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Crimson: Steam Pirates is a brand new game from Harebrained Schemes, and the first game to be published by Bungie Aerospace! So how does the Halo creator's first mobile outing fair? Pretty fantastically, actually. The game is easy to play while still providing challenge, gorgeous to look at, and has a surprisingly entertaining story.
The game puts you in the shoes of Captain Blood, a newbie to the whole pirate "thing," formerly under the service of the Queen. He quickly learns the ways of deception and betrayal, and builds himself quite the epic death fleet. The story is told through rather well written segments between missions, and it was entertaining throughout.
The gameplay itself is turn based strategy, in which you set each ships moves at once and then hit play to watch everything unfold. Each ship has different characteristics, from size, speed, power, and even different power ups based on the crew. Power ups are simple, rechargeable abilities that can be constantly reused, such as a ship repair or longer cannon range. The ships actually need to build up speed over time, so if you hit a wall or switch into reverse, you'll have to build that speed up again. It can be easy to forget about a ship on the other side of the map if you aren't paying close attention, which can really slow things down, so don't do that. After each mission, you are rated based on the objectives you completed, completion time, and the amount of stuff you blew up.
The art is fantastic, and I love the game's style. This is definitely a fantasy setting, what with giant glowing red eyed skulls on your ships, but it works really well and sets the game apart. The sound and music is also really good, even if it does invoke thoughts of a certain movie franchise. This game is fun, strategic, and original, and a must try. There is even a pass and play multiplayer mode. The first chapter, which consists of eight missions, is completely free, with the next chapter already available for two dollars. If every game published by Bungie Aerospace is of the same caliber quality as this title, we may very well have a new mobile power house on our hands. Only time will tell. Everyone check this one out.