I *loved* “Sid Meier’s Pirates!”. I played it on the Commodore 64. I then bought it on the Amiga (complete with its upgrade to “Extra Half-Bright” graphics). I then bought it again in its “Pirates! Gold” incarnation on the Commodore CD32 (a console released only in Europe and Canada, it never came out in the U.S.). I then bought the new “Sid Meier’s Pirates!” on the Xbox, and bought it again when it went on sale via Games on Demand. I can’t think of any game I’ve bought more times, off the top of my head.
“Master of the Seven Teas” plays like the ship-to-ship combat in “Pirates!” but with significant upgrades. The most obvious one is the ability to raise and lower the guns (rather than cannon shooting a fixed distance away from your ship). Other upgrades are less expected, such as the ability to launch ninja boarding parties of your enemies, or the necessity to dodge lemon wedges, or the health and loot chests that appear in the playfield.
You see, the playfield is one of several teacups, with you piloting a tiny ship on the tea contained within the cup. There is a lot of variety in the teacups and their backdrops, which is nice, and the music changes with the kind of tea (such as chinese tea having an asian vibe to the music). a fanciful collection of power-ups and attacks are present, as are environmental hazards that are specific to the level you’re playing (the fly in the picnic level, cubes of sugar in the tea-time level, etc.). And I like that computer opponents will go for power-ups and bonuses! The game also has local multiplayer for those with people to play with.
It launched at 240 MSP, but has dropped to the impulse buy-friendly 80 Microsoft Points. It’s not deep, but not every game needs to be. It’s fun, and that’s all you can ask from it.
Here’s what the developer (Gaslight Games) has to say about the game:
“Epic Maritime Skirmishes on a Teeny, Tiny, Teacup Scale! Captain your miniature pirate ship, sink your enemies and use crazy power-ups including Shark, Squid and Ninjas in a bid to become the Master of the Seven Teas! Play through the single-player campaign, battle your foes in local multi-player through 3 different modes or team up with another captain and take on wave-after-wave in Armada.”