Capcom Mobile Takes Social to the High Seas With Lil’ Pirates for iPhone

While mobile games increasingly have social features, most limit that to shareable achievements and leaderboards. Capcom Mobile has gone a step above the social norm with its new title, Lil’ Pirates. Using many mechanics found in Facebook games — such as virtual spaces and a form of farming — Lil’ Pirates adds its own flavor and ties them together with a collection of simple mini-games

Primarily a virtual space game, there is no real objective to Lil’ Pirates beyond trying to build up the best looking pirate ship on the seven seas. In order to do this, however, users are going to need a crew and some coin.

Thankfully, the game starts the player out with a non-player character as a shipmate and a small section of sea in which to start some jobs. Since the player avatar is the captain, they don’t do any of the work themselves. Thus, each job requires a crew member to accomplish. Different jobs, unlocking with new levels, will award different amounts of coin as well as the chance of random items. As one might expect, jobs range in completion time from 15 seconds to over a day, so multiple crew members are needed to be effective.

Though players only start with one, as they progress in level, their total number of crew also increases. This is where the social elements come into play, as these crew members can be hired from one’s own list of Facebook friends. Once on board, their avatars can be customized as the user sees fit (so long as they have the money to pay for it).

The friend doesn’t have to be an active player, but if they do play, they can become part of a group of friends called the “League of Captains.” This allows players to visit one another’s virtual pirate ships, as well as complete small tasks for extra income and experience. Additionally, more friends playing also allows users to purchase larger ship sizes for in-game currency, rather than using virtual currency, and allows for daily gifting.

Crew and friends in tow, users will begin to unlock more than just new jobs as they level up. Some of the more interesting aspects include the “Treasure Island” and “Battle!” systems.

Treasure Island is reminiscent of farming games, but comes with its own unique piratical spin. Players can visit an island of buried treasures and dig up random items left behind by a non-player pirate. What’s more, is users can take these items, as well as loot from jobs, and bury them. After at least four hours, the user can then return and dig the treasure back up and it will be worth more when sold. The longer it stays buried the higher quality, and value, it becomes.

This sort of treasure harvest, and extra revenue, becomes much more important in Battle! mode. Here, players will unlock different pirates to battle in a broadsiding cannon contest of firepower. Not only are most cannons expensive, but a bigger ship is needed to hold more, so some extra income is well worth it. More cannons equal more firepower. As for the fight itself, players have minimal control and can only affect the battle with special, single-use, power ups (found randomly while doing jobs) by temporarily boosting its health, evasion, or firepower.

Once a battle is won — and only one can be done every two hours – players will earn a significant amount of experience, treasure, and in-game currency. Moreover, each enemy ship has its own theme to it, which will unlock in the game’s store after it has been defeated.