The Game of Life Pirates of the Caribbean Collectors Tin Review

The Game of Life Pirates of the Caribbean Collectors Tin
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We bought this as a Christmas gift for our pirate- and POTC-obsessed boys. First, let me say it's a LOT of fun and we've played it twice in three days. But, it is important to note: while it has a pirate theme and the POTC name, it is NOT a Pirates of the Caribbean game with any of the movies' characters. If this would be disappointing to you, then pick one of the other versions which features the actual characters.
Now that that's out of the way...I would still highly recommend this game for any age group. The cover of the tin says for ages 9 and up, but our 7-year-old easily followed along and could play without much assistance (he's a good reader, but even when we needed to help him, it didn't hurt his play because it wasn't stuff other players couldn't see). The game goes quickly enough to keep everyone's attention, but not so fast that it ends too soon, if that makes sense.
At the beginning of the game, each player decides whether to start out as a sailor or a deck hand. Sailors automatically get an extra pay day and get to pick their captain before deck hands do, but being a deck hand first has plenty of benefits: you're eligible to acquire higher level vessels (which means you're slightly less vulnerable to raids, where you can lose a fair amount of money), and your penalty is often half that of a sailor's when you have to pay ransoms and other costs. That doesn't necessarily mean you'll win the game, though, since lots of players will choose to be deck hands to take advantage of those benefits.
During the game, you'll have plenty of opportunities to gain and lose money and treasure, sometimes paying to/collecting from the bank and sometimes with other players. When you land on "Life" spots, you get a life card that can often give you from 1 to 4 life tokens worth thousands of dollars in treasure. Other players can steal these (you keep them face down so they don't see the value) but you'll likely have chances to steal them back. You'll raid other players' ships, and if you have the highest spin, you'll spin again to see how much money they'll have to cough up. You'll also choose a mascot, and if you have a life token featuring that mascot, it doubles in value.
Our complaints are few and not enough to detract from our enjoyment of the game: 1) It isn't a true POTC game and 2) when your boats are on the lower part of "bridges" in the game, they slide off (we had to turn them upside down). Another big plus is the well-sized and sturdy collector's tin the game comes in. It's easy to get all the pieces back in (with some snack-sized zipper bags) and we don't have to worry about the box collapsing...we expect to play it often and won't wear out the box, at least!

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The Game of Life Pirates of the Caribbean Collectors Tin. Milton Bradleys game of Life set to the Pirates of the Caribbean theme.

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