Nothing will have me running to check out a new game like the promise of pirates so when it was announced that a game called Plunder would be playable at Capcom's Digital Day I made my way to the room as soon as I could. Plunder, developed by Certain Affinity (Whose lead designer is Max Hoberman of Halo 2 and 3 multiplayer fame), is a real time multiplayer strategy game inspired by titles like Settlers of Cattan. On a hex tile board, players take control of their own pirate ship and attempt to gain domiance over the ports that are placed around different spots on the map. Capturing various areas will yield spoils that will allow you to upgrade your ships with faster speed, stronger shields and better firepower. Pointing and clicking on a hex area will start moving your ship to that space and passing by an enemy will initiate automated cannon fire between the two ships. The game is won when one player or team gains control over the majority of ports.
I sat down and played a very quick, four person vs team game which was really a lot of fun. The controls were easy to pick up and the gameplay was engaging and easy to pick up. However it did require some skill and speed to get quickly upgraded and get to all the places you needed to go to win. My teammate and I managed to soundly trounce the competition and much rum was drunk and wenches were kissed. Well, not by me but that's another story.
We also took a look at the map editor which was very easy to use and is actually one of the things I am really looking forward to with this game. I'm not usually one for level editing as it always seems so needlessly complicated but this was very simple and engaging. Plunder will be coming to PC, XBLA and PSN later this summer.