Mendocino Game Company, 1994, 2-4 players, ages 8 and up. In Pirateer, players take turns moving their pirate ships around on a board in an attempt to seize the treasure and return it to their home harbor. Movement is accomplished by rolling dice and moving the little ship pieces around on a grid. If you land on another player's ship it is removed from the game. This game is ridiculously simplistic. And despite its relative simplicity, we found the rules to be very vague and inconclusive on several key points. Essentially it boils down to he who has the last ship left, wins. I think it took us about 5 minutes to play a 3-player game. Wow, lots of opportunity for deep thought there (hard to believe this game was awarded some kind of hoo-ha Mensa gaming award, remind me never to game with Mensa members). Frankly, a game of checkers or backgammon would provide about ten times the challenge. We instantly became worried when the rules opened up with a long diatribe from the guy who designed the game, going on about his trials and tribulations trying to get it published by one of the big game companies (Hasbro, et al), and his smug satisfaction about how he got it published through a small, "independant" game label and sold just zillions and zillions of copies of it. OK, pal, whatever.

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