This is meant as a quick primer to the Virtual Magic Kingdom Pirates of the Carribean game. I wrote it, so blame me.
VMK's mini games are fairly varied. Pirates is my personal favorite, as it's a variant of the old "Seven Seas" game. You play as one of up to eight pirate ships, with two or four ships per side. The object is simple - sink the opponents, and rack up more points (by hitting them) than your opponents do.
The rewards are worth the effort - advance to Level 3 and win ten more times at that level, and you're rewarded with credits, a 3rd Level Gold Doubloon pin, and the Invisibility Magic pin.
Play is simple to get the hang of. Click once on the screen to go there. To shoot, you can doubleclick with your mouse (not recommended as it tends to make you move too, spoiling your aim) or double-press the Right or Left arrow keys. One press brings up 'targeting arrows' showing you what side of the boat you're shooting from, the second press fires the shot. In addition, if you've been destroyed you can click on the wreck of your ship to blow it up - sending flaming shrapnel random distances and direction across the screen, potentially damaging or destroying your enemy. Oh - and by the way, don't worry about your teammates. At first you could shoot and kill your own team, but that's turned off now. Teammates now cannot be hurt by friendly fire.
Shooting another player gets you points, getting shot takes points away. After three rounds (they end when the last ship of a team is sunk), the team with the most points wins. It's possible to lose all or most of the games, but still win - not likely, but possible.
Two things you'll need to watch for your ship are your health, and your ammunition. You start with five hits and five shots. You can replenish both by picking up the icons that appear around the map - floating crates for health, piles of cannonballs for cannon shot.
Once you've won the game ten times (you don't need to be the highest point score - you just need to be on the winning team), you'll advance to Level 2, and then ten games later you'll advance to Level 3.
It's a prettier map, and there are a few things you'll need to worry about. Level 2 has three 'random events' that may or may not be on any given map. They are:
The whirlpool will spin your ship around and spit you out in a random direction. While in the spin, you're a sitting duck - or your enemy is if they've wandered into it's grip.
The Sea Serpent.
Appearing on the water as a small watery circle, and moving around randomly, the serpent lies low until you get too close - then it strikes, damaging your ship before it retreats.
A floating circle of moonlight cast from the clouds, the moonlight will temporarily render your ship insubstantial. Your enemy's shot will go right through you - as will your friend's shot. Yours work perfectly, though. When you've passed through the moonlight, you should see your ship turn nearly transparent for the short duration of the effect. Note: other ships that are transparent can hit you.
Now there are towns - and cannon towers shooting at one and all. Shooting up the town racks up points for the shooter - but if you shoot enough, the buildings will throw a pool of flaming oil into the water that will damage all who sail over it. Unfortunately, while you can destroy the town you can NOT destroy the cannon towers. They fire sporadically at any ship regardless of side that comes near them.
To counter these, you now have the power of Moonlight from Level 2, but you can use it whenever you wish (once per round). Down by your chat bar, there's a little skull and crossbones. Click that to activate the power.
Everyone eventually finds their own way to play, so my way may not be the best for you. But hopefully it'll help you make it through those first few games with a bit less pain.
For new players, the biggest mistake I see is charging the enemy. DO NOT CHARGE THE ENEMY! The computer's usually a better shot than you, has better control, and better coordination. If you're playing other VMK players, you may find yourself up against very skilled players without realizing it. Closing in on the enemy when you're not very confident in your skills is the fastest way to getting blown out of the water.
I highly suggest that newer players are usually safest and most dangerous when they stay back and take mid-to-long shots at the enemy. It's a safer way to start combat (you're much less likely to get hit by two or three cannonballs from the shot if you're far away from the shooter), and it's a good way to get a feel for the spread of cannon shot and the timing involved with the game.
Now that I'm a bit more experienced, I find that a mix of longshots followed by quick closing to close-in combat works the best. It's dangerous - you'll die a lot getting the timing right, and even afterwards you'll still die more than if you stayed back - but you'll usually do a lot more damage and sink a lot more ships than you can from the far side of the screen. Just remember to never stop moving at close range, moreso if you're fighting the computer. The computer can do minute corrections to ship angle without moving, in order to hit you harder - you don't have that option. Sitting still near an enemy computer controlled ship is definitely not recommended.
Pirates also gives you the ability to chat at each other during the game. Both teams see the chat though - keep that in mind if you're plotting strategy.
The rewards for winning:
1st win at Level One: 100 credits
10th win, advancing to Level 2: 100 credits and a Level 1 Bronze Doubloon pin
10th win, advancing to Level 3: 100 credits and a Level 2 Silver Doubloon pin
10th win at Level 3: 100 credits, a Level 3 Gold Doubloon pin, and the Invisibility Magic pin.
Winning a game: 15 credits
Every tenth win after you win the pin: 40 credits (this may start at 30 wins - the count starts from the next game after you win the pin, and various people have reported getting a credit bonus starting at 20, 30, 40 and up. My experience was a bonus beginning at 30).
Please post if there are any errors or if you have other advice/information. I'll correct mistakes as they're found.