Live the life of a pirate and build your own island paradise! (While watching timers count down.)
A long time ago in a world filled with pirates, one pirate united all the various crews under one banner, bringing peace and prosperity. However, one day a sea monster attacked Seabeard's island home and he disappeared without a trace. As his descendent you are charged with replicating his success by rebuilding his island and reuniting the scattered pirate citizens of your world. Seabeard features an astounding amount of content and works on the freemium model.
Seabeard is reminiscent of games like Animal Crossing and Mickey's Magical Kingdom. Players are basically in control of an island economy and must search out items to sell in their shops, specialized characters that can help them get more items, and complete quests to come on step closer to their goal to restore the island to its past magnificence. Unlike a lot of freemium games that use the model to cover up the lack of gameplay, Seabeard is easily a full-length game that would be at home on the Nintendo 3DS. There is a ton of customization and content waiting to be discovered in Seabeard and it's a game that will take weeks to beat.
Unfortunately, a lot of this games charm is ruined by the standard freemium inclusion of ridiculous timers and premium currency. It's unfortunate because this game is complex and content rich enough to stand on its own two feet, and Hand Circus could have easily sold this game at $5-10 dollars a pop without all the irritating freemium clichÃ©s.
Unfortunately, this is another game that has the potential to show that mobile gaming can be competitive with handheld systems and consoles that has been marred by the get rich quick freemium model. If Hand Circus would have priced it as a premium title in the $10 dollar range, or even just charged for skins while allowing unfettered access to the game then it would be a huge contender for best original iOS game of the year. However, the decision to go with the same old tired freemium model that blocks players from content at their demand relegates this game to "also ran".