Ron Gilbert is the great game designer mind behind popular series like Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, and the recent Deathspank games. His latest project is called Scurvy Scallywags, and arrived on iOS last week. The game is great -- it's a match-3 title that makes use of some excellent RPG and combat mechanics. While it's not the most polished thing on the App Store, there's a whole lot of piratey fun to be had.
Gilbert (and his fellow developers) are obviously big pirate fans -- you may remember the great shanty scene from Monkey Island -- and this game has no lack of nice piratey touches, including hats, faces, and clothing to unlock, ships to build through a crafting system, and a whole lot of great music.
The main goal of your match three adventures is to re-discover a lost pirate shanty. Whenever you come across a new verse, the gang of scabby buccaneers will happily sing it for you. There's also a fun twist in moving your pirate around the board. Whenever you match pieces, new ones will come in from the direction that you moved to match. Your pirate and enemy pirates are all in tile spots on the board, which means that with some nimble matching, you can keep your pirate away from the bad guys until you're ready to throw down in each stage.
Scurvy Scallywags is great fun. I do wish the game was a little more full-featured -- most of the pieces you'll be matching are actually meaningless garbage pieces, and it would have been nice to give those some kind of function. But otherwise, the design is great, and the game has an excellent "just one more stage" feeling to keep you playing for a long time. Scurvy Scallywags is available on the App Store now for just 99 cents.