Scurvy Scallywags Review
A match 3 game with a piratey theme and some special gameplay elements... what more do you want?
Scurvy Scallywags is a pirate-themed match 3 puzzler with a RPG element like Puzzle Quest. One of the main people working on the game is Ron Gilbert who was behind one of the best pirate games; Monkey Island. While this game isn't as humorous as Monkey Island, it does have plenty of wit. The story is presented as a pirate stage show/musical on a search for sea shanties.
The mechanics that separate this match-3 game from others is how the pieces move once you clear them. Your pirate is also a piece on the screen that is moved around with everything else. Monsters also appear on the screen, slowly heading towards you until you collect enough attack points to defeat them. The other big difference is that when you match 3 or more, the direction you swipe will move the pieces in the direction you swiped to fill the gap the vanishing pieces left. The direction you move sections of the pieces makes a big difference to how you would usually play this style of game. It is the difference between your avatar getting injured or strategically moving them far away with a well-placed swipe.
One of the main things you will be doing in this game is collecting swords to increase your attack power. There are also side quests that occur throughout the stages where you collect a certain number of items to reward you with gold. Gold is important for purchasing rechargeable items and one-time use power ups, but also for buying new stat-boosting bits of clothing. Gold is also vital for if you die, to continue on you need to pay an increasing amount of money or start again. Starting again means losing your stats and starting from the beginning, so try not to die too much! It can be frustrating to be a third of the way into the game to have no choice but to start over or pay real money for gold. While it forces you to play more carefully and to strive to get better at the game, it can be a real barrier to staying motivated enough to continue.
Visuals & Sound
Everything has a cartoony look and outside of the match 3 sections, the game takes place on a stage for a musical. This style gives the game personality, which makes it stand out amongst other games of this genre.
The music is jaunty and feels like a piratey musical. There is even some singing once you begin winning sea shanties. They're worth hearing at least once.
There are In-app purchases as either in-game gold or the coin doubler (which doubles the amount of coin you earn). The game doesn't shove the IAP in your face which is great, and the coin doubler isn't expensive.
Scurvy Scallywags is an enjoyable take on the match 3 game RPG, and changes up enough of the mechanics to feel fresh. The game can be frustrating should you get to a point where you have to start again, but in the end it forces you to learn and play smarter which isn't a bad thing. When not in the match 3 sections there is plenty of wit and personality to keep your attentions until you get all 12 sea shanties (make sure you have the sound on when you earn one).