A Pirate's Life for Me: An In-Depth Look at Pirates Outlaws
Updated: May 3
James Crow takes to the high seas in his deep dive into the console release of Pirates Outlaws, a card-battling, swashbuckling adventure!
Developer: Fabled Game Studios
Publisher: BlitWorks Games
Genre: Roguelike, Deck Builder
Platforms: PC, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: March 29, 2023
Do you like pirates? Do you like high-risk adventure on the seven seas? I know I do, so when I got the chance to dive into Pirates Outlaws I was thrilled at the chance to enjoy a new roguelike deck builder. After the first few minutes, I honestly thought it was merely a copycat of Slay the Spire, a game I have admittedly sunk more than 400 hours into. Much to my surprise, Pirates Outlaws stands on its own and provides a masterfully crafted experience. The strategic card-battling, infinite possibilities, and unlimited replayability of Pirates Outlaws completely won me over and now I can't seem to put it down!
At first glance, Pirates Outlaws appears to be a simple, straightforward roguelike card game. However, once I dug deeper, I found a wealth of strategic opportunities to explore. As I embarked on my first journey, I discovered a myriad of cards to collect and upgrade, as well as plenty of challenges to tackle. The maps are diverse and entertaining, and my first quick playthrough turned into countless hours of strategizing my way to victory.
"With more than 700 cards and 200 relics to find, Pirates Outlaws offers limitless replayability . . . the game offers something for everyone. "
The primary way to experience Pirates Outlaws is in the Navigate mode, where you embark on an epic journey of strategy and risk reward. As you navigate your way across the map, you will battle pirates, visit taverns, and markets, and be subject to random events. Every move must be met with strategic decisions, as the wrong move could lead to missed opportunities to heal, a lost chance at acquiring relics that grant buffs, or even battles that you can't win. With each choice you make, you will be presented with the risk of failure or the reward of success, creating a thrilling and captivating experience.
The thrilling opportunities that come with Pirates Outlaws have kept me hooked. As I complete each map, I'm constantly unlocking new cards, relics, and permanent buffs that keep me coming back for more. As I enjoy this endless loop of gameplay, I am also earning reputation points that unlock the 15 other playable pirates, each with their own unique playstyle and abilities. I just love the fact that there are so many different ways to enjoy this game.
Eventually, however, I found myself growing tired of Navigate mode. When I was ready to set the game down and call it a day, I noticed that I had unlocked the other two modes in which you can play the game, Arena and Tavern Brawl. (So much for me being able to dive into another JRPG)
I will wholeheartedly admit, Arena mode, is my favorite way to enjoy Pirates Outlaws. In the Arena, you fight an endless swarm of enemies and bosses that get progressively stronger with each passing battle. As each battle is won, you must choose between gathering loot to make your deck stronger, healing, visiting the merchant to purchase more cards, or a game-changing relic. Be warned though, you have a very finite amount of money and resources so think long and hard as one wrong move will send you packing.
If Navigate or Arena mode isn’t your cup of tea, there is the final mode which is Tavern Brawl. Tavern Brawl takes your experience to the next level, with upgrades to your starting deck as well as providing packs that contain all the cards in the game, even the ones you haven’t unlocked yet! You will battle two rounds of five waves of human enemies and barrels that make you drunk (it isn’t a Pirate game without a drunken tavern brawl). After you survive this chaos, you will come face to face with the tavern keeper, and she packs a punch! This mode keeps the action going non-stop, offering an even more intense and streamlined version of the game.
With more than 700 cards and 200 relics to find, Pirates Outlaws offers limitless replayability, is definitely not a knockoff of Slay the Spire, and whether you are a seasoned card game veteran or a novice just starting, the game offers something for everyone.
So, what are you waiting for? Come join me on the high seas and experience the thrill of battle with legendary pirates. Put your strategy skills to the test as you take on any and all challenges that come your way. Feel the rush of triumph as you seize victory and make your mark on the sea!
About the author:
James Crow is an avid enthusiast of all things gaming, especially RPGs. He is an aerial photographer and digital marketer in the Air Force. His ideal weekend is spent relaxing playing an RPG and recording the next episode of the Games with Jon & James podcast.