Published on May 31st, 2014 | by JC Richardson4
Scurvy Scallywags Review
So, the creator of Monkey Island (Ron Gilbert) and the creator of Deathspank (Clayton Kauzlaric) have joined forces and built a match-three game? Okay, but this better be the best damn match-three game I’ve ever played…
Scurvy Scallywags takes its first leap into wonderful by setting the game on a theatre stage, with costumes, gags and a rowdy audience that applauds and boo’s through the delightfully absurd cut-scenes that flesh out the story. Essentially, your pirate is hunting the missing parts of an old sea shanty by defeating the bad guy’s crew members at match-three, but there’s so much more to it than that.
The core gameplay has been done a hundred times before, but rarely this well. There’s a tricky tactical element at play where you have to strategically collect tiles to shift your character next to your opponent, meanwhile collecting enough sword tiles along the way to mess him up when you do reach him. It instantly lifts Scallywags above its rivals, making you think ahead and actually form strategies. I know, right? Strategy in a match-three game is rare booty indeed.
Scallywags has a neat RPG element running through it too, a la Puzzle Quest, where your character levels up over time, increasing in damage and dodging and what-have-you, and collecting special moves too. This is cool, yes, but along the way you also collect items like wood and canvas which allow you to craft new ships to plunder in. These ships give you passive bonuses to boost your gold collecting rate, your toughness, etc, and adds yet another layer to this already engaging little title.
There’s no ‘energy’ system here, but you can shell out for a coin-doubling IAP – I haven’t felt the slightest pressure to buy this, incidentally – so the whole experience feels complete, rather than a tawdry wallet-opening exercise. UPDATE: It’s been brought to my attention that you can actually run out of lives and either wait for them to recharge or pay an IAP to continue. Thanks to Shane for pointing this out.
Dammit guys, Scurvy Scallywags is still the best match-three game I’ve ever played.
Summary: From a gaming pedigree like this, you'd expect something a bit special and Gilbert and Kauzlaric don't disappoint. Scurvy Scallywags is like a breath of fresh 'Arrrrr'. Sorry.