Of course, you probably wouldn't even bother with any of this if there weren't any worthwhile things to buy with all this money you're earning. While there are certainly plenty of little things to buy to customize your pirate, like clothing, weapons and what have you, the real reason you should save up your salary is to buy your own ship or your own business. Buying your own ship is pretty much what it sounds like. You're awarded the deed to one of several types of ships, ranging from sloops to war brigs, and then you're the one in charge of that boat. Creating a business essentially opens up a stall within an allotted business area. So, if you create a shipwright business, your stall will go next to the other shipwright businesses on that archipelago. Running your own ship or business can be quite a bit of fun, and hey, you're helping the economy!
No online game can survive without a solid and enthusiastic community. In the case of Puzzle Pirates, enthusiasm is one thing this community has no shortage of. After spending quite a bit of time playing, we've come to the conclusion that everyone playing Puzzle Pirates is completely insane, but in a totally endearing way. Essentially, people really seem to get into the whole pirate mentality here. When you first board a ship, it's not uncustomary to have a lot of people type things like "Arrrr!" and "Ahoy! Get to yer station, mate!" There sure is a lot of role-playing going on here, even though it's not an RPG. If that freaks you out, then maybe this isn't the game for you. But, if you can get into the whole pirate thing (or at least get past it), then you'll find the community of Puzzle Pirates to be quite an entertaining and often helpful bunch.
From a technical standpoint, Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates is just about the easiest thing in the world to boot up and play. The game starts up instantly and quits out just as easily. It runs on basically any machine, from a high-end PC to a Mac to even a Linux box. Granted, this is because this is just a Java client that doesn't take up more than a hundred megabytes on your hard drive. Make no mistake; Puzzle Pirates isn't bad looking at all. The puzzles all have a nice look to them, and you'll see an appreciably precious art style while you're wandering around a ship or island. Because of the game's visual limitations, you won't find anything especially impressive. However, the visuals are just fine for what they need to be here. There really isn't much audio either. You'll get some occasional pirate chatter and a few little sea chanteys playing in the background, but that's really it. Though you'd hardly expect a whole lot of audio from a game like this, even what's here isn't really all that great.
Were it not for the postpurchase fees, Puzzle Pirates would be the easiest game in the world to recommend. And even with the fees, it's still a pretty easy recommendation.
The one and only major thing that might prevent you from picking up Puzzle Pirates is its overly prohibitive price tag. The game itself is only $20, and even though the first month is free, you'll be paying either monthly or yearly fees after that. The monthly fee is $9.95, and the yearly fee is $74.95. While that isn't excessively expensive for an MMO, it is quite expensive for something that feels more like a fun distraction rather than the kind of thing you'd want to sink every waking moment of your life into. The game itself features no shortage of content to keep you playing time and time again, but it's debatable whether that content is really worth the kind of money it's asking for.
If you have the disposable income to drop on a game like this, then there's no doubt that you should at least give it a try for the first free month. As puzzle games go, Puzzle Pirates is a winner, and it's not just because of how good its puzzles are by themselves, but also because of how it ties all of its puzzles into the larger gameworld, creating a completely self-perpetuating economy and community purely out of puzzling. It's a bizarre concept that's done very well. And even if you don't want to shell out money on a monthly or yearly basis, the $20 price tag is more than worth it for that first free month.