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About the Story
Ye be the Dread (but handsome n' quite nice on occasion) Pirate Goattybeard. Ye quest? Why, it be t'get the treasure and rescue ye wench o'course!
24th Place - 16th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2010)
Number of Reviews: 2
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R is made using the format of the old Scott Adams games. These games were before my time, so any nostalgia factor was lost on me. The only thing I got out of the format was being annoyed at how things were set up and missing various conventions that I’m used to. For example, you can move by just typing a compass direction, but there are certain directions that are listed as things that are in a location, like “Trapdoor”, “Path”, etc.) that you can only go to by typing “go [whatever]”. I was stuck fairly early in the game until I consulted the walkthrough to find out that I had to type “go trapdoor” to go back down into the hold of the ship (I had gotten up to the decks initially by typing “climb ladder”). Once I figured that out, it wasn’t a big deal. The other thing I had to consult the walkthrough for was for some guess-the-verb stuff. (Spoiler - click to show)I knew I wanted to distract the sharks with the meat, but typing “drop meat” just dropped it on the ground without doing one of two things I might have expected in a modern game: just going ahead and throwing it in the water or giving you some kind of response to clue the correct command. (The correct command, it turns out, is “feed sharks”.)
The rest of the game was OK, with some puzzles that were easily enough figured out and some that were head-scratchers. I may have headed to the walkthrough a little too easily because of my earlier frustration with the interface, but some of the puzzles really were not well clued. There were also things I couldn’t do that frustrated me a bit. I was particularly flabbergasted that (Spoiler - click to show)the “pirate’s code” kept me from simply running my sleeping enemy through with a cutlass. Mind you, this was the enemy who had snuck on board my ship while I was sleeping and ripped my sails, put a hole in my rowboat, and stole my food, my map, and my wench.
The one highlight of this game, though, and it’s not an inconsiderable one, is the whole pirate theme. I was initially cringing at room names such as “I be in t’ stern o’ t’ bowels o’ t’ ship”, but I quickly got used to it. The theme is very consistent, in an “Arr me hearties” kind of stereotypical semi-comical pirate kind of way. If this kind of theme were done in a more modern type of game, it would certainly be a lot of fun.
So, as I said before, this game might be worth it to you if you were into the Scott Adams games or if you are a big fan of pirate adventures. Otherwise, you can probably give it a pass.
Scott Adams wrote minimalistic games to run on small computers. They’re free, and I recommend playing them. They use two word parsers, scanty descriptions, and so on.
This game is not as good as a Scott Adams game. There are less synonyms, somewhat weird implementation, and an overall sense of frustration I didn’t experience when playing Scott’s own games. One of the most popular of all of Scott’s games was his own Pirate Adventure.
Robin Johnson and Arthur Di’Bianca both have a very successful series of games with a Scott Adams sensibility.