"Sid Meier's Pirates! is a computer game created by Sid Meier and published and developed by MicroProse in 1987. It was the first game to include the name "Sid Meier" in its title as an effort by MicroProse to attract fans of Meier's earlier games, most of which were flight simulators. The game is a simulation of the life of a pirate (more accurately, a privateer) in the Spanish Main in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Pirates! is a single-player game. The player receives a letter of marque authorizing service as a privateer for Spain, the Dutch Republic, England, or France in the Caribbean. The player's loyalties may change over the course of the game; he may also hold rank with multiple countries and may turn to piracy at any time. Gameplay is open-ended; the player may choose to attack enemy ships or towns, hunt pirates, seek buried treasure, rescue long-lost family members, or even avoid violence altogether and seek to increase his wealth through trade. The game also has no predetermined end, although as time goes on, it becomes more difficult to recruit crew members. Also, as the player character ages, fighting becomes more difficult, and deteriorating health will eventually force the character into retirement. The game ends when the player retires, at which point he is given a position in his future life, from beggar to King's adviser, based on accumulated wealth, land, rank, marital status, and other accomplishments.
The game tests a wide range of skills: hand-eye coordination during the fencing sections, tactical ability during the land and sea combat phases, and strategic thinking, for everything from choosing a wife to deciding when to divide up the plunder. Moreover, each game is likely to take a different course, as most events in the game are random, including the economic and political systems, and early in the game these can greatly affect future strategic options. "
Source: Wikipedia, "Sid_Meier's_Pirates!," available under the CC-BY-SA License.