Scurvy Scallywags in The Voyage to Discover the Ultimate Sea Shanty has a lot going for it. A low price, the pick up and play nature of Match-3 games, RPG-Lite mechanics, a surprisingly large amount of depth and perhaps the most important thing of all in a handheld game a ‘just one more go’ drive to it. And pirates. Fortunately, Scurvy Scallywags does not disappoint and offers a fantastic handheld experience which will keep you playing until you’ve matched-3 across all seven seas. Arrrgh!
As mentioned above, Scurvy Scallywags is a lot of things but at its core it’s still a match-3 game, where the main objective is to match 3 of the same object in a line to get them off the board. Scurvy Scallywags approaches the Match 3 genre in a unique way though as not only is your (fully customizable) pirate character on the board ready to interact with some of the objects but so are enemies out to cut you down. That is of course you can match enough power objects together to gain enough attack points to cut them down first.
This changes the match-3 genre into a complex strategy game, where you’re not only trying to build up as many power objects as possible, but also trying to manipulate the board to keep the enemies away until you hold the advantage. There’s a couple of unique enemy types to keep an eye for who have special moves such as grenades and special objects for your character to pick up and complete side quests. Yep, this match-3 game has side quests.
If anything, Scurvy Scallywags might even suffer from the sheer amount of content on offer – There’s special skills, levelling up, boat and character customisation, gold to collect, shanty’s to find and side quests to complete. It’s a lot to take in and mastering all the tools the game hands you is vital in keeping the difficulty under control – as without proper skill, boat and gold management the game will soon become too difficult. You can pay for progress with micro-transactions, which might add to the confusion – some may believe the game’s purposely difficult to encourage micro transactions but it gives you all the tools to progress – you’ve just got to learn to juggle them correctly.
Presentation is certainly one of Scurvy Scallywag’s strong points – The game’s colourful and fully engulfs its pirate spirit. Shanty’s are sung and the everything feels sufficiently pirate themed. There’s several stages on offer which offers a lot of variety and there’s even several different enemies so stages continue to feel fresh several hours in. The music and sound effects add to the game, offering subtle audio cues and more than adequate background music. Special mention to the sea shanty’s though – which are all sung in magnificently authentic fashion!
Overall, Scurvy Scallywags is certainly worth playing. It builds upon the Match-3 genre and makes a truly addictive, fun game only let down by its learning curve and difficulty spikes (the worst being the fact you lose your pirate/progress upon using all your continues and not having the available gold to buy more). However, If you’ve even got a faint liking to match-3 games, or are looking for a fun new game for your iPhone or iPad, Scurvy Scallywags will not disappoint.
+ Lots to do & Lots to see.
+ Fantastic presentation.
+ Hilarious Shanty’s!
- Large learning curve.
– Uneven difficulty spikes.
– Losing your pirate upon ‘total’ death.