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PC Reviews: Tortuga: Pirates of the new world


Tortuga: Pirates of the new world Screenshots


The Final Say!


Tortuga: Pirates of the new world - reviewed by Joshua Wright
Review Date: November 2003
Review Score: 4.0
Distributed by Red Ant 

If you’re old enough to remember the days of Commodore computers you’re old enough to remember the classic Microprose game, Pirates. Pirates was about swashbuckling your way across the Caribbean, attacking other ships, swinging into sword duels, wooing governor’s daughters and keeping your crew in booty. The game was so much fun it became a template for all other pirate games to date. Ascaron’s latest offering, Tortuga being no exception.

Tortuga: Pirates of the new world Features

  • Quick game start and tutorial
  • 16 detailed scenarios
  • Missions range from shipwrecks to hunting pirates
  • 5 levels of difficulty
  • 12 historic ship types
  • Real-time 3D sea battles
  • 4 nations (English, Spanish, French & Dutch)
  • 60 towns with which to visit, trade and attack
  • Supports 1024 x 768 resolutions


Tortuga follows very much in the Pirates mould. You start off simply as a journeyman choosing to either follow the career path of a buccaneer or sail in the services of the King. You begin with a single ship and are invited to increase you wealth and infamy by attacking enemy ships, towns and completing set missions such as hunting down villains or capturing foreign treasure fleets.

Wealth can be increased by selling captured ships or collecting bounties on known trouble-makers. You can also trade goods legally, but where’s the fun in that? Make sure to spend up big on cannons though, the more potent your ship is the quicker those sea battles (which quickly become repetitive) will be over with.

There are 5 levels of difficulty and 16 scenarios to keep you going, a large map to set sail on, over 60 towns to raise a fuss in and plenty of high-seas 3D battle action. As you increase your status you’ll receive promotions and Letters of Marque from the country you’ve elected to sail for (be it England, Spain, France etc.)

Or you can even go it alone an be a true black-flagged buccaneer, which is more profitable, but also a lot more dangerous! The graphics are crisp and colourful though not particularly engaging. The sound effects are functional at best and the music makes you feel like you’re… sitting in front of a computer.

The problem is it still feels like it was made for the Commodore 64 – if you cut down the graphics and sound, the whole thing could easily be ported back to 1987.

Tortuga is a game only for those interested and new to the genre. If you loved Pirates, it’s bound to disappoint. 15 years on, it’s sad to think designers can’t take a great idea and make it better.

- Joshua Wright

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