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Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates

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Rating: 4.7/5 (81 votes)
Comments (62) | Views (12,459)

Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates

Arrrr, Matey! To celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day, I thought I would take this here opportunity to direct you to an excellent downloadable game that's been entertaining gamers of all ages for a couple of years: Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates, created by 3 Rings Design.

Available for Mac, PC, and Linux, Puzzle Pirates is a massively multiplayer online game world in which players take to the high seas to compete for pirate booty. As with many MMOGs, a persistent world and player-driven economy provide enough challenge and depth to satisfy a wide spectrum of gamer, from the casual minded to the hardcore. And while there are plenty of locales to visit and explore on foot, most of the action takes place aboard a vessel on the high seas playing... wait for it ...puzzle games! =)

A ship needs plenty of crew members to win the right to pillage other ships on the ocean. Lucky for you, finding one that will take you on is only as difficult as finding the town's local missions board and clicking a button. Once aboard, make your way to one of the ship's various duty stations to do your part and prepare for battle!

Yohoho! Puzzle PiratesMany of the puzzle games in Y!PP resemble familiar casual games like Tetris and Bejeweled, and are just as accessible to begin having fun with quickly. The bilging station, for example, performs the unenviable yet essential task of bailing water from the ship as it sails. Bilge pumps allow a ship to travel faster by removing the weight of the water that it takes on while sailing, which would otherwise slow it down. The puzzle game it provides is a simple one of swapping puzzle pieces to line up 3 or more of the same color, which then eliminates them from play. It's a never ending, tedious, and rather dull game, very much in theme with the duty being performed, and yet is a good place to start for a young or brand new adventurer looking to get into the swing of things.

When finally engaged in battle with another ship, the display will switch to the Swordfighting game where a team battle commences between the crews of the two ships. In a Swordfight, colored blocks fall with shapes of swords upon them. There are two types of blocks: solid and shattering "breaky block" pieces that cause all same-colored blocks it touches to shatter in a chain-reaction, and then disappear from your play field. And since this is a team battle, the blocks you eliminate from play in your game are sent to a member of the opposing team. If your play field fills up completely, you are eliminated. The first team to have all of their crew eliminated loses and gets pillaged by the victors.

And I have only just touched the surface of what Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates offers in terms of gameplay. To help you out, refer to this page for details about the many games that you can play.

The game is built in Java, and there is a 30-day free trial available for anyone who might want to give this delightful and truly unique twist on the MMOG genre a try. Once inside, thar be plenty of opportunity to engage in a little swashbuckling role-play, thus giving you an outlet for Talk Like a Pirate Day! Click.

Update: The folks at Yohoho have recently had a change of heart and although there are still subscription 'oceans' there are now 2 free oceans that allow you to either buy doubloons with a credit card, or acquire them using in-game currency. Therefore, purchases are optional and not required for full free participation in all aspects of the game. [Thanks, Barbara! and Mon! ]


Arr, ye be a mighty good time.
I've played before and it does have it's quirks. Fun to pass the time...for 30 days that is.
Oh, and hey! I've been a long time reader, first time posting! :)


call me a huge nerd for kiddie games, but this is not just a kiddie game. and it's awesome. and pirates are awesome.
to the extent that i actually got a subscription for it a while ago.
which i never do, because i'm cheap and it's not usually worth it.

zetasextantis September 19, 2005 1:14 AM

I really couldn't care less if a game looks kiddy or not, to me it's the gameplay that matters.
Puzzle MMOs are a new concept to me, but this looks like fun. Too bad it's only free for 30 days. =(


Puzzle Pirates is no kiddy game although they are aware of kids playing the game and so no profanity is tolerated.

In the review, a 30 day free trial is mentioned. The folks at Yohoho have recently had a change of heart and although there are still subscription 'oceans' there are now 2 free oceans that allow you to buy doubloons with a credit card. This, however, is optional and not required for full free participation in all aspects of the game.

You can just earn your pieces of eight the old fashioned way -by working in a shop, or you can get money the old pirate way, through pillage and plunder of other ships that you encounter at sea.

My character 'won' an eyepatch a few weeks ago when I was on two different ships that were sunk during a blockade. Even though I've been playing for a couple of months now, I've hardly scratched the surface of all it has to offer.


Shiver me timbers, Barbara! =)

Me thanks ter ya, kindly. I updated the review with that important information. Arrrr.

Wulfo had mentioned it to me when he suggested the review for today. I didn't quite understand the details of the "free oceans", so I appreciate you spelling it out so plainly. cheers!


Yarrr, I've been addicted to this game fer far too long, if any of ye are on the Colbalt ocean, be sure to give me a shout, and we can go drink our sorrows away yarrr.


I was wondering when or if Puzzle Pirates would be added to your blog and I am so glad it's finally up. I love this game, way more than other internet mmorpgs out there. The game is amazing. Plus, I've found the people that play are generally smarter than the players of other games.

I have a pirate on the Sage Ocean, one of the two dubloon oceans and I am having so much fun!

If you have not joined this game yet, the very least you could do is give it a try for a few days. It definitely deserves a look.


One thing you may want to add Jay is that doubloons are used to deliver and purchase certain objects on the doubloon oceans and that they can also be bought with the in game currency. So you don't really have to buy them with a credit card, but that is the best way to acquire them.


Thanks a lot for using my request! Firstly, I adore this game, obviously. Secondly, if anybody ever wants to speak to me, although, why would you, my character is on Sage (and occassionally Veridian) under the name Wulfo.


Yea, I played this awhile back for my free 30 days. I miss it... Argh.... I guess I go pay for it ;)


Thanks, Mon. I will reword that paragraph to be clearer still.

Remister - note the previous comments, you may play for FREE on either of the 2 free oceans. =)


I played this a long time ago, and had a fair bit of fun, but because I'm cheap I got rid of it after playing through the trial. Now that I know that there are free oceans, I just might pick it up again. Good to see this game here.


Note that ye will have to start a new pirate when ye join either of the free oceans (Viridian or Sage), but that most of the game rules still apply. The main addition of note is that ye need doubloons to pick up the items ye purchase.

To get to the free oceans, ye have to click on the button that reads "Change Ocean" on the login screen. Then, ye will be prompted to create a new pirate.

Have fun! I'm on occasionally as Killorin on Viridian.

Arrr.. dead men tell no tales! Arrr!


I did find the score system slightly confusing. The bilging puzzle I did fine, but then I never quite understood how to do well in carpentry or sailing. No matter how I tried, I still failed which I figured was because they are based on speed too much.

Some of the puzzles were even more confusing, like Gunnery and Alchemistry, I didnt know even if I played them right way as they showed no results whatsoever. I did like Distilling and Shipwrightery for little time, but not enough to come play them again.

I never had chance to try Navigation which by description sounds interesting.

Very few times did I get into swordfighting and those were great. Actual human being gives so much more then computer opponent. But to win those you do need better sword and to get better sword you need to play longer.

Maybe it was because I played when the games was still free for beta, but it had huge islands absolutely empty. I could wonder around for hours without ever bumping into other players. I always found exploring important part in such games, but not only were there no players, there was nothing to do at all. No monsters to fight, no quests to solve.


i've seen this advertised so many times. it's nice to get a summary of the game.

arr. where's me bird?

hooray for international holidays.

Drinkdrawers September 19, 2005 7:21 PM

I played this game for a few months last year. I even bought a subscription I loved it so much. The games are so very much deeper strategically than most online games I've played. The mechanics of them may be the same, but the secret to the strategy is all in the scoring. You have to bilge for a long time before you figure out how to reliably get bingos and sea donkeys. Being in a crew was lots of fun. Eventually I had to quit because it took up too much time. And I didn't like paying a subscription fee. ;)


jay i just wanna thank u for bringing my attention to this game, ive been playing it since u put it here and i am addicted to it, i love it. ive managed to become a pirate in 1 particular crew and i love pillaging the best.

tonypa, in my limited experience with this game i have found that when pillaging speed is very important no matter which puzzle u r doin just because u gotta repair the boat/load the guns/sail as quickly as possible so u r ready for the next attack. but ive found sailing is mainly about both speed and combos. i also think carpentry isnt so much about how fast u fill the holes as it is about how well u fill the hole, the best result is to fill the hole without any over lap with other pieces or the deck around the hole, u also get a bonus if the grain in all the pieces is goin in the same direction.

guns ive found r quite difficult, i dont have much experience in them yet, but the aim is to load all the guns by putting the items in the right order (gun powder>wad of paper> cannon ball) into each cannon. and do it as fast as possible. as for showing results, well maybe its different now because it does give u a rating on how well u are doin every so often.

i love the swordfights this is the best part of the game i think, particulary during sea battles. its not just about the sword u have, better swords do help, but its how u play it that makes the most difference.

there are some islands that r empty but i think this is probably done to make it more realistic as not every island has stuff on it. also there must b more ppl playing now cause even on deserted islands i bump into other players.

by the way, i am in the ocean Sage under the name Cobs and part of the crew- The Scourge, feel free to say hi.


Hy jay they made puzzle pirates even freeer with the only limits beeing crafting puzzles on certion days.


I tried the free thing, the three or four games they had avaliable were fun, but they all felt like Dr. Mario to some extent or another.

I'd play it if all the content were free, but 12 bucks a month is too much.

Capt_Poco January 2, 2006 8:54 PM

This game has to be compared to something like WoW or Everquest to be really reviewed.

If you play WoW or any "real" MMOs, you know that getting a nice group of people to play with is the biggest problem with these games. Puzzle Pirates solves this in many ways. Getting into a group is as easy as clicking a button and happens almost instantly. Every group has a "group leader" of sorts, a capitan, that is in control of and responsible for everyone on his ship. However, the capitan cannot force anyone to remain on board , which means that he is at the mercy of his crew, even as he orders them around. The result: Griefers do not play this game, period. The moral for future MMO designers: When an online community is given the tools to police itself, it will do so with a vengance. This game has the most carebear community imaginable, where nobody is too tired to listen to your sob story or teach you how to play better.

Other than that, the game is pretty lacklustre. Goofy 2D graphics, repetitive and generally uninspired puzzle games, along with grinding that doesn't actually get you anything of value conspire to make Puzzle Pirates more of a really awesome chat room than a video game. It's Habbo Hotel except with a game attached.
It's Second Life without the customizablityness and the gratutious sex and violence. It's Everquest with the grind removed. It should be a conspiracy between Popcap and AIM but is not. It's Puzzle Pirates.

In summary: Bad Puzzles, Excellent Pirates.


i've been playing this game for a year and tired i am of it, but once you have been playing for this long you can gather up a few good frinds to keep the games and pillages more fun, trust me, when you're just starting, it's not as fun as being subscribed. if anyone would like to contact me, do a /who Woozy, on the Cobalt Ocean :)


This game is good but with better puzzles it could become legendary.


used to play while ago

all the puzzles are easy and fun except distilling

distilling is confusing, and after you get past tht, and undersand it it is still diffiult, for me at least.

Kamacaze June 28, 2006 7:07 AM

they added a new puzzle called rumbling about 4 weeks ago quite confusing some times u have to runmmble instead of sf a ship when pillaging

Kimberly July 1, 2006 3:38 AM

The puzzles may seem a bit confusing at first, but with the many helpful pirates around there are a number of tutorials, guides, and explainational videos available on the YPP Forums, or on their YPPedia. Also, in the game there is the learning process that each pirate usually goes through with the Navy, which are ships that allow you to play some of the puzzles without having to play with other people in a pillage. OOO did introduce a new game called Rumbling recently. It is similar to Bust-A-Move and with simple instruction it is quite easy to master. This puzzle now shares half of the battles at sea, so sea battles are now half Rumbling and half Swordfighting.

-You can find me in-game as Middniteblu on the Sage Ocean.


At first i thought the game was really boring then i got into it it was very fun. But i cant belive i have to spend money to get in the good stuff of this game. I dont think its quite worth it

monkey thing July 5, 2006 12:51 AM

cool game but i dont like paying for things ill get sick of ez u know what i mean. ps i work hard for the money yes so hard for the money ..lol..

HVH Tim July 13, 2006 2:30 PM

this game rules
i'm hvhtimster on the Hunter ocean, maybe we can pillage for kings of chaos together, or set up a jay is games crew...


Oh god, this brings back memories... I used to love this game... -tears up-


Yarr! I love this island! But I'm no land lubber! Me love the sea and killin' fair pirates!


Arr good to see that i've finaly found a website that i can talk about puzzle pirates. i really like it but i'm confused about cannon. can someone explain it to me if ye know how to do it?

if ye want to talk to me (not that you would) :(:(:(:( my name is sqidboy(don't laugh 'tis the only name i could think of) and i'm in the midnight ocaen.

Dead men tell no lies :P

(plead for help) please help me! something has gone wrong! right now i'm trying to open it 'cause i downloaded it but now it's downloading all this stuff and wont let me play! if you know how to fix this jay plz tell me!


Hi, I've been playing Y!PP for a long while now, and to become really good at a puzzle you have to play it ALOT. But even then, some of it comes naturally.

That last post, gunning is a simple puzzle, but it comes with practice. I have ultimate/expert gunning but now if I make a new character I can get it to ultimate before I reach apprentice experience. The key to it is to make the pieces loop around the cannons in the right order, so then with one simple arrow move you can fill a cannon. Also a key component to gunning is speed, but again, that comes with practice.

I found that it was easier to get higher stats with my SECOND pirate, as the experience is lower, the rankings move up faster. Therefore it is generally a good tip to make one pirate, and when you have the hand of ALL the puzzles you can make another. Although it might be tedious to start again, it's definately worth it.

If you want to chat to me, hop onto Sage ocean and look for Roop, currently 15th gunner and 25th Sworfighting experience.


Really good game - one of my top ten, definitley, though there are a couple of slight blips in the game - On the subscriber's ocean you have to pay real money to get clothes/furniture etc, so it starts to feel a little like Habbo Hotel or something like that. Otherwise, the game is totally awesome, and caters for a huge age range, from about eleven to eighty. And so on. xD


i have been playing this game a looong time so i got my stss high.....
at one time i got bored but when i played again i got exited of all the new rumbling games and pets and free portraits...
in the beggining the game was realy confusing you dont know what to do and it becomes realy boring but when you make friends and understand the concept of the game you will like it realy much belive me you got to give it a try

i live in viridian ocean so i would love if you say hi sometimes to me
my name is Aquamann


This is a good and free game chat play puzzles with friends and buy stuff like shoose hats pants shirts pets and furniture and alot more you'll have to find out by playing it.


Really, really, really, good game, used to play it, i want to play it still, because of what the game has to offer. its a bit more expensive then runescape, but dosent leave you with the "I HATE THIS GAME" feeling that you could usually get after giving it up. even though its supposed to block out anybody over 13, go play it. even if you are not thirteen, theres nothing in the game that could harm people. most other games dont have a driven economy, this one does. people take things sold from a pillage, to a store and the store owner uses it to build something new (with alot of other things) when a player orders it, he builds it out of the things left over. and that object could be used in another store(silk, wood ect.)or for the player (sloop ect.) the puzzles are blessings, the system is adequate.
the reson this never became popular as other rivals, is because of the myth that this is a kiddie game.
play this for a month, it is NOT a kiddie game.

Dyslexic Q-Thief April 19, 2007 10:51 PM

Recently, Three Rings made a version of Puzzle Pirates that runs in a java applet, with no actual downloading or installation required. On top of that, it's now possible to play without having an account. It's now most truly a causal game in every sense of the term.


this game is a blast im not into puzzles or anything but its not the same like many games where you work by yourself to be the best this game is very social where you need to work together with others to achieve your goal of making money ive been playing this game for 2 years and still do

coolcat00011 May 11, 2007 12:51 PM

avast ye! obviously some people havent been on puzzle pirates oceans recently, so i will tell ye this:

1. the subscriber oceans have an unlimited trial now, but are limited to what you can do, although there are free days.

2. determining what challenge you face is what ship you are pillaging... if you pillage brigands, ye are going to be swordfighting, but if ye pillage barbarians, ye will be rumbling.

well, that is pretty much all... i am theonlyones on cobalt ocean, and i hope to see ye there


Did you all know they added POKER to this site? I just joined a month ago, poker has been on for about a year.

Subscriber ocean is free but limits on what you can do. Doubloon oceans are free. You need to "work" on puzzles for enough free money to play poker.

Miniclipro July 23, 2007 1:00 PM

Hiya All Im Liiking To Start A Crew But Can Any one Help Me what i want help with is can some one tell me what narrow and above ranks are thanks

From Midnight ocean


i am poor. who can get my stats up to distinguished plz and i am on midnight ocean
(moastley online).

dragonscale333 August 5, 2007 4:58 PM

So, is there any objective to the game? I mean, a lot of you talk about raising stats, but what do the stats do? Is it more like an RPG, or a multiplayer arcade game?


I have played PP for about a Year, and its my Favorite game EVER.
There are goals sort of, this is obviously a Never ending game, but mainly, stats show how good you are at Duties. Carp, Bilge, sail, etc.
The goals that people set for themselves are usually, make a crew, make a flag, get good stats etc.

I play on the Sage Ocean, Pirate is Legolas.


I can't remember when I started pp. Long, long time ago. Sadly, you can't play it when the internet's busted. I found that out yesterday. I play on sage, im Calline

Foxypauge_on_the_Sage_Ocean August 30, 2007 12:39 AM

I play this game quite often, and what I've noticed is that it's turning into an online Texas Hold'em game. About 70% of all pirates play Poker instead of pillaging. Those who cannot afford a badge to play everyday, either play on free days to save up for one, or, which most pirates seem to do, is beg. " Could ye spare 100 PoE please sir? It's for a.... Sloop! yes, a sloop!" I'ts just sad what this game is coming to.

Crazy MaryJo September 14, 2007 2:13 PM

Just an update: Atlantis has now been released on Puzzle Pirates to add a whole new adventure to the game. Since it was recently released there are still a few bugs to iron out but so far what has come out is fabulous! More information can be found by reading through the extensive forums.

Also note, there have been many, many additions to the game in the past couple of years since this blog was made. There are now Brigand King blockades, Brigand King flotillas, a new Blacksmithing puzzle, trophies and many more!

I have been playing since May 2005 and am part of one of the biggest crews on the Viridian Ocean, Reality, which is in turn part of one of the largest flags, Pay for Play. We are a very social group and it is what has kept me playing for so long. I'm not the best at the puzzles but the social aspect of the game and working together for the greater cause is very fulfilling.

I don't think that this game can be compared with games such as WoW, Runescape or any of the other point and shoot RPGs out there. This is a completely different type of MMORPG and I believe that it is setting a new frontier in this game genre.

Yohoho, Puzzle Pirates/ Auther September 30, 2007 1:11 AM

Arrr, How do ye be liking ye play around puzzle pirates?
Arrr, and remember, playin be as easy as 1-2-3!


If you play on a free ocean, you don't need to pay at all....I get loads of fun from it and I haven't payed a single cent. I don't play on subscriber oceans anyway...I'm in a great crew and if you want to talk to me in-game my name is Garins on the Viridian Ocean.
P.S. I have gotten about 2 friends onto it :)

Anonymous November 6, 2007 5:58 PM

puzzle pirates is always free on non subscription oceans so have all the fun you want!!!


There is no longer a limit on how many days you can play for free. YAY!

Abbydabbydoo January 1, 2008 12:42 PM

Puzzle pirates is free forever if you want it to be...just go on the viridian ocean and you never have to pay unless you choose to! thstd what i do and it ROX MY SOX!


Arr Mateys!!
i have been playing this game a long time,not that long,, lol rofl lmao, like 6 months, in that 6 months i have been member of different crews, mostly with big fame,iv read the post asking about POKER?, well im former LEGENDARY, but am able now, lol,NICE HAND, lol my favorite word if i lost ALOT in poker, well sometimes LUCKY GUY

i have some tips for u guys in the game

1. REMAIN on a single CREW(dont follow my mistake)
2. ALWAYS pilly

if u have time u can say Ahoy Mate to me
Senior Officer
Pride Of Southland



Hey Three Rings just started a beta site Whirled with player created games. I suggested it but in case it gets lost I wanted to post a cool game from there:


Hey listen, well ive played thiss game since it came out, ahh how the time runs, im on dubloon ocean now and i am one of the most seasoned and most powerful players in my ocea, i even govern an island. The reason this game is such a huge sucess, is that it will make you amazing friends, in this game they have features such as crew chat, on which you will find people discussing, suprisingly intellgetnly, and one more reason is that it goes so deep. For example even though most plyers assume the game is simple, it is not, it actually takes massive amounts of intellgence and craftyness to get a crew and a flag and secure an island. There is very advanced politics, with alliance webs, and wars and such, it goes way beyond the other games, which just use the grind as a way to measusre power adn importance, but actually intellgence and skill matter, and i keep on discovering new things after all these years.


yess! pp is the best game! i downloaded it not long ago and have been on it everday since! i love it! and the people there are amazing!

Anonymous July 8, 2009 3:56 PM

it is one of the worst games. you are dependant on people for everything and there not enough incentives which basically means the people dump you whenever they want and trust me you will be frustrated. do NOT get taken in by it i played for 3 years and this is my opinion.


LoL! I used to love this game but then i was forbidden by my mum cuz i played too much xD But hey, I do well in my studies so nvm :P Brings me back mermories.. I played on the free ocean so yea :P


Can anyone give a status update on, for example, any recent changes, new games, are players nice, etc.?
I have played this game very briefly, and a few years ago, and found it a mediocre game.


a very addicting game...


But still awesome. 5/5.


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