Raft Pirates, as the name suggests, stars pirates that live on rafts. You'll start with a small raft, capable of housing just a few weapons or tools and a diving platform. Your robot pirates do all of the work in terms of defending the ship and diving for treasures, with the world's waters being split into two varieties: safe and dangerous.
The safe zone allows you to take as much time as you need to build new weapons or even new platforms to expand your raft, all without worrying about another real world player coming to attack you. You can even dive for resources in these safe waters, but the resources you find there are much less likely to be anything impressive. Out in the game's PvP areas, the resources are more valuable, and you'll even earn experience points that will help you unlock new blueprints that can be turned into actual tools on your raft.
If you never spend time in the game's open waters, you'll never level up, and will therefore never unlock the many varieties of weapons that the game has to offer. Thankfully, you don't have to worry about being constantly attacked, as you'll be given a grace period of "safety time" after each battle, which can allow you to regain your bearings if you happened to take damage.
Battles themselves are handled via the roll of a set of dice. Each weapon or tool you add to a raft increases that portion's specific Battle Points. The more Battle Points, the stronger that section of the raft will be, and the more likely it is that you'll defeat both oncoming attackers and helpless enemies in your path. What's more, you'll be given the chance to plunder the remains of your foe's vessel, gaining valuable resources in the process.
It's unfortunate that Raft Pirates is actually so streamlined, as there isn't a lot to do in the game's early state. If you do get bored waiting for your robotic diver to return to the surface, you can tap on them to start a mini-game where you actually guide his descent into the deep, but this is only entertaining on the first few attempts.
For all of Raft Pirates' charm, MMOs are only successful if there are actually people playing them, leaving time to be the biggest factor in the game's success. It's understandable that the user base is small right now, but hopefully it increases enough in the future to make the game a more exciting experience. If you'd like to help the game grow, you can now download it for free on iPhone or iPad.
Download Raft Pirates on iOS >
Have you tried Raft Pirates or other mobile MMOs? How do you think the massively multiplayer online genre handles on the iOS platform? Sound off in the comments!