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Pirateship

by Robin Johnson profile

2019

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Number of Reviews: 2
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Pirate-themed light puzzle comedy, December 11, 2019
Pirateship is a lighthearted, pirate-themed puzzle comedy with the feel of a classic parser game. It's not technically a parser game because it's built with Johnson's point-and-click Versificator development system, but its room-based geography and use-the-right-object-in-the-right-place puzzles very much fit the classic parser style.

Most, if not all, of the humor in Pirateship comes from playing with pirate tropes. Sometimes the comedic effect comes from subverting these tropes, and sometimes the tropes are carried to such extremes that you can't help laughing. For me, the game tended to walk a fine line between funny and silly, but occasionally it hit absolute comedy gold.

The puzzles range in difficulty from relatively straightforward to somewhat hard, which I think is the right range for this kind of game.

I found myself wishing for more emotional depth in Pirateship, though. I know the game is going for the feel of a classic parser comedy, and those kinds of games aren't generally noted for their extra emotional layers. But I can't help thinking that Pirateship could have done more here - and that that would have made it a better game. By way of contrast, Lost Pig is a great IF comedy not just because the prose is so often funny, but because (Spoiler - click to show)Grunk is oddly philosophical for a supposedly dumb orc, because the relationship between Grunk and the gnome is touching and a nice contrast of personalities, and because Grunk's blunderings actually serve as the catalyst for the gnome to make some changes to the lonely life he's been leading. The only layer in Pirateship beyond the laughs is its playing with pirate tropes (which, again, are the source of much of that comedy).

But I did enjoy Pirateship, and I think the game successfully does what it's trying to do. So, if you're looking for a light-hearted puzzle comedy with an old-school parser feel (but without the guess-the-verb frustrations of old-school parser games), or you just like pirates, you should give Pirateship a try.