The Bermuda Triangle has been know for its treacherous sea. An adventurous band of pirates has set its sights on an island known for the treasures it conceals. On their way, they must overcome mysterious, suddenly appearing, whirlpools that will instantly drag their boat to the bottom of the sea. Will you be able to navigate your boat to the island in this mystic sea, amass the treasures and make your way back safely? Will you outsmart competing bands of pirates trying to get their hands on the treasures before you?
Bermuda Pirates is a highly original game where players’ boats are literally captured by the sea on their way to the treasures.
Memory, dexterity, and sharp observation skills will be put to the test to prevail in this captivating game for the whole family.
In Bermuda Pirates, each player must push their boat with only one finger and reach the treasure island in the center of the board and grab some treasures. Avoid the whirlpools (magnets) as your boat might sink and you will need to start again! First player to get 4 different kinds of treasures wins!
Designer: Jeppe Norsker
Price: $29.95 Amazon.com
Bermuda Pirates is a dexterity game about steering a boat toward a treasure-filled island, while avoiding magnetic whirlpools. It is a nice idea, but its gameplay leaves a lot to be desired.
In Bermuda Pirates, players take turns moving magnetic boats along a game board in search of loot. Pushing them with their index fingers, they guide the boats around as they please. But they must be careful – hidden in the board are secret “whirlpools,” which attract the magnets in the unsuspecting boats and capsize them. In the center of the board is an island with 4 colors of treasure, and the goal of the game is to be the first player to collect a treasure of each color.
Each boat begins in a different corner of the board. As players take their turns, they will discover whirlpools, usually by running into them.
Each player has a number of buoy pieces, which can be placed on the board to mark the location of a whirlpool. Placing buoys can help a player avoid falling into the same whirlpool twice.
If a player reaches a dock on the central island, she may pick up a treasure of the appropriate color, adding it to her boat. In order to actually claim it as her own, however, she must sail safely back to her home port with it. If a treasure-laden ship runs into a whirlpool, its treasure will get flung off the boat into the water, where it is up for grabs for the first player to reach it.
And that is essentially the whole game. As soon as a player successfully collects a treasure of each color, the game ends.
I really wanted to like this game, but in practice, I found it to be entirely bland. The components feel chintzy: teeny-tiny gemstones and flag pieces that would snap in half with the slightest bend. The game board itself tore the first time I tried to disassemble it.
The boats are cool, but the way they are manufactured makes them surprisingly difficult to use. They are front-weighted due to the magnets, so they tip forward very easily, making them awkward to push.
The buoys present the slightest semblance of strategy (I suppose), but the rules bizarrely mention that they can be used to bluff opponents about the location of a whirlpool. This is weird, because if someone’s boat falls into a whirlpool, everyone will know it, because they will see it happen; it’s not like the players have any secret information to bluff about. Thus, if a boat falls into a whirlpool and its owner places a buoy elsewhere, it will be immediately apparent that the buoy was falsely placed, essentially removing any notion of bluffing.
What’s more, once a player figures out a safe path to the island, they have little reason to want to deviate from it, save perhaps for a nearby gemstone that fell in the water. However, if players are playing remotely well, there shouldn’t BE any gemstones in the water, because if a player can safely navigate TO the island, they should be able to retrace their steps back, along the same, safe route. Thus, each successive turn becomes rinse-lather-repeat. (Or rather, rinse-lather-reposition-the-boat-repeat, because it undoubtedly tipped forward.)
Bermuda Pirates is full of issues, and I strongly dislike it. This is definitely one to pass on.
A review copy was provided by FoxMind.
- Cheaply produced components
- Lack of strategy
- Awkward dexterity mechanisms