I’m not quite sure how to describe Lil’ Pirates, except that it is a free app for the iPhone. It takes a little time to get the hang of it but then it’s addicting. You will find yourself checking in daily (or several times a day) to see if your treasure has increased in value or if your crew members have returned from their jobs.
NOTE: Try not to spend your doubloons (gold coins). I’ll explain that later.
As you begin, you need to create your character and your first crew mate. The tutorial process can be a bit winded but is very clear as to how to play the game. You are consecutively given specific tasks to complete. After a while you will open up new maps to explore and will unlock new jobs. Each new crew member has a specialty for which you will gain extra ‘booty’ if you send them to do their favorite tasks.
I get such a kick out of the expressions of these little guys. “Avast!” “Argh!” “Ahoy, Cap ‘n!” My husband had push notification on and in the middle of the night we would hear, “I’m back!” As they return from a job, you can either play a game with them (1 of 3) or give them a root beer. Yes, a ‘root’ beer. They had to make it kiddie-friendly.
There is also a special island where you bury your treasure and, over time, it becomes more valuable. Silly but fun.
Use your silver coins to buy clothes, ship upgrades, decorations, etc. They are VERY entertaining. My daughter was cracking up when she saw that my husband put a barrel around his captain for clothes. Now he says he’s been dressing them better (you have to play it to see what I mean). Doubloons (gold coins) must be used to purchase the more interesting items. The problem? Doubloons are harder to come by so if you run out or don’t have enough, you have to physically pay to get more. 11 Doubloons cost $1.99, 30 cost $4.99, and so on with 1,000 Doubloons tacking $99.99 onto your iTunes bill. To avoid this, just stick to buying things with silver.
You can also have ship battles but it’s not violent at all. You just see two empty ships, cannon balls shooting across, cartoon fire on the deck, then pay repair costs.
The point of the game? Gain wealth, upgrade your ship and crew, level up your treasures, and drink root beer! In our family we agreed to not steal each other’s treasure, though they are pirates, and it allows all of us to enjoy the game at a more relaxed pace.