Capcom and Certain Affinity have struck gold. Buried pirate gold that is with their XBLA title Age of Booty. I can only describe the game as a real-time action strategy game in the dangerous pirate-infested waters of legend. I downloaded the demo on a whim and soon after playing through the levels in it I purchased the full game.
Age of Booty puts you in command of a pirate ship sailing the seas. Plundering is your bread and butter and the only thing you know. The task in each level is simple either take control of more cities than the enemies or take a certain number of cities. Some levels have time limits set on them while others go until someone reaches the goal.
Along the way you will collect rum, gold and lumber. But this isnít just to fill desert island hideouts with loot. Itís for upgrading your ship and your towns. Each town can have two upgrades which increase defensive and offensive capabilities. Your ship on the other hand can take multiple upgrades to its speed, armor and cannons. Of course more cannons means a slower ship so be sure to balance that when you play.
Sometimes it seems like the AI in the game is totally lacking in any sense of direction and at other times it appears to be brilliant. When you have a computer-controlled swabbie in another ship you canít give him any sort of directions which really would have added to the strategy and tactics factor. Of course at times youíre so busy with what youíre doing you have no idea where he is or what heís doing.