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Naval combat with sailboats is part of a game niche connected to that Caribbean simulation genre. The good people at indie studio Tasharen Entertainment have built up an early alpha prototype of such a title and called it Windward.
This free-to-play browser game uses their favored Unity-engine and already looks and feels quite capable. Players fight in teams across a map and try to tear down enemy buildings and claim the land for their own. This grants them experience that they can use to enhance their talents or unlock new skills. With some additions, it has the potential to grow to have the same addictive gameplay traits of flagship title Sid Meier’s Pirates! Flagship is a pun, get it? The developers are currently very active in updating and enhancing the game. Try it out here and jump into their forums to tell them what you’d like to see added.
Speaking of which, there’s also another game out there being produced called Pioneers. This is more reminiscent of the original Pirates game. Right now the tech demo doesn’t allow much and doesn’t explain anything, but given some time it might enhance this exploration and naval theme. Maybe it will even grow out to be the perfect blend between the original Pirates and Civilization, which has always been a fan dream. To top it off, this indie game only uses pixels of 4 colors. Now that’s classy. Follow Pioneers here.