Port Royale 3: Pirates and Merchants is - as its name suggests - the third in the Port Royale historical business simulation series. Set in the pirate infested trade routes in the The Caribbean during the 17th Century, the huge trading, warring and political powers of Spain, England, France and the Netherlands fight over their colonies. The gamer takes the role of fresh-faced ship's captain in his quest for primacy in the New World.
The game comes with two routes to power: they can play as an Adventurer or as a Trader. The latter role sees that player using brain and strategic skills in order to build up material wealth and the economic power required to grow and take-over territory. This also requires the player to create and hold trade routes, while also building up industries and developing their colonies' wealth and economic structures.
The Adventurer has a different route to power. They must fight a long, arduous and challenging campaign to conquer the seas. Rather than economic and strategic planning, the Adventuer must triumph in the arts of invasion, piracy, bounty hunting, and raiding, while not overlooking of course the need to maintain the wealth and health of the colonies.
Aside from Campaign modes there is also the mixed mode of Free Play that enables the player to Adventure and Trade in order to create their own unique and exciting challenges and narratives.
For the first time in the series there is also a Multiplayer mode for up to four players to battle and compete over Local Area Network or the Internet for global enjoyment.