Sailing the high seas usually calls for a ton of treasure plundering and epic battles, and Pirate Legends attempts to bring its share of adventure to the Tower Defense genre. But is all that sword fighting and cannon blasts worth the $3.99 price tag, or is it shipwrecked on an island you'll never want to visit?

To keep a Tower Defense experience fresh, a plethora of boosts and upgrades, coupled with wall-to-wall action is a must. Thankfully, Pirate Legends doesn't skimp on giving you a ton of choices. At the start of each level, you are given a set amount of gold pieces to purchase towers of your choosing, and whether it's shelling out coins for hired guns, black magic wizards, or lock and loaded bombardiers, the pirating world is your oyster.

Although you can create up to 20 different towers, Pirate Legends enables players a three dimensional experience in a 2D world. Want to throw a turtle bomber, or fire your own cannons from your mother ship? Tap on the icons located at the lower left side of your device, and get ready to bomb the living heck out of your enemies. My turtle has been shot from my shift and he's ready to hit the waters, where he will immediately set shop and start firing at the oncoming foes. When they draw even closer, I'll blast them with my cannons.

Since pirates can be a cruel bunch, toes are also a form of currency, and while you use your gold to purchase and upgrade your towers, these little piggies are needed to fully weaponize your world. I'm currently low on toes, but once I complete another mission I'll purchase a few rocks to give these attackers an all too permanent headache.

My favorite tower is a total environmental hazard. I'm a bit burned out on seeing spells and artillery shoot out of my defenses, especially since I played the heck out of Kingdom Rush Frontiers. So getting the chance to spill a little oil into the ocean and then upgrade the towers into a sludge factory was a mess I definitely wanted to make. What's an adventure without truly getting your hands dirty, even if Mother Nature checks you off her Christmas list?

Along with its solid visual design and a surprisingly effecting score, Pirate Legends is a first rate adventure which has tons of replay value. I also truly loved creative choices that seemed to have come out of left field, such as giving us a chance to have our very own plane to machine gun the unsuspecting victims below. I never thought flight would play a part in any kind of seafaring adventure, but if monsters and shamans are also part of the storytelling fabric, a couple of war birds should only help the cause.

For just under four bucks, you'll sail the high seas in an adventure that will keep you glued to your device. I've never collected toes or infested the ocean with environmentally dangerous gunk, but there's a lot of things I've done on my iPad that will remain my dirty little secret. Add Pirate Legends to the pile of apps I'll keep playing (and plundering), 'till the cows come home.


App Store Link: Pirate Legends for iPhone & iPad | By Super Hippo Games | Price: $3.99 | Version: 1.0.1 | 326 MB | Rating 9+

7.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating