Yarr, me hearties, and all that other pirate-y talk! Get ready to set sail with Scurvy Scallywags, a match three puzzle game for iOS devices (iPad version reviewed here). Gameplay is similar to Bejeweled, but with role-playing elements a la Puzzle Quest. And it’s all tied together with a heavy dose of humorous pirate themes! So why should you care about yet another match three puzzle clone? Read on to find out!
To start, design your pirate character and set sail to plunder islands. Each island is a stage, and levels on the island are puzzle challenges. If you’ve played Bejeweled or Puzzle Quest, you’ll know what to do here. Line up three in a row to clear them out. However, the goal here is a little different. Your pirate character takes up a space on the grid, and enemies also take spaces on the field, too. When you are next to one, you can fight them, but you must power up first by matching purple sword icons. Needless to say, it’s very important to match as many as you can! Once you’re powered up enough, line yourself up to the baddies and swashbuckle them into submission! When all enemies are defeated, you complete the level!
Of course, there are other things to match up, too, that’ll help you on your way. Gold you match helps you buy things, and you can also line up materials you can collect and use to upgrade your ship. If your pirate character is next to a treasure chest, you can collect it to earn bonuses like extra gold, outfits for your pirate, and other goodies.
Just like in Puzzle Quest, there are some light RPG elements here, too. When you defeat enemies, sometimes you’ll level up and your stats will increase. As you gain levels, you’ll be able to unlock and buy all sorts of power-ups. Some include the ability to damage foes from a long distance, or give you extra moves in case you need to get away from baddies who have inched too close to you. Those are handy to have around, so you’ll want to stock up on them! You can also build and upgrade pirate ships that’ll give you even more of a boost. If you are defeated in battle, you’ll start again at level 1, but you’ll be able to keep your upgrades and progress.
Scurvy Scallywags also has a heaping helping of pirate-y humor. The story goes that you’re actually performing in a pirate play on stage, and are searching for the ultimate sea shanty. When you defeat a boss, you’ll acquire a few verses and they’ll sing it, and it’s pretty funny! The reason why this game has so much humor is because one of the people who helped work on it is Ron Gilbert. He’s famous for helping make games such as LucasFilm classics like Maniac Mansion and some of the Monkey Island titles (another series of silly pirate games). So even though it’s yet another match three puzzler, for the price you really can’t go wrong!
Reading skill is helpful for the instructions, and some of the humor can be a tiny bit crude. Violence is only cartoony, and fights just consist of smoke and fists flying everywhere. Otherwise it’s great pirate-y fun for your whole crew!