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About the StoryIn this game, it be yer goal to findeth ye olde, cursed treasure on Loot Island and taketh it fer yer own. Not even that evil Captain Hookhead can stoppeth ye once ye put ye mind to it. Know why? If ye guessed "Because I'm a pirate," yer on the right track, me hearty!
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Number of Reviews: 4
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Pirate’s Plunder has character … arguably, a few-dozen ye’s, thars and harr’s too much character. Despite my sincere childish love of things cheesy and piratical (and this glass house I’m standing in, with rock in hand), I admit the game gave me a fight-or-flight response with the first few paragraphs. I decided to stick with it, and was rewarded … after awhile, I absorbed the intense barrage of faux-nautical lingo, and it felt just fine.
There are a few issues that make the game feel unpolished. Descriptions never seem to change, even when I’ve taken specific and game-meaningful action to change the thing described, resulting in some moments of confusion. The game’s determination to help the player along is similarly immune to the passage of time and event, and helpful suggestions to do something you’ve already done are pretty common. I also ran afoul of one colossal (though not actually game-breaking) bug, which led me to worry for a bit that I’d need to start over: (Spoiler - click to show)you must deal with an old nemesis, "summoned" by digging where X marks the spot ... but even once you've gotten rid of him, you can seem to summon him right back again if you repeat the DIG command - and the game won't let you get rid of him again! Eek.
But such niggles feel all niggly, because the bottom line is that Pirate’s Plunder feels a lot like a near-perfect little morsel of IF … just the right number of barriers for a quick (but not trivial) game, all of which feel appropriate to the setting and genre … piratey fun and silliness all over, and a playful willingness to bend heaven and earth to celebrate a ship’s boat full of requisite cliches. This brief game delivers pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, with a hearty “harr” and a joyous refusal to take itself seriously.
Note: This review is of the Gargoyle version, which the ReadMe implies may have some small differences from the main one.
This game has a lot of things to offer.
It has personality—the characteristic tone of the game is unlike any other; the proliferation of ‘ye’ and ‘yon’ and other such locutions are only tolerable because the game creates its own distinct atmosphere. The story—thin as it is—serves as a backdrop to the exploits of the main character as he tries to find the treasure and get off of the island. Sorry folks, not blockbuster plot here; clichés are wholly embraced here, and to good measure. And it doesn’t overstay its welcome either; this game is over soon enough.
It has puzzles—interesting ones that make sense. There are no out of place puzzles, and it does not seem as if he’s padding the game. The puzzles are easy to solve. They would be a bit harder were it not for the gentle push of the author’s hand. There is a lot of hand-holding going on in the game. Direction certainly isn’t a bad thing, but if you are the type of player who gets a special kind of enjoyment from solving a puzzle relatively unassisted, you will probably be dissatisfied. The game seems tailor-made for beginning IF players and/or veterans who want a quick, entertaining romp.
So, that out of the way, in my incredibly biased opinion this was ridiculously fun to play. Everything I did or looked at had an appropriately piratey description, and I don't think I ever even saw a single default message to break the mood.
This game also has to be one of the newbie-friendliest ones I've ever seen, with a handy (in-character) tutorial, objects with clearly described uses to remove the possibility of GTV, and a simple, straightforward plot. (Also, pirates!)
If I reeeeaaally force myself, I suppose I could still think of two minor nitpicks. First, at one point a ship shows up, but afterwards is not actually visible when you look around. (Though due to the nature of this ship and its crew, I suppose if one were creative enough it could be argued that that could actually make sense, though I'm pretty sure that wasn't the intention from a gameplay standpoint.)
Secondly, the game is way, way too short. That simple, straightforward plot is a double-edged sword; without more puzzles, or at least more complex ones, it means the game is over just when it feels like is should be beginning. I wanted more content, a bigger island and a treasure that was trickier to find.
...for that matter, remotely realistic expectation or not, after leaving the island I wanted to sail around the ocean drinking grog and having adventures on the high seas. I choose to believe that the author is working on making this so EVEN AS I TYPE THIS and nothing will ever persuade me otherwise.
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