Conclusion: Still, as niche strategy games go, this is one of the better ones. A good blend of economics and warfare, Paradox fans and newcomers alike should like it. Those who liked the new trade system in Empire will love this game, as whilst not being perfect, it sure as hell is addictive.
Excerpt: East India Company: Pirate Bay is an expansion pack that allows you to play as a pirate. Your goal is to make as much money as possible in thirty years. They say it’s a twenty year campaign but if my math is correct, 1650-1680 is thirty years. To make money you will have to defeat and loot ships or raid ports. What’s unique about this expansion is that it’s extremely fast paced. You only have one fleet and if you lose it, it’s game over.
Excerpt: As any of ye scurvy dogs who've served with John Company know, 'tis a curious blend of amassing mountains of gold by trading in diverse commodities, and smashing elegantly-rendered sailing vessels into kindling. Whilest the clerkly bean-counters wallow in the delights of the trading statement, buying lowly and selling highly, tracking down the most profitable markets for their goods and economically transporting said fripperies without a modicum of wasted cargo...
Pros: Lots of sea battles, Less accountancy, Good graphics, sound fx
Cons: What about the wind?, High System reqs, Simplified gameplay
Summary: While East India Company’s strategic gameplay is somewhat flawed, it is still enjoyable. The ship battles, however, are well done and show off some impressive graphics by a small independent studio. It might not be as “hardcore” or “realistic” as some people crave, but it’s still quite fun.
Excerpt: Have you ever dreamt of a simpler life? A life where the things expected of you are more demanding yet even more satisfying? A more haphazard existence, making ends meet amidst the foam and the welcoming arms of the sea? No? Fair enough. The days of Empire aren’t the stuff of legends or songs any more. Indeed most people will meet mention of the East India Trading Companies with a vacant stare or a comment about someone called Jack Sparrow.
Excerpt: Mystery fiction has a genre called “cozies”. These books have regular characters readers know well and fairly predictable storylines; innovation is kept to a minimum. After several patches and a major re-write that changes play significantly, East India Company with the Designer’s Cut edition and add-on Privateer is almost a “cozy” for fans of trading games.
Summary: A good game demanding skilled and patient players with lots of time on their hands. In some parts I felt it a bit prematurely launched, but the detailed and blazing battle scenes make up for that!