Crew a ship with your pirate pals in Blackwake

Yar har and fiddle-di-dee, multiplayer ship combat game Blackwake [official site] has sailed into early access. It pits teams against each other with up to 16 players crewing a ship, running around controlling cannons, patching up holes, pumping water, and boarding other ships. That sounds great, that. I do always enjoy that sort of teamwork and inter-reliance, especially when playing with friends. Heck, even disasters are a lark with friends. Check out this trailer, which features broadsiding, boarding, cheeky piratical banter, and more than a few disasters:

I use that last quip all the time myself.

So! Up to 16 players can crew a ship in Blackwake, taking roles including firing cannons, reloading cannons, running supplies as a powder monkey, repairing the hull, repairing the sails, boarding, and, of course, captaining – a role decided by vote at the start of the round. It currently has two ship sizes, small hoys and big galleons, and modes pit varying numbers and types of ships against each other, up to 3v3 where each team has one galleon and two hoys.

It sounds like it fits into that great gaming space where teamwork is all, so much can go wrong, and victories feel like real accomplishments.

Blackwake is now on Steam Early Access for £13.49/17,99€/$17.99, which includes a small launch discount. Developers Mastfire Studios plan to launch the full version this autumn after adding more modes, ships, weapons, voice acting, and so on, along with improving performance and stability. Initial players reviews look jolly positive. I’ll have to see if we can press gang Brendan into Prematurely Evaluating it.

If you fancy co-op crewing but less competitive killing, I believe that’s more the focus of Rare’s upcoming Sea of Thieves.

Also, apparently players can drink booze and tea in Blackwake?


  1. kulik says:

    There was an alpha of a similar game with gnome ships. It was a lot of fun.

  2. Kommissar Hedgehog says:

    I fear your description only scratches the surface of this fine game. :)

  3. skyfire322 says:

    My friends and I have been eyeing this since the trailer was first released. The biggest issue that I’ve read in the reviews is pretty bad FPS drops, but I’m sure it will be fixed in a future patch!

  4. Snowskeeper says:

    Okay, we can drink booze and tea. But can we drink bees?

  5. Harlander says:

    I saw someone livestreaming a few rounds of this at the weekend. Looks pretty fun.

  6. po says:

    Does it have dueling?

    If so I’ll have to brush up on my rhyming insults and comebacks.

  7. mitthrawnuruodo says:

    Another one… Whats up with these indie devs? Everyday there seems to be a one multiplayer ship combat, or space survival game released.

  8. April March says:

    Well, when the very first scene ends with the player shouting FUCK it shows the devs know why people like these games, at the very least.

    What’s the quip? I couldn’t understand it.

    • Cvnk says:

      Something about “I’ve already seen your mom’s treasure.”

  9. caff says:

    Bought this on Saturday and it is hilariously good fun.

    It reminds me of some of the multiplayer chaos of Mount and Blades Napolenoic Wars mod.

  10. renner says:

    Played a few hours of this last night with a friend, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. The silly chaos has its appeal, but it’s also extremely satisfying to be a part of a fully-manned galleon with a good captain who can get the crew working together.

  11. Gomer_Pyle says:

    “In the Hall of the Mountain King” makes anything great.

  12. racccoon says:

    Another game that wants to publish itself, but can’t, as it forced to go and release itself to the bully of the school play ground holding its forced hands with the PC bully called STEAM!