Ubisoft has teamed up with Microsoft to offer a version of Assassin's Creed Pirates for free on the browser. It is available in Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer with both touch and mouse/keyboard input support. The mobile spin-off title of the latest console entry first released last December for $5 when developer Ubisoft said there was a good chance the game would never make it to the desktop.

In some ways that statement has remained true. This new Assassin's Creed Pirates is a somewhat stripped down version compared to its mobile counterpart. The visuals are very similar but we don't get the pirate battles found on tablets and smartphones. Instead, the browser version is a simple ship racing game where players race through a familiar setting to anyone who played Black Flag, avoiding obstacles and trying to get the best time. You'll find a nice little weather selection feature in the top corner with 9 different options available, along with your usual social functionality including leaderboards and invitations.

The game runs using Babylon.JS, a technology created by four Microsoft developers based on WebGL and JavaScript and something the company is looking into further with other titles, according to reports. Internet Explorer's senior product manager, Justin Garrett, said the company felt Pirates would be the perfect title to showcase the technology. To encourage developers to latch on to Babylon, Internet Explorer is holding a contest that could net entrants an Xbox One and the Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag Black Chest Edition. If you think you can make a great shader for the new browser Pirates game head over to the contest page for more details. Everyone else can head over to the game page and start playing for free