Author Archive: Bilgemunky

Review: The Pirate Prince

Rating: ★★★½☆
The Pirate Prince: Discovering the Priceless Treasures of the Sunken Ship WHYDAH
by Barry Clifford

In his book “The Pirate Prince”, which I believe is the first of his several accounts regarding the pirate ship Whydah, Barry Clifford seems to have two primary goals – the first is to completely disillusion the reader as to any pretense of glamour associated with undersea treasure hunting. The second goal, ironically, is to completely enchant the reader with the glamour of undersea treasure hunting. Surprisingly, he manages to do both rather well.

To the first goal Clifford goes into great detail explaining the difficulties of locating a wreck, of separating fact from legend, of recreating centuries old scenarios using half-facts and hunches. But these are the difficulties we imagine when we think of treasure hunters. What we don’t generally consider is what happens once the wreck is discovered.

In a word – bureaucracy. (more…)

Review: Seadogs

Rating: ★★★★☆

I bought this game on a whim – didn’t know a thing about it but the box looked good. One of the best spontaneous purchases I ever made. Beautiful graphics, relatively easy ship controls, and absolutely wonderful music (this holds espically true when you visit a pirate village, where the background music is ripe with “yo hos” – very fun.) In the game you play Nicholas Sharp, a pirate captain that you can take ashore to buy goods and chat with the locals, or take aboard your ship to pillage and plunder. Best of all, whenever you give a command you hear a piratey voice say things like “Full sails, aye captain” or “Cannons loaded, captain.”

A fine, fine game, but it does have about three real sticking points. First, it’s buggy as hell. But this is easily fixed with a patch available at the official website. The second point is that there seem to be multiple missions and plotlines interwoven, and it’s tricky to tell what you’re supposed to do when in order to keep the story moving along. And the third is that the game starts you off in a weak little boat making it almost impossible to survive. But when you do finally climb up the ladder to bigger and better ships, it almost becomes too easy.

A beautiful but flawed game.