Despite a weirdly generic name that feels oddly translated, I was pleasantly surprised by roguelike deckbuilding game, Pirates Outlaws.

If you’ve played games like Slay the Spire, you’ll feel immediately at home with Pirates Outlaws – which sees your pirate captain (chosen from a steadily unlocking cast of characters with distinct abilities) steering their ship through troubled waters, battling against rival crews, dealing with random events and occasionally stopping for a break at a Market or Tavern.

The card based mechanics feel really nicely woven into the theme, with ammo cards needed to replenish actions for ranged attacks and melee attacks being, essentially, ‘free’ actions for the most part. Everything is clear, easy to understand and well explained – you’ll be fighting (and, most likely, dying) out on the seven seas in no time.

There’s an awful lot of content and game modes to unlock too; perhaps my biggest complaint about Pirates Outlaws is the snail’s pace at which extra modes – and the bigger content, such as new campaigns – tend to unlock.

There’s a few other issues, though they’re relatively minor. A lack of touchscreen support for this type of game seems like a big oversight, but it’s not a deal breaker.

Likewise with the slightly overused vibration feedback; it can be a bit of an annoyance and I haven’t found a way to disable it – but it’s hardly anything to really complain about. It admittedly feels like I’m clutching at straws to find fault with Pirates Outlaws.

That’s because the game as is has a wonderful art style, a great soundtrack and incredibly moreish gameplay. I’ve found it to be a brilliantly compelling game overall.

Fans of roguelikes, deckbuilders and even tabletop card games should absolutely check out; after being available on PC for a few years, it’s great to see Pirates Outlaws make its way to the Switch.

Now excuse me while I head back into the water and try to take down that pesky enemy Pirate Captain one more time.

Many thanks to publisher BlitWorks for providing me with a game code for review purposes.

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