Port Royale 3 is a historical real time strategy, Economic, simulation game for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and the PC. The game has the player following the role of a Trader, Buccaneer or Pirate, trading goods around the colonies in the Caribbean, attacking ports and raiding trading routes. The player can purchase ships, form convoys, start businesses at various towns and built residences and receive income from manual or automated trade routes. The title does have a back story; either route the player decides to follow you must win the heart of the Viceroys daughter. Following the trading route will have you improving settlements and Adventuring will have you rescuing the damsel in distress from pirates.

Although at first glimpse the game appears to be quite simple I can assure you it is not. The relationship system is extremely complex and it did take me a while how to work out exactly how to earn money through the difficult trade system. Levelling up however wasn’t difficult, as once I had realised how to set up automated trading my experience bar rose through the roof. Once my level was high enough I was able to set up my own businesses on the island of Port Royale, building residences and farms, although it took me a while to realise that I needed to travel to other islands to transport workers to supply staff for my buildings.

The graphics aren’t exactly pushed to their limit to be honest. Cut scenes are static graphic images, whilst town views are average at best. The world map view is very simple to use but not very visually appealing to the eye, although the frame rates operate at a smooth speed.

The tutorial is vague at best, so I suggest that messing around with the controls and just experimenting will achieve the best results. It took me around 3 hours to figure out, how exactly to make a profit. For some unknown reason purchasing all of a towns stock in a particular product will reduce their opinion of you, whilst selling them a product which is scare will improve the relationship. Improving relations between other settlements will also earn you the ability to build extra settlements and businesses allowing you to expand your empire.  Although this process does time some serious time, on the plus I would expect this from an economy building game.

Historically Port Royale is spot on, featuring ships of that time, famine and struggles of that time including pirate raids. There are various different international factions that affect your game play as well, including Great Britain and the Spanish empire. What I didn’t like is the fact your character is Spanish and you have no choice in this matter.
Fun factor applies to the player, if you enjoy starting from scratch and building your own trading empire, with the occasionally naval battle in between lunch breaks then this title will appeal to you. If however you don’t like working complex economic systems and don’t enjoy long hour’s strategising then Port Royale 3 maybe not for you.

Value for money, for an average of around £15 you can purchase a copy from Amazon for the PS3 or Xbox 360, whereas the PC it’s around £9 give or take, which isn’t too bad considering the average level of detail. However overall it’s not too bad of an experience and I did find myself addicted quite quickly (now that I know how to play!). My strongest suggestion for gamers though is this – This genre of game is best played on the PC platform and not consoles, as the controls are generally easier to handle and get to grips.  I give it 6/10.