Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Mobile Review

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! Well, OK, a bottle of soda since I'm still on the clock, damn it. But it's a mere two weeks before we get to see the return of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the forthcoming movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, where the Cap'n is apparently a doomed man, owing a large debt to Davy Jones. Fortunately, for those who can't wait to hop back into this pirate's life, Disney Mobile has given us the game based on the movie, and those who like a good swashbuckling adventure should jump right in.

I won't splurge on details from the game that much, as it might spoil some events that are going to happen in the movie- the game follows the plot line pretty well. But in the game, you take control of Sparrow as he finds himself in a number of battles with cannibals and government soldiers who seem to want him less than alive. Jack can use his gun and his wits to survive, but mainly, survival will depend on the accuracy of his mighty sword, which he can use for jabs or for calculated battles, where you have to engage in a swordfight and succeed by entering numerical sequences in order to have the final say.

I have to tell you, the swordfights are a bit awkward in their execution, but I liked the system, and it requires you to have a great deal of concentration without having to know your way around a blade. The combat is also pretty well focused, with Jack able to pull off a number of moves, including being able to swing around a pole to take out enemies in front of and behind him, just in case he's in a bit of a hurry. There's a variety of stages on hand as well, all looking pretty good in the presentation. There is the occasional hiccup with lock-ups, but I'm sure Disney Mobile will have this fixed soon enough. There's not really too much presence of Depp, however, which is awkward, since he is Jack Sparrow.

Probably the best thing about Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is the ability to take part in some havoc-filled ship battles. Controlling your battleship, the Black Pearl, against an armada of invading enemies is loads of fun, and the controls are well concentrated, making your fighting that much more justified. I can probably see that Disney borrowed this element from the Xbox release Sid Meier's Pirates!, but it's well implemented for a mobile format.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is a superb game, one that the mobile market's been needing for some time. But be warned- if you choose to take part in it ahead of time, you'll be somewhat spoiled for the forthcoming movie. If you can heed that warning and don't mind getting your kicks ahead of schedule, this chest is well worth opening.

What's Hot: Great, engaging gameplay; wild ship battles.

What's Not: Spoils on the movie; hardly any presence of Johnny Depp; slight lock-ups.

4/5