One such game is Pirate Plunder, the first effort from Pixel Factory, currently languishing in the dark depths of the App Store among literally thousands of other games. Is it deserving of a larger audience? Well, kinda, yeah.
Pixel Factory describes Pirate Plunder as a “connect the dots” (or “join the dots”, if you prefer) puzzler, wherein you’re tasked with linking a little pirate parrot with a bunch of treasure chests via a finite selection of barrels.
While Pirate Plunder looks – and possibly sounds – as though it’s aimed at kids, it’s actually really freakin’ hard. It doesn’t help that the tutorial is fairly minimal; it took a few levels to fully understand the game’s mechanics.
Other gripes? Pirate Plunder’s 72 levels are broken down into groups, and – with two jewels up for grabs in each level depending how many barrels you have left over – there’s a prerequisite for each. Fair enough.
However, the prerequisites are unforgivably high. For example, to get onto the fifth section, Pirate Plunder demands that you get 84 of a possible 96 jewels.
Pirate Plunder could also use a few more gameplay elements. We’ve got exploding barrels that can destroy scenery, but otherwise there’s not a great deal going on. Even the second “theme” merely replaces sand with rocks.
Oh, and the menu deserves a special mention too. It’s a bit of a nightmare to navigate. And while I’m wearing the Cap of Negativity, the pop-ups (“you can’t place a barrel here”, or words to that effect) can’t be closed manually, which is a bit of a pain.
But behind those quirks and Pirate Plunder’s slightly crude visuals (there’s no iPad specific version, incidentally) lurks a surprisingly solid puzzler; it’s the kind of game that wouldn’t have gone amiss on the Game Boy.
- 72 levels
- Free updates on the way
- Too challenging for some, perhaps
- Looks pants / no iPad version
- Very samey
Summary: There are better games on the App Store, sure, but Pirate Plunder is worth a look if you fancy some old school puzzle action.
Developer: Pixel Factory
Requires: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Price: 69p @ App Store