Pirates of the Caribbean- At Worlds End

Use your stylus as a pirate’s cutlass and duel with some of history’s greatest scoundrels.

Movie-based titles on handheld systems are normally the video-game equivalent of Davy Jones’ locker — where nothing but death and sorrow reside. Pirates of the Caribbean : At World’s End bucks this trend by being a competent, fun little excursion with Jack Sparrow and the crew.

Fitting itself into the story arc of the films, At World’s End finds Capt. Jack sacrificing himself to save Will and Elizabeth — who in turn head out to find a way to bring him back to the living. This forces them to involve the most feared pirate lords of the day, and offers plenty of swashbuckling action.

As one of the main characters, you’ll work your way through action-platform-style locales from the movie, loosely following the film’s plot. That sounds rather unspectacular, but unusually for a movie-licensed game, the mechanics are definitely sound. At World’s End DS is easy to control, and varies up the gameplay for maximum entertainment. Even the camera, a stumbling block for the Pirates games on some other platforms, is relatively well-behaved.

Aside from simple button-mashing combat, each character has sub-weapons that sap energy from their savvy meter, like poison bombs, daggers to throw, or whips. Stealth kills instantly dispatch foes, but it’s not all about the fighting. Plenty of chests and gold await those willing to look around for them. Other items are also crucial — such as a bamboo pole for vaulting or a torch for shedding light on sticky situations.

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