Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Ron Gilbert is a well-known and highly regarded figure in the video game community. He gained fame for his work in the early days of computing by working on popular games for the Commodore 64 and Atari, such as the Monkey Island series. He has just made a highly anticipated foray into mobile games with Scurvy Scallywags and it definitely draws some inspiration from his previous games.
This app is a match-3 game, but it has some elements of other genres that make it unique. For instance, like RPG games, pirates have levels and gain experience points for completing levels. Those experience points can then be spent to improve the pirate’s performance in various categories. Also, some matches give the pirate additional gold and attack power, which is important when fighting an enemy.
What makes Scurvy Scallywags unique is the combat that players engage in. The board is full of regular game pieces, but it also has enemy monsters. The monsters will automatically move and attack. When the pirate is next to the monster, players can swipe to attack it. The monsters add an interesting dynamic to the game, since matching pieces at certain times becomes important. For instance, before fighting an enemy monster with a higher level, it makes sense to search for a match of three of the purple sword tiles to increase the pirate’s attack power. The combat component reminds of me turned-based strategy games and makes the game about much more than matching three tiles together.
Scurvy Scallywags is a noteworthy game because of how different it is. I was skeptical at first that is could blend so many different genres and game mechanics together, but it did so with ease. Just as I was getting bored of matching tiles, a monster came along to fight, so there was always something to hold my attention. The game has cartoonish graphics instead of elaborate 3D graphics and has a great soundtrack and sound effects. Although the Scurvy Scallywags has combat and very intricate gameplay, the look and feel is more like a casual game than an intense hardcore one.
Scurvvy Scallywags scores major points because it takes a well-established genre and adds something new. I really enjoyed the RPG elements in Scurvy Scallywags like the experience points, levels, and the world map. I was expecting a simple match-3 game, which would have been nothing new. However, having game components that persist from level to level, like experience points and weapons, make it much more engrossing and entertaining.