Family Game Night Ideas: Play the Dread Pirate Treasure Game

Pirate treasure game

Dread Pirate board game

Dread Pirate is a family board game, and is one idea for a game to play on your next family game night.  It involves high sea adventure, searching for treasures, and plundering fun!

Since the game box is a beautiful wooden ‘Treasure Chest’, and not an ordinary cardboard box like almost all other games, bringing out just the game to play inspires players.  The box, pieces, and board for this game are all amazing!  It’s a one of a kind treasure game.

The game pieces are large cast Pirate Ships. These are awesome to move around the gridded cloth game board which looks like an aged, real life, treasure map!

To begin, each player chooses a Pirate Ship, a home port land on the map, a color of jewels, and velvet treasure bag.   Players place their ships on their home port space, which is the anchor icon in front of their chosen corner. Next, players will place 10 jewels of their color in their treasure bag, and another 12 jewels on their home port X (marks the spot)!  Players will also then select 10 gold doubloons (which are heavy cast and incredible pieces too) and add them to their treasure bags as well.

The rest of the gold doubloons will go onto the X of Dread Island, which is one of the central islands on the game board.  Players are now ready to start the plundering fun!

As with most Pirate Games, the object of the game is to be the player who collects the most treasure by the end of the game. This is achieved by not only collecting jewels and doubloons during play through pick of cards and movement, but by raiding and trading with other Pirates too.

treasure gameRolls of dice determine movement of a player’s Pirate Ship, and they also control the amount of treasure players are rewarded during pirate skirmishes, raids, and trades.  Depending on who wins these battles, players ‘blindly’ reach into other player’s treasure bags and pick out the correct amount of jewels won. One of each color jewel is needed to land on Dread Island, and certain advantages are given to players who land there, so there is incentive to battle.

Because the rolls of die determine much of the game play, the game is mostly seen as a game of chance.  However, don’t let that deter you and think you are going to be playing Candy Land or something.  Lol.  You’re not.

There are choices of how to move your Ship, and whether or when you attack others or not, that set this apart from the most basic styles of chance games.  These various choices offer enough of a competitive edge for most families and players to enjoy.  It keeps it simple for younger players, but interesting enough for older players.  And if not, there is an option of more advanced play by adding a dice which determines Winds…..and directions.

But no matter which you decide to play (advanced or basic), sailing Pirate Ships on the board can come into some dangerous situations.  Ships must sail through treacherous areas, and doing so causes them to have to pick ‘Fate’ cards. These cards have players losing turns, going back spaces, losing or gaining treasures, and etc. However, the cards are also great to read aloud as they each contain a Fun Fact about Pirates and their lives!

Some of the fun facts on cards include the following:

“To kill the taste of rancid water a small amount of Rum was added.  Sailors and Pirates called this concoction ‘Grog’.”

“In 1699, George Middleton of Bristol England and Ren Treviant of Kingston, Jamaica shot and killed a crocodile in the Black Swamps that measured 41 feet, three inches.  That’s bigger then the average city bus!”

“When making coconut grenades it is important to drill the fuse hole at the top of the nut and dry it upside down.  This way the shell becomes brittle enough to explode on impact.

Dread Pirate is a game which players spend time laughing and enjoying other player’s company.  Games are a great way to bring families and friends together, and Dread Pirate is a game to bring the adventure of living the life of a Pirate to the game table!

Fun for all.


Play a game, any game, today!  Treasure the Adventure!

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