Scurvy Scallywags Review

By , on June 11, 2013
Last modified 10 years, 10 months ago

Scurvy Scallywags
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Amusing writing and premise. 
  • Addictive match-3 gameplay. 
  • The game isn't stingy with the coins. 
  • Sea Shanties are great collectables.


  • Like a lot of match-3 games, you're reliant on luck.


It's essentially Puzzle Quest with pirates, but the sense of humour and variations to the gameplay make this an enjoyable escapade all of its own.

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Ron Gilbert really likes pirates. I mean you would probably expect something of the sort from the man who created the Monkey Island series, but after games like Deathspank and The Cave, it's interesting to see him return to the subject - and in a match-3 game, no less. This puzzler tells the story of a buckaneer who has set off on a grand adventure not on the high seas, but on the stage. That's right: this tale of pirates, swashbuckling, treasure, and sea shanties is for the amusement of an audience: you. How meta can you get?

As the observer and protagonist in this tale, you must sail your vessel from island to island in search of the lost sea shanties. On the way you will fight all manner of pirates and horrific monsters, complete quests for the theatre company, upgrade your abilities, and acquire the resources needed to buy bigger and better ships. All of this is done within the framework of a match-three puzzle title.

Similar to games like Puzzle Quest, every successful match-up accomplishes something. Matching gold will fill your coffers, while matching swords will strengthen your power. Power is imperative, as an enemy will make its way onto the board sooner or later. If you don't have the power to match, avoid, or destroy it, it will cost you a heart. Once the enemy is defeated, you'll have five turns to match and collect as much as you can before the level ends. All quest items on the board have to be collected. Everything else will turn into junk that you can sell later for additional money. This money is used to purchase useful skills, such as long range weaponry or the ability to leap to (and swap) tiles. It can also buy the resources needed to build better ships (if you already haven't collected or sold enough), and new gear to improve your stats and boost your leveling perks.

Couple all of this with a great sense of humour and personality, and you have a game which should satisfy match-3 fans. It might even recapture the interest of players who have grown weary of the admittedly over-saturated genre. Both as collectibles and objectives, the shanties are pretty humourous. And, while the gameplay suffers from a reliance on luck like all its brethren, it's still as engaging as ever. Scurvy Scallywags is a solid entry from Ron Gilbert and his team, and we look forward to seeing what they have up their sleeves next.


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