can use voice chat to talk with their team. Capcom has also added 6 additional maps for free to download on PSN. The XBLA version includes Avatar support.
Designer Max Hoberman admitted that inspiration for the game, came from Bungie Studios's long-running April Fools' Day gag Pimps at Sea. An open beta went live on September 19, 2008 (International Talk Like a Pirate Day).
Age of Booty received reasonably favourable reviews, with the Xbox 360 version scoring an average of 76% on Metacritic, and the PS3 version scoring 74%. Eurogamer said the game's single-player mode was "frustrating and poorly balanced", but added "take it online and you've got something that's almost worth the 800-Point asking price." IT Reviews agreed, stating "It's cheaply priced and great fun to play online as the matches are quick and enjoyable, although the offline campaign is rather marred by the erratic computer AI."
- "Age of Booty: PSN - Bad News / Good News". Capcom. 2008-10-16. Archived from the original on 18 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
- Vote In The Xbox Live Arcade 2008 Awards, Kotaku.com. Fetched 3/24/2009.
- Chris Faylor (2008-03-04). "Certain Affinity Making Pimps at Sea, Sorta". Shacknews. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
- Daryl Allison (2008-09-16). "Ready for some Age of Booty Beta?". Capcom Unity. Archived from the original on 19 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-16.[dead link]
- http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/xbla-age-of-booty-and-war-world-review EuroGamer
- http://www.itreviews.co.uk/games/g536.htm IT Reviews