Lego Pirates of the Caribbean offers a similar style to other Lego games: tons of unlockable characters with different abilities and quirks, a huge world map, fun multiplayer, and lots to do. You get to explore each of the Pirates movies, each with 5 different levels. The home port has some extras to unlock, areas to find, and characters to buy.
In usual Lego fashion, you start by playing through levels in Story mode which uses certain characters and cutscenes to proceed. Afterwards, you can return to the same level in Free Play where the sky is the limit. Each level has elements that you have to work on collecting in order to earn Gold Bricks. This means that Pirates has great replay value since it's more than just playing through the story.
One of the major awe aspects of Lego Pirates is the environments. Levels have you do different things from rolling around in bone cages, fighting Jack Sparrow on the waterwheel, blasting cannon fire at the Black Pearl, and rowing your way through the swamps to find Tia Dalma. Some of the effects are really quite beautiful, and the realism of things like the water contrast nicely with the blocky Lego pieces. A lot of levels incorporate more puzzle elements; not in an extremely challenging way, but it makes you stop and think. The cutscenes offer an amusing and succinct version of the movie plots, and it's pure enjoyment to play characters such as Jack Sparrow or Davy Jones. A second player can easily drop in and out of the game and if you start wandering away from each other, the screen splits and allows you to do your own thing.
There are a few things that stop this game from really shining. I've run into glitches in the game which cause the whole thing to freeze up or affect the gameplay slightly. It has only happened a few times, so it's nothing major, but it's also a small nuisance (especially when Blackbeard has one heart left and it glitches up!). If it happens, it mostly seems to be in two-player mode. This may or may not happen to others, but it's not big enough of an issue that should really affect your purchase decision. Just something to note.
It also feels slightly sloppy in other areas. A few levels can be tricky simply because you can't quite see what you're doing. On one hand it makes sense: you're in the bowels of a cramped ship, so naturally support beams will be in the foreground. At the same time, it can be frustrating for navigation and figuring out what you need to do. And frankly, my last Lego game buy was Star Wars: The Complete Saga which is purely epic and I highly recommend it (if you don't already have Lego Star Wars games).
Overall, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is a very fun game. Small annoyances pop up, but thankfully it doesn't completely destroy the experience. The game gives you a lot to work on, some really clever and interesting levels to complete, and challenging unlockables to discover. I would rate it 3.5/5.