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Scurvy Scallywags sails onto the App Store

Scurvy Scallywags sails onto the App Store

Platform: iPhone/iPod
Category: Puzzle, RPG

Beep Games' Scurvy Scallywags in The Voyage to Discover the Ultimate Sea Shanty is a match-three iOS game by Ron Gilbert and Clayton Kauzlaric. You may recognize Gilbert's name from the Monkey Island series. I suppose his love of pirates continues! Scurvy Scallywags is a match-three puzzle game with RPG elements. You have a character on the match-three game board. As you make matches, he moves around, gaining power, attacking enemies, and acquiring treasure. It has simple mechanics at its core that makes it easy to pick up and play with a cute style and enough hooks to keep it interesting.

Graphics and Audio

Scurvy Scallywags has a fun, goofy style. The game board and characters are full of colors. The characters themselves remind me of shapes cut from colored paper and glued together. It makes me feel like I'm in elementary school having fun and playing pirates. I love that the game doesn't take itself too seriously. The music and sound effects are good, but the sea shanty itself is the best. As you discover portions of it in the game, you can hear it sung!


Presented as a theater production, the game tasks you with collecting the pieces of the ultimate sea shanty, torn and scattered by an evil pirate. You travel from island to island piecing it together. Levels consist of playing a match-three game. Matching gold gives you the gold to spend outside of the level, and matching swords increases your power. When you make a match, pieces will in the board following the direction you swiped. For example, if a swipe a piece to the right to make a match, tiles will move from the left to the right to fill in the empty spots.

Sometimes you're tasked with quests to collect certain items. These items will sometimes appear on the game board. When they do, you need to maneuver your character next to them and then swap your character with the item to collect it. Enemies will also appear on the board. As with the items, attempt to swap your character with the enemy to make them fight. Who ever has more power will win the fight. If you don't have enough power, you'll want to get away or use an ability. To gain power, match swords like I mentioned earlier. Abilities are displayed at the top of the screen and usually have a cooldown time in number of matches.They could allow you to shoot an enemy from a distance, jump away, collect gold, or do many other things.

Outside of the match three games, you can buy new abilities, upgrade old abilities, listen to the sea shanty, or build ships using found parts to increase stats. In addition, you'll increase in level by defeating enemies. When you do, you increase your various stats.

The core idea of the game is the basic match three gameplay with which more gamers are likely familiar. Because you want to match different things for various reasons, the game becomes more interesting. You're no longer looking for any match; you're looking for the type of match you need most. In addition, enemies add another layer of strategy. This creates a really fun game that's still simple.


I really loved match three games a decade ago, but it was hard to stay interested. Scurvy Scallywags keeps the core gameplay while adding enough mechanics to make it interesting again. Coupled with the style and humor you'd expect from Ron Gilbert, Scurvy Scallywags becomes a fantastic way to spend free time on your iPhone. If you're looking for a game that's simple, fun, and humorous but doesn't require intense concentration or strategy, Scurvy Scallywags is a great choice.

Scurvy Scallywags in The Voyage to Discover the Ultimate Sea Shanty is $0.99 on the iTunes App Store. This review was based on an iTunes download provided by Beep Games. I'm MrDevee on Game Center and @TheUser on Twitter.


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