Urban Pirate – Steam Game Review
Urban Pirate is a PC game available on Steam by the indie developer BABY DUKA. It is a game packed to the brim full of nostalgia when retro-style games are currently a huge hit. So you would not be at fault for thinking that maybe this game was another retro-style that is that next hidden gem to be hitting it big any day, but that is not the case. For all its nostalgia inducing reminiscing, this game failed on several levels.
As with any game, band, music, or product I review, I research and look stuff up about it so that I can get a better idea of the item, music, background, history, or any other number of ideas. So since I got the game a few days ago, I spent the weekend slowly glancing over its Steam page and other things within the community, so I could have a better understanding of the game before firing it up. I glanced at a few the handful of threads in the Urban Pirate Steam forum. The developer is active and talks to people that posts there; a few gamers posting bugs they find so that the developer can try to find these bugs to fix. It is always nice to see a developer who is active and talking with those that play the game. I found out while looking through the forum, that they are going to try to bring Steam Workshop support to this game to make modding possible, which is something to look forward to if you want to get this game.. You will notice a lack of images in the screen caps tab, and there is a good reason for this: you can’t screen cap it. At least you cannot screen cap it with the traditional Steam way that everyone else does to share their screen caps. I had to do it the old fashion way, which was tedious. To make it a smidge less tedious of taking one and then pasting it into my photo editing program, I opened up MS Word, which allows you to have 24 things copied into the clipboard. I did this a couple times, before I got to the point of it being too annoying to keep count while capturing my screen and then going into my editing program and pasting them one by one from Word into there. I still managed to get a lot to share, but yeah, for anyone that likes sharing screencaps of games they play, with friends or the public, sorry, isn’t happening. At least not until the developer figures out how to make the Steam screencap system work in their game. There are a few videos by one user in the video section of the Steam community. I sat and watched the first two, so I would know what to do when I got into the game. I am VERY glad I did this too, or else I would have been very frustrated You see, one the very first things I did when looking at the games Steam page the evening I got this game, was read the reviews. There are two types: those that praise the game quite highly and those that did not like it at all (and at least of couple of those gave good insight as to why, thankfully). So that set red flags off in my head, that there were two very big extremes for this game and no middle ground reviews. But I am an open-minded person, preferring to make my own impressions by trying it myself, when I can. I have played games I normally would not go anywhere near, like Killing Floor 2 (because it is horror and multiplayer); I enjoyed that game because I got to team up with Damien, and whatever random players made it into our game.
For the last couple days, I sank almost 3 hours into Urban Pirate to be able to write this review. I wanted to close and uninstall this game within the first 10 minutes, but I held off, not wanting to make a knee-jerk reaction. I wanted so much to try to give this game as much a fair chance as I could. Afterall, I watched a couple the game play videos that are up on the Steam community and it reminded me a lot of a couple games, so gave me lots of warm fuzzies of the “good ole days”. The first biggest marks against this game is the lack of in-game options for things like game volume, resolution, key binding, and other things pretty much every game out there has on some level. I had to alt+tab ASAP to go into my actual PC volume settings to lower the game’s volume from where I have all my volumes set to a default of 50, all the way down to 2, and it was still a bit loud. Also, since it is an 8 bit retro-style soundtrack, it got heavily annoying fast and muted within minutes. When you actually get into the game play of the game, you will notice that you can use F4 to mute the game if you want and F5 to exit full screen mode. You should not have to get into ACTUAL game play to be able to do that with a game. I should not have to scramble to pull off my headphones and alt+tab to change the volume because it is way too loud. This game is not exactly alt+tab friendly either; it doesn’t hate alt+tab but it doesn’t like it either. When you finally get into playing the game, the controls are awkward and clunky. They chose to go with the actual direction keypad for moving around instead of the default a-s-w-d that most games use and since there is no way to rebind the keys, it was actually oddly off-putting as a gamer who is most comfortable with the a-s-w-d system. This game looked fun in the videos I’d watched but I couldn’t get into it. As I mentioned, I wanted to quit and uninstall within the first 10 minutes of game play. I painfully stuck it out for half an hour or so the first evening and almost 2.5 hours this morning. And… I just could not do it anymore. I got up to completing level three and I replayed the various levels I’d cleared to try to get the bonuses. I stopped taking screencaps somewhere during level 3 and grabbed a couple more when I got a bonus cleared, just so you guys could see it.
I can only give this game about 1.5-2 stars just because I want to give the guy something for the effort he’s put in making a game on his own and for being active in the Steam forums. The workshop isn’t available yet, or else that would have bumped it up by half a star. The nostalgia bumped it up by half a star as well. So as I mentioned this game was heavy on the nostaglia and reminded me of a couple old school games. Some of you may remember the old DOS word game: Drugwars. Urban Pirate is basically if that game grew up, had a fling with SkiFree and had a child but settled down with Win 3.1 to live happily ever after and raise that child. There are a couple mini-games within the main game that have the similar scroll-down and avoid obstacles like SkiFree did. The art-style is very similar to SkiFree and other Win 3.1 games. This game could have done well… 20 years ago on Windows 3.1 or 3.2. I do wish I could give this game a much better rating, but if I were to go on my game play experience alone, the game would NOT fair well. The fact that the developer is active in the forum and this gave me a heavy bit of warm-fuzzy nostaglia while watching the videos is actually giving the game a boost.
A little extra side note: for those that like to collect Steam cards and craft badges, this does have them. Since there are so few that have the game and have played it, I could not get all the emotes or backgrounds. I did go buy the 4 steam cards that did not drop for me, so I could craft a level 1 badge. I got the same background that was on the Steam Market but got a different emote. So I create a quick image of the background, cards, level 1 badge, and two emotes (the one on the market and the one I got from crafting), just to share with you guys.
Personal Rating: 1.5-2 Stars out of 5
Game: Urban Pirate
Developer: Baby Duka
Platform: Steam – PC
Store pgs: Steam http://store.steampowered.com/app/471380 69% positive, 31% negative
Humble Bundle https://www.humblebundle.com/store/urban-pirate