If you happen to like period romantic comedies about pirates, you’ve probably already heard of HBO’s Our Flag Means Death. The show stars Flight of Conchords‘ Rhys Darby and ubiquitous director and actor Taika Waititi as the real-life pirates Stede Bonnet and Blackbeard. Bonnet, both in the history books and in the show, is a nobleman going through what is pretty much the world’s worst midlife crisis. He abandons his family to pursue a life of gentleman piracy and ends up falling in love with his polar opposite along the way.
While the first season is over and there’s still quite a lot of doubt about whether a second season will be coming, fans of the show might be looking for something that stokes the same kinds of feelings they get from Our Flag Means Death in the form of a video game. It’s never easy to approximate a show into an entirely different medium. As a result, your mileage may vary on these recommendations, especially depending on exactly what it is you like about Our Flag Means Death, but here are a few suggestions. Please note that all games listed as available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are also playable on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X.
The Monkey Island Series
This is probably the easiest layup of all these recommendations. There have historically not been a ton of comedic pirate video games, but one reason for that narrow scope is that Monkey Island casts such a long shadow. The adventure game series, following unlikely hero Guybrush Threepwood during the Golden Age of Piracy, set the tone for decades of adventure games. If you’re not accustomed to fast-paced video gaming, the Monkey Island titles are largely laid-back puzzle-solving graphic adventures that should fit any fan of Our Flag Means Death.
Multiple Monkey Island games are available on Steam and GOG, but there are far fewer options for consoles. A new game in the series from creator Ron Gilbert was announced in April 2022 for later this year, though it has not yet been fully revealed yet.
Assassin’s Creed’s Pirate Games (Black Flag, Freedom Cry, Rogue)
If you mainly like the pirate aspects of Our Flag Means Death, then presumably games about pirates will be up your alley. The first of the trio, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, is likely the most “complete” game of the set. It’s a longer title with a fully open world to traverse on a pirate ship and a proper story arc. The second game, Freedom Cry, is a downloadable campaign sequel to Black Flag. It follows Adéwalé, a former slave-turned-pirate from the first game captaining his own ship and crew. The third title, Rogue, is similar to Black Flag in length and scope.
All three games are purchasable on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and are backward-compatible on PS5 and PC. They’re also available together on Nintendo Switch as Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection.
The Life is Strange Series
One of the most unique and notable aspects of Our Flag Means Death is that it’s a queer romance story underneath all the pirate hijinks and murders and betrayals. There are a few video games that match that tone and tenor, but the Life is Strange series is likely one of the better options for it. Developed by French studio Dontnod Entertainment (Life is Strange, Life is Strange 2) and American studio Deck Nine Games (Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Life is Strange: True Colors), the series frequently features budding queer romances as major story elements next to or as a core part of the narrative. The games all have a bit of a fantastical element to them, as well.
All of the games can be purchased on PC, with the first Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm bundled together in Life is Strange: Remastered for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and intended for Switch, though there has not been a date given for that port. Life is Strange 2 and Life is Strange: True Colors are available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with True Colors also being available on Switch.
A Few Examples of Voice Talent
The actors from Our Flag Means Death have also occasionally dabbled in video game voice acting. They’re not huge roles usually, so I wouldn’t buy a game based solely on their performance, but they’re neat little easter eggs if you play these games and want to point out that you recognize them.
- Rhys Darby (Stede Bonnet) is Russell in Half-Life: Alyx, a 2020 VR game for PC.
- Con O’Neill (Israel ‘Izzy’ Hands) plays Mohg, Lord of Blood in Elden Ring, a 2022 action game for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S|X.
- O’Neill was also Titchy Gren in Dark Souls II, available on PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
- Matthew Maher (Black Pete) played Wade Hebert in Grand Theft Auto V, an open-world shooter on pretty much everything except Switch.
- Will Arnett (Calico Jack) has been in games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and most recently played the Dragon Lord in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands on PS4, PS5, PC, and Xbox One & Series S|X.
Do you have any other suggestions of games that might be appealing to fans of Our Flag Means Death? Let us know in the comments below!