Bermuda Pirates - Dastardly Review #125
Bermuda Pirates was designed by Jeppe Norsker and published by FoxMind (2019).
Bermuda Pirates is a dexterity game but not the typical flick things at targets and then spend half your time picking the flicked bits up off the floor.
Bermuda Pirates is an elegantly engineered memory and puzzle solving game. The dexterity mechanic is to simply push your boat around the sea and collect treasure. It sounds simple but it is hard to master.
This game is beautiful. The art work and components are first class.
The board represents the sea with an island full of shiny treasure that you try to gather up. The first pirate to safely collect all four colors of gems wins!
As you sail the sea you have to avoid islands and ship wrecks and the hidden whirlpools. Whirlpools? They are what make Bermuda Pirates a very cool game. More on them in a minute!
Each pirate gets a corner of the board as a home base. And they get a boat. And some buoys.
The boats are engineered with a rounded back so they are easy to push and a flat deck to store the gems you collect. As you pick up a boat you will likely wonder why it is heavy in front...it is because of the magnet. Magnet? Yep!
And this where Bermuda Pirates shines. It has a completely unique mechanic...the hidden whirlpools. When a boat moves over a whirlpool the front of the boat is pulled sharply down.
Any gems that the pirate is transporting are spilled into the sea by this bucking action. It is really fun when this happens.
Bermuda Pirates is a really cool feat of engineering.
The beautiful top game board that shows the sea and islands hides the bottom level. The bottom level is made up four boards with magnets hidden in them (the whirlpools). Everything is held firmly in place by a center square that has pegs that go through the bottom and top boards and up to the center island where they are capped and hidden by flags.
Since the four bottom boards can be arranged many ways the magnets in the boards form scores of patterns for the hidden whirlpools.
As the pirates push their boats around the sea they have the option of collecting gems from the center island or from where they have been spilled into the sea. Of course they were spilled into the sea because there is a whirlpool somewhere nearby.
Pirates must memorize which routes are safe and where whirlpools lurk.
A pirate can also opt to place buoys. But pirates are devious...maybe they put the buoy above a whirlpool to help everyone or maybe the buoy really marks a safe passage.
Bermuda Pirates is a uniquely engineered game. The components are incredibly well done.
Even the box insert is beautiful!
One of the best made games we have seen this year.
The rule book is fun and easy to understand.
Bermuda Pirates doesn't fit into standard categories. No cards. No dice. No fighting. A break from zombies and space ships. It is a fun memory puzzle game.
The whirlpool mechanic is awesome. And it is really fun when a pirate ship gets sucked down by a whirlpool and spills shiny gems into the sea.
Bermuda Pirates isn't just for little kids.
Our grandkids enjoyed this game a lot. But the adults did too.
The Good: Experiencing the surprise of the whirlpool mechanic is a blast.
The Bad: A pretty simple game but good for some laughs!
The Dastardly: A freakingly awesome example of engineering with a fun game wrapped around it.