written by c64g.com
Pirates! was one of those games you played on and on and couldn't stop.
It plays in the middle 16th to the late 17th century in the Caribbean.
You're able to start at different time periods and pick a level of difficulty. Different periods also have different trade goods and cities.
You could either play as a lawful Spanish merchant or pick one of the other 3 nations England, France and the Dutch. But most fun and profitable was playing as a pirate. So let's say you started out as an Englishman you got a Fast Galleon and a Pinnace with some food and a few cannons. Now you could go to a town and enter the tavern and recruit some sailors. Sailors need food and they like gold. So you set out and attack random ship encounters and take their goods and gold and eventually more sailors join your crew. But beware, the more sailors the less plunder for them which makes them unhappy. Once you got about 400 crew members you could try to capture an enemy town and propose to the new governor's daughter, get a promotion and so on. You can also try to raid the treasure fleet or the silver train or maybe you'd like to find your long lost family members.
To do so you'd have to get the latest whereabouts of some evil Spaniard who knows about your family member's location, by talking to a friendly governor. If you found him you'd challenge him to a duel and if you won you'd receive a part of a map and try to find the location.
Although you can't really play indefinitely because of your health and age it's probably one of the first sandbox games there was.
See Pirates! - Treasure Fleet and Silver Train for the code table