Isles of War – Pirate Farming on Facebook

Playdom's Isles of War brings a familiar franchise to an already familiar game type.
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The folks at Disney are keeping their promise to focus on more social gaming and mobile apps after shutting down their Virtual Worlds games last month.

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Ironically, one of their newest titles, Pirates of the Caribbean: Isles of War follows the demise of their MMORPG Pirates of the Caribbean Online. Both are multi-player games on a fairly large-scale set in the Pirates of the Caribbean universe, but that’s just about where the comparisons end.

Isles of War is a Facebook farming game, like so many other popular titles before it, but PirateFarm probably sounded like an odd name.

Set Sail!

In this storyline, your character (of which you only have control of the name and gender) has had their island home recently ransacked by baddies. Captain Jack Sparrow appears, looking a bit anime I might add. He offers to help and takes you to a nearby small island. At which point, Cap’n Jack dumps you and steals your ship.

The first part of the story was a nice way to tutorial sailing and sea combat, but then you must start anew once your precious vessel is hijacked.

Now, you set about building your pirate colony, farming resources (lumber and metal), building structures and defenses, and later, new ships. Farming for better resources includes plundering passing ships and NPC islands and, eventually, other players’ lairs.

So, much of this we’ve seen in many other games but it’s very easy to play–the user interface is direct and simple. I’ve not had to struggle to find anything and building up is not overly time-consuming.

One nice feature was the ship-to-ship combat. You can command a fleet of up to five ships, leading from your flagship. You click positions on the map as you and the enemy ships move, or plot your position as you assault island fortresses. It’s a basic point and follow system, but allows for some strategy. And because of various weapon types and ship hulls, you can use your skills and planning to overcome tougher enemies.

I had only one real complaint, and it could be something I overlooked – but the game’s HUGE map of locations, islands and ships makes figuring out your location a task. Your fleet’s position appears in the upper-left, so you can take notes. But, what about an option to MARK favorite places to visit?

Far Off Horizons?

One of the complaints about Pirates Online was it seemed Disney had no long-term plan. Once the original game came out with only one major quest, little was added to it over the years to promote continued play.

Isles of War has an initial quest – Find Jack Sparrow. In this instance, you’re building up your island and fleet to go after Sparrow and get your precious ship back. But, is there more behind that? I’m almost done, so I don’t know.

This game can very easily be compared to another Facebook game Pirates: Tides of Fortune, which I played for a while. But even with their occasional updates and some special events, the workings of that game became tiresome.

Some players find any farming game tiresome from the start, but some may want to give it a go for easy, casual play. You mates know this ol’ pirate well enough; I’m giving it a shake and it’s a nice diversion. But, still a far cry from what an old salt truly craves.

Isles of War – Pirate Farming on Facebook
Playdom's Isles of War brings a familiar franchise to an already familiar game type.

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Image of Capt. Eliza Creststeel
Capt. Eliza Creststeel
Amazon, Pirate and Gator 'Rassler who terrorizes the seas aboard her frigate The Crimson Widow in the original Pirates Online and now in The Legend of Pirates Onlines ( Also an administrator of the Pirates Online Wiki ( Have swung a hammer in Guild Wars 2, slung a S.A.W. in Defiance and winged across the galaxy in Star Wars: The Old Republic.