Pirate's Life - Buyer's Guide

In 'Pirate's Life,' a 2D strategy and city-building game, manage your crew's resources, build your pirate stronghold, and raid settlements. With outdated graphics and bugs, it offers minimal gameplay at an affordable price. Recommended only if you're curious and have $5 to spare. Should you buy it? Maybe.
Fan-art of Pirate's Life

In ‘Pirate’s Life,’ a captivating 2D strategy and city-building game with an isometric perspective, you step into the boots of a shipwrecked pirate captain marooned on a deserted island. Managing your crew’s needs for food and ale is crucial to prevent mutinies. Begin with basic structures and gradually unlock advanced buildings and resources to cater to your increasingly demanding crew. Progress allows you to construct ships and raid settlements or trade routes for essential resources and new crew members, though each raid elevates your wanted level, drawing the attention of the Royal Navy. Can you transform your modest fishing village into a feared pirate stronghold? The game offers three technology levels, 18 buildings, and 24 resources. Modes include Standard (amass gold before the Royal Navy finds you), Endless (play indefinitely, avoiding mutiny), and Custom (choose from various objectives).

Should I play Pirate’s Life in 2024?

The good

  • Simple Gameplay: If you’re looking for an effortless city-building experience, the mechanics are straightforward. Gather resources, build, and raid with a relatively easy-to-manage production chain.
  • Affordably Priced: Many reviewers noted that for a $5 game, it offers a decent amount of content. The easy-to-navigate UI and basic sound design were seen as satisfactory for the price.
  • Potential for Mods: Some reviewers hold out hope that allowing mods could significantly improve replayability and add much-needed depth to the game.

The bad

  • Outdated Graphics and Animations: The visual appeal of the game is heavily criticized. Descriptions likened them to a 1995 release rather than a 2015 game, and the aesthetic is generally lackluster.
  • Stability Issues: Crashes and bugs, such as random game shutdowns and untranslated UI errors, dampen the gaming experience.
  • Repetitive and Shallow: With limited building options and a redundant gameplay loop, the game quickly becomes monotonous. The lack of varied maps, goals, or upgrades means it doesn’t hold interest for long.
  • Comparison to Better Games: Several users recommended alternatives, like Tropico 2, which handle the pirate city-building concept far more effectively.


Should you still buy or play this game in 2024?

If you have five bucks lying around and you’re curious, “Pirate’s Life” might provide a few hours of distraction, but don’t expect anything groundbreaking. The game feels more like a missed opportunity than a hidden gem. Outdated graphics, constant bugs, and a shallow gameplay loop make it hard to justify a purchase when there are superior games in the genre. Save your doubloons for a game that offers richer content and a more polished experience. Yarrr, this ship is best left in the harbor.

Get the game on Steam

In-game Screenshot

Screenshot of Pirate's Life

Top image is not real in-game screenshots. Fan-art made by Gamer.se. Some game metadata is coming from RAWG