Dread Pirate (Second Edition), by Front Porch Classics, is one of the most attractive and interesting games I've ever come across. It's not a game for the casual game-player, but for a real collector, this game is perfect. Front Porch Classics calls its games "coffee table games", meaning that they're attractive enough to leave on display while they're not being played.
The game does not come in a cardboard box, rather, it is in a beautiful wooden treasure chest. The game "board" is actually a large pirate's map, printed on a piece of fabric. Each player gets a solid metal ship (which are large-about 2 inches tall and an inch and a half wide from stem to stern!) which they move around the playing board by rolling the wooden dice or drawing a pirate card.
The object of the game is to collect doubloons and treasure by moving around the board, raiding other pirate's ships and ports. The treasures are small jewels, much like those which often come with mancala sets. The doubloons are real golden metal coins which look quite like what one might imagine pirates' booty would actually look like. Each player keeps their collected treasures in gorgeous velvet bags as they play the game.
In addition to being a beautiful and fun game, Dread Pirate is also informative. The instruction booklet includes excerpts from the 1691 journal of Captain Arthur Howell, and each "Dread Pirate" card lists a fun fact about pirates.
Any avid game collector who appreciates attractive games that incorporate real materials and who enjoys clever strategy games will love Dread Pirate.
The game also comes in a "Bookshelf Edition", where the treasure chest is replaced by a shabby chic-style game box that looks like a book! You can proudly place it on your bookshelf instead of buried away in the game closet.
DREAD PIRATE AT-A-GLANCE:
GAME BOX INCLUDES: Wooden Treasure Chest, 4 Solid Metal Die-Cast Ships, Large Fabric Playing Board, 4 Wooden Dice, 100 Jewels, 50 Gold Doubloons, 4 Velvet Treasure Bags, 52 Dread Pirate Cards
YOU'LL NEED: Some space on a shelf in your living room to display this gorgeous game while you're not playing it!
SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE: $79.95 (Price depends upon retailer)
AWARDS WON: Family Fun Magazine Toy of the Year, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal, National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, and more!
TRY IF YOU LIKE: Strategy Games like Settlers of Catan, Collector's Edition Games
PERFECT FOR: A Holiday Gift for the family who has everything!
RATING: Five gold doubloons out of five.