This morning, I ran aground on a fun new game for my iPhone and iPad called Pirates Outlaws. I’ve always had a soft spot for turn-based games, and always wanted a good card-deck-baed game that I didn’t have to struggle too much with collecting the cards or battling real people with way more time on their hands. Pirate Outlaws has fulfilled both of these wants for me. The game bills itself as a turn-based, card deck building, roguelike. That last part is important, because instead of being something like Hearthstone where you need to build up your decks and strategies over long periods of time, in Pirates Outlaws, you deck resets at the end of each adventure you take.

On a basic level, Pirates Outlaws is a fun turn-based game where you battle AI controlled pirates across islands and beaches. Your single character is on the left, while up to three enemy pirates fill the right side of your screen. At the bottom you have five randomly chosen cards in your hand. Some cards attack and do damage to the enemy. Some apply defenses like armor or dodging to your character. And a wide variety apply buffs or debuffs to yourself or your enemies. Some cards are free to use, while others cost ammo that you generally get by playing an ammo card. It’s up to you to strategize on the fly from one round to the next in order to get through the battle.

At the end of very battle, you gain some Gold, and are given three new cards to add to your deck. Over the course of a single adventure you’ll go through several battles and, if luck is on your side, you’ll be able to tailor your deck to match your chosen character’s skill set.

Characters? As in more than one option? Yes! Although you start off as the Gunner class who generates one unit of Ammo per round, it doesn’t take long to unlock the second character, a Sword Master who converts 25% of the damage she deals to health for herself when her hp is below 50%. The six other characters will take longer to unlock, but each of them has their own unique skills that feel like they have a lot of promise.

In terms of gameplay, Pirates Outlaws has a similar loop to FTL: Faster Than Light. You start at a sea map of battles, taverns, and markets and have to pick and choose your way towards the top of the map where a random final boss waits. Your ship only has so much endurance so you need to pick your routes wisely. You can buy more health or a range of new items at the taverns and markets. A full game usually lasts from ten to twenty minutes, and when you are finally killed you receive a last round of Gold and Repute based on how far you progressed.

Overall, I’ve found Pirates Outlaws to be that perfect mix of turn-based decision making, card building strategizing, and roguelike freedom to screw up knowing that you’ll be free to give it another go next time around. The game cost $.99 on Apple’s App Store and is also available on Android. It has a variety of In-App Purchases to speed your way toward unlocking new characters. It looks like there’s also new world maps you can buy as well, but so far I’ve found the game to be very enjoyable with just the two early characters and the one randomly generated map.

One key for me is that the game runs without an internet connection. You can’t buy more Gold through in-app purchases when not online, of course, but other than that, it will happily play anywhere at any time.

So, if you’re looking for a fun, easy to play turn-based game that has a surprising amount of depth, you should check out Pirates Outlaws.