Ronzo "Ron" Gilbert has really been getting around over the last few years. DeathSpank, The Cave, and now Scurvy Scallywags in The Voyage to Discover the Ultimate Sea Shanty (which we shall just call Scurvy Scallywags)? He's downright prolific.
On the surface this might game be any Monkey Island fans' wet dream: A pirate game from Ronzo? Woo! Take a step back, and you will, of course, find Scurvy Scallywags to be a very different game than what some initially might have hoped for. This is a match-three game -- think Bejeweled -- with some simple RPG features thrown in with a pretty simple storyline. The latter isn't even so much about pirates; everything takes place within a pirate play.
Scurvy Scallywags is in all its simplicity not life altering, but it is a very, very addictive game.
In fact, the simpleness is downright charming, with the twist it takes on the tried and tested Bejeweled Formula. Your character, which you can customize the look of, is dropped in the middle of a match-three game board a pre-set power-level. You power up by matching three swords in a row, with the goal of matching the various enemies's level. Yes, this is a battle-match-three game.
Reach the enemies's level, and you can move up next to them to fight them; you're guaranteed to win as long as your level isn't lower than theirs.
All of the item-matching and fighting give you points, allowing you to level up your character, RPG style. It is a simple implementation of that type of system, and that's fine. Scurvy Scallywags is a simple game by design.
There are a few other minor touches throughout; match u[ three treasures, for example, and it'll be added to your stash of money. This, in turn, you can use to purchase various types of weapons and power-ups. You can also uncover parts to build new ships which will give you various bonuses.
There are other touches like this throughout the game, and while they're not complex at all, they do add to the standard Bejeweled formula which is the heart of the game. Sure, there is a storyline of sorts, too, but this isn't the type of game you play for its depth. And that's fine. There's nothing wrong with a good time-waster, and you will end up wasting a lot of time playing Scurvy Scallywags, as addictive as it is.
There really aren't many issues with the game. The animations leave a little to be desired, but that's about it. Those who are solely looking for games with a lot of depth might be disappointed, but that's more their problem.
At $0.99 there is no reason for iOS users not to run out and buy Scurvy Scallywags. It's a lot of fun. Go give it a whirl, and kiss the next few hours goodbye. This is about as addictive as it gets, and probably a better choice than crack-cocaine.