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Plundered Hearts

by Amy Briggs

Romance / Pirates
1987

(based on 45 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

In the 17th century, the seas are as wild as the untamed heart of a young woman. But when you set out on the schooner Lafond Deux, bound for the West Indies, your thoughts are only of your ailing father who awaits your care. Little do you know that your innocent journey will soon turn to dangerous adventure.
You barely survive an encounter with pirates, whose plans for you include a fate worse than death. The explosives, the rocky reefs, the vicious crocodile - all these are obstacles which you must overcome with cunning and agility. True, it's not easy; but at least you can control your fate. What you cannot control is much more dangerous: your passion for Nicholas Jamison, the handsome pirate captain.

Tall and lean, with azure eyes that penetrate deep into your soul, he makes your blood quicken despite his unsavory past. When you're in his arms, swirling around the dance floor or secluded in the flowered depths of the gazebo, you are apt to forget your mission.

But don't dally too long with Nick. For your father is waiting, and on his rescue lies the fate of more than one man. Prepare for adventure on the high seas, lass. You'll need every bit of pluck you can muster.

In Plundered Hearts, Infocom brings your wildest fantasies to life. You'll throll to spine-tingling peril, heart-pounding romance, and challenging predicaments. To create this exotic adventure, author Amy Briggs read hundreds of romance novels, researched 17th century costumes and ships, and was wooed by a dashing pirate.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
Development System: ZIL
IFIDs:  ZCODE-26-870730
ZCODE-26-870730-406D
TUID: ddagftras22bnz8h

Editorial Reviews

SPAG
The game's strongest point though is in its characterization. Not in the other characters; Crulley, Jamison, Lafonde and the others are rather standard, thus my character rating of 1.2. Rather, this game characterizes you, the player, more than any other of Infocom's offerings.

In most Infocom games, who YOU are is either unimportant or doesn't affect the plot much. [...] Plundered Hearts, more than any other game gave me the feeling of really being inside someone ELSE'S head.
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SynTax
Amy Briggs's extensive research into the period shows in the wonderful descriptions of people and places and this has the effect of making the story thoroughly believable. The attention to detail throughout is up to the very high standard you expect from Infocom. The responses to many of your actions differ depending on what clothes you are wearing, what items you are carrying and where you happen to be at the time. Also, a number of the puzzles have more than one solution so, should you not have a particular object with you, something else may work equally as well.
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(15)
4 star:
(18)
3 star:
(9)
2 star:
(3)
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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful:
A favorite, February 20, 2008
Plundered Hearts is an almost pitch-perfect interactive romance novel, complete with pirates, swordfights, disguises, dances, swinging from ropes, and more. There are moments when it seems to tip over into the realm of parody; some of the lyrical descriptions of the player's feelings for her romantic interest are, well, a bit silly, and perhaps more conscious of their silliness than the equivalent passages of a romance novel. Perhaps this is an attempt to solve one of the fundamental challenges of IF romance: how do you make the player have romantic feelings for a character? Plundered Hearts doesn't entirely try; instead, it provides slightly distancing, slightly self-aware cut scenes, sketching the hero as a romantic figure without forcing the player to act out too many steps of a romantic attachment she might not really be feeling. It's in the adventure portions -- the plotting and sneaking around, the dressing up and the blowing things to bits -- that the game comes into its own.

Even setting aside my guilty fondness for the pirates-and-ballrooms setting, Plundered Hearts has plenty else to make it a real favorite. A few of the puzzles are difficult or unfair by modern standards; especially at the beginning, it can be hard to beat the timing of the game. But many of the rest are not only fair and intuitive but dramatically powerful: the moments where your character uses her pluck and ingenuity to overcome the villain are especially gratifying.

Plundered Hearts also has a lot more plot than most other Infocom games, and often feels surprisingly modern, more like the product of late 90s design than of the late 80s. The landscape is not mysteriously empty, but crowded with characters, many of whom have lively personalities. And some flexibility about the ending is available, as well.

PH is a remarkable bit of interactive storytelling for its time, and there are still some techniques worth our reviewing and learning from now. And if, like me, you read a lot of Georgette Heyer, Baroness Orczy, and Rafael Sabatini at an impressionable age, you'll probably love it.

Wonderful, exciting Infocom pirate game with sporadic romance elements., February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: Infocom
This Infocom game nails the pacing. The game always felt exciting. You play a young woman searching for her father who is abducted by pirates. You carry out increasingly bold tasks throughout the game, and, as a player, I felt excited at my ability to be part of the action instead of being helpless on the side.

The game has two main areas: a ship, and a house. Events are tightly scripted and well-thought-out to keep the action flowing. The tight pacing may require frequent saving.

I found the game slightly easier than usual for Infocom; however, I was stumped twice in the middle (around points 16-19). It took about a week or a bit less of playing on and off to finish it (total time around 4-5 hours).

Be warned that this game uses Infocom's piracy protection, so you need access to the 'feelies' to solve key puzzles in the game. I used the Lost Treasures of Infocom app, which has the feelies included as images.

The romance novel aspects were infrequent, mostly resorting to ardent glasses, although right around the 16-19 point range where I got stuck, things got a bit heated as I was losing, but the game avoids anything explicit.

Overall, one of my favorite Infocom games, probably due to the great writing and simpler (but rewarding) puzzles.

If you enjoyed Plundered Hearts...

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Plundered Hearts:

Plot-driven Narrative by Jerako
I'm looking for a list of games to try where the narrative is the focus of the game. Where the author is really trying to tell a story over making a puzzlefest (though puzzles aren't necessarily unwelcome, especially if they drive they...

Games You Return To by Ghalev
What games do you find yourself revisiting from time to time, games that have proven to be a kind of comfort-food of text adventuring, the warm old socks of parser and puzzle, the socks-full-of-comfort-food of overextended metaphor? What...

Outstanding individual puzzles by Jeremy Freese
I'm interested in examples of excellent individual puzzles in IF. In other words: not 'Spider and Web' so much as 'getting out of the chair' in 'Spider and Web'

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 6 March 2013 at 4:35am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item