Eurogamer: Maybe it's because there are so few of them. Maybe it's because the ones that we do have tend to be pretty great. Whatever the reason, there's something about pirate games that tends to promise a little more than the usual gaming experience. Monkey Island. Sid Meier's Pirates. Overboard. All fondly remembered, all featured parrots and wooden legs and yarrrrrrr.
The Key of Dreams follows in the footsteps of the last of that trio, the top-down galleon shooter, Overboard! Developed by the people behind such modern gaming marvels as Cheggers Party Quiz and King of Clubs, this latest haul of sea-faring software casts you as a British captain sent undercover to locate the Key of Dreams, a powerful artefact in the possession of Brody Shanks, a grizzled pirate. Like a briny Donnie Brasco, you set sail under the skull and crossbones and must earn the trust of the pirate folk by blowing up dozens of naval vessels along the way.
Those expecting even a modicum of strategy or depth will be disappointed by this effort. It's a shoot-'em-up, nothing more. You sail around maze-like levels, dodging or engaging enemy ships and periodically getting trapped in large areas where you have to defeat all the enemies - or destroy their shipyards - before the gate opens and allows you to proceed on your larcenous way. Quite who's in charge of these gates is a mystery, but they're clearly not very security conscious.