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The text based iPhone MMO RPG format has been a sponge for every pop culture phenomenon that has passed through young American minds. From ninjas to vampires they have taken the popular format of character building and brief gameplay moments and extended it to every theme that could attract customers. Like the rest of these ideas, the pirate theme has been a fairly consistent staple among developers. Here is a look at the best pirate themed iPhone RPGs that can be found at the iPhone App Store.
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The PlayMesh gaming model has always been popular, mainly because they have a solid format and have included a whole range of themes that they update regularly. One of these is iPirates, even though it did not get brought into PlayMesh's third generation as led by iMafia III. In iPirates you create a character and work through different Quests in an effort to get gold and experience. Like with the rest you will invest in different types of properties, starting out with your own small island. The real goal of iPirates is to balance progress with the development of your account, which must be done cleverly so as to really remain competitive in battle with other players and to work your way up the Leaderboards. Like the rest of the PlayMesh RPG library, iPirates PlayMesh Points play a major role in gameplay. You buy iPirates PlayMesh Points from PlayMesh through the App Store like any pay application and then open them up to bring the iPirates PlayMesh Points into your account. With these iPirates PlayMesh Points you can buy certain things in iPirates that you would normally have to wait for, such as more crew members and recharges. You will often be given free PlayMesh Points for iPirates, but do not expect a huge series of free PlayMesh Points to come your way. Free PlayMesh Points have been a major focus of the company to attract players, but there has not been a huge push toward free PlayMesh Points for iPirates. Either way, iPirates PlayMesh Points will dictate your progress against other players. Though the PlayMesh Points model is similar to those found in other text based iPhone MMO RPGs, what is different is that you do not work on a Friend Code system. You have to purchase your iPirates crew members like anything else in the game, and since they jump up in price with every one you purchase it is important to make this the focus of your iPirates PlayMesh Points.
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Pirates is one of the lesser known of the pirate themed games for the iPhone, mainly because of its indescript name and its $2.99 price tag. In Pirates you are going to get most of the same elements that you would with similar titles like iPirates, including tropical property investment for consistent income, completing jobs for money and experience points that require certain elements, and "offensive items" that act as weapons for jobs and competition. One thing that is significantly different about Pirates is that it includes an island system that correlates game locations to real world locations using the iPhone's location feature. This is a nice addition to Pirates as it is really the only game of this type that has incorporated such a feature. What is included is the Pirates Crew Codes system, which is not present in iPirates. Each player is assigned a Pirates Crew Code and this Pirates Crew Code allows you to be identified by other players. Since you will need to add to your crew for strength and progress you will use these Pirates Crew Code to add other players and you will likely share your Pirates Crew Code around as much as possible. This Pirates Crew Code system is much different than the internal iPirates crew system.
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Pirate Wars from Better Day Wireless also strays from the standard line set by games like iPirates and the PlayMesh dominance, and it is a nice surprise. The gameplay remains more focused than these other titles, but the overall goals and sense of progress is very similar and will be easy to pick up. Pirate Wars does not include a code system like Pirates Crew Codes and instead follows a system that is much more like iPirates. Pirate Wars may also take more of your time as you have to be ready when things occur, because the action is not always self directed.