Pirates of the Caribbean is a pinball machine designed by Eric Meunier (with software by a team including Keith Johnson) and released by Jersey Jack Pinball in mid-2018. It is the second pinball game based on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, after Stern's 2007 machine.
The game involves reliving the events of all five of the series' films, ranging from collecting Pieces of Eight to playing Liar's Dice to battling a kraken. Each player must select one of 22 characters from the franchise at the start of the game, each of whom affect the rules in some fashion. (Multiplayer games have unique opportunities to steal another player's perks, among other valuables.) Finishing enough Chapters opens up a multiball specific to each film, and clearing those will lead to mini-Wizard Modes. Only the most skilled of players will be able to reach the true wizard mode and Break the Curse…
Mechanically speaking, the game features a constantly swaying mini-playfield modeled after the Black Pearl, as well as a cannon that can be used to fire the ball. An action button with a small screen fulfills several functions, including pointing towards the highest-scoring shot at any given time. Higher-tier versions of the game also include a "starfield" made of 72 lights at the back of the playfield area.
- All or Nothing: In the Liar's Dice Video Mode, you either win and double your bet or lose everything relating to said bet (i.e. gold).
- Anti-Frustration Features: Several character-specific abilities alleviate penalties on the player; these include Jack Sparrow removing the least beneficial Mystery awards, Tia Dalma letting you select a Chapter (which are normally randomly chosen) when you begin one, and Ragetti allowing another ball to enter play should one get onto the Black Pearl.
- Button Mashing: Mashing the action button is the only way to collect gold once it's made available.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The Chapters are colored according to the movie they're based on – Curse of the Black Pearl is yellow, Dead Man's Chest is green, At World's End is red, On Stranger Tides is blue, and Dead Men Tell No Tales is purple.
- There are twelve specific, short combos that reward treasure upon completion. Getting all of them starts "Treasure Horde", wherein making further combos can become very valuable.
- Making a combo before completely spelling G-O-L-D causes more gold to spawn.
- Context-Sensitive Button: Downplayed – the action button primarily changes the award given for spelling P-I-R-A-T-E, but it also fires the cannon during certain modes and collects gold whenever the player earns it.
- Gotta Catch Them All: Starting At World's End Multiball requires collecting 9 Pieces of Eight.
- Kraken and Leviathan: "Battle the Kraken" unsurprisingly makes the player fend off the tentacles of an invading kraken.
- Mad Libs Dialogue: Used during the Map Award animation, which depicts three separate wheels spinning to reveal the exact bonus:"Add... 1... ball!"
- Match Sequence: The game forgoes using the last two digits of the player's score in favor of their chosen character, displaying a wheel spinning through the entire roster before landing on one.
- Painting the Medium: The small LCD screen pairs this with a Mythology Gag – it emulates Jack Sparrow's compass most of the time. Just like it points towards whatever its user desires most in the source material, the screen points towards the most valuable shot available on the playfield.
- Score Multiplier: Two different variants are available for completing the inlanes – "Shot X" multiplies the next flashing shot, while "Super X" lights a target for a period where everything is multiplied (up to 6x).
- Secondary Adaptation: The game is based on the Pirates of the Caribbean films, which are roughly based on the ride of the same name at various Disney Theme Parks.
- Skill Shot: There are three of them.
- Plunging softly into the bumpers awards 1,000 points and increases the Mystery level (increasing the value of what it awards).
- Plunging into the ship popper awards 1,000 points and advances the Black Pearl.
- Plunging to the upper flipper and then shooting the Captain's Quarters awards 2,500 points and activates the map.
- Spelling Bonus:
- P-I-R-A-T-E can award many different things, depending on what's selected with the action button beforehand.
- G-O-L-D makes some gold available for the player to collect.
- M-A-P lights the Map Award.
- Spiritual Successor: The general complexity of the rules and ability to stack every multiball calls to mind The Simpsons Pinball Party and The Lord of the Rings, also programmed by Keith Johnson. ("ARRRRR Frenzy" is also very similar to the former game's "D'oh Frenzy" in concept.)
- Talk Like a Pirate: "ARRRRR Frenzy" plays an "ARRRRR!" sound bite upon every switch hit.
- Video Mode: "Liar's Dice", a largely unaltered version of the dice game seen in Dead Man's Chest. The player must specify a wager (gold, souls, points, or tilt warnings) and a bid (up to six die with a specific face), whereupon they and the computer take turns raising or calling "liar!" on the previous bid. Calling "liar!" immediately reveals the dice, which will leave the better victorious if their claim was legitimate.
- Wizard Mode: There are no fewer than five "Wizard Modes" (that are truly more like mini-wizard modes, in spite of their name), one for each of the franchise's films. Each of these are activated by playing through 5 chapters and the multiball themed after that film.
- "The Cursed Treasure of Cortés" (based on The Curse of the Black Pearl) has the player acquire 882 pieces of Aztec gold, done by hitting any switch (with certain targets adding more than others).
- "Battle the Kraken" (based on Dead Man's Chest) requires shooting the upper loop 20 times before shooting the Captain's Quarters to end the mode (representing lowering a gunpowder net and actually defeating the kraken, respectively). Adding an extra hurdle are the kraken's six tentacles, which advance towards the top of the display screen and will end the mode should all of them get there. They can be stopped briefly by hitting a specific shot, but once it turns red they can't be deterred.
- "Escape the Locker" (based on At World's End) involves rocking the ship on the display repeatedly to escape the Locker.
- "Battle for the Fountain of Youth" (based on On Stranger Tides) unsurprisingly begins at the Fountain of Youth on the playfield.
- "Don't Betray the Compass" (based on Dead Men Tell No Tales) begins at the Devil's Triangle.
- Completing all five of the above leads to the "Ultimate Wizard Mode": "Break the Curse".