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Pirate's Plunder! Reviews
Author: Duncan Bowsman (Tiberius Thingamus)
Date: 2010

Reviewed by Ghalev

I like easy puzzles … the kind where you poke at them a bit, feel confused for about fifteen seconds, remember to examine something obvious, and go aha! – then move along to the next one. Every puzzle in Pirate’s Plunder is exactly like that, and that makes me a happy little buccaneer. If you’re seeking challenging lateral thinking, Loot Island is not your vacation destination this year.

Pirate’s Plunder has character … arguably, a few-dozen ye’s, thars and harr’s too much character. Despite my sincere childish love of things cheesy and piratical (and this glass house I’m standing in, with rock in hand), I admit the game gave me a fight-or-flight response with the first few paragraphs. I decided to stick with it, and was rewarded … after awhile, I absorbed the intense barrage of faux-nautical lingo, and it felt just fine.

There are a few issues that make the game feel unpolished. Descriptions never seem to change, even when I’ve taken specific and game-meaningful action to change the thing described, resulting in some moments of confusion. The game’s determination to help the player along is similarly immune to the passage of time and event, and helpful suggestions to do something you’ve already done are pretty common. I also ran afoul of one colossal (though not actually game-breaking) bug, which led me to worry for a bit that I’d need to start over: (Spoiler - click to show)

But such niggles feel all niggly, because the bottom line is that Pirate’s Plunder feels a lot like a near-perfect little morsel of IF … just the right number of barriers for a quick (but not trivial) game, all of which feel appropriate to the setting and genre … piratey fun and silliness all over, and a playful willingness to bend heaven and earth to celebrate a ship’s boat full of requisite cliches. This brief game delivers pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, with a hearty “harr” and a joyous refusal to take itself seriously.

Note: This review is of the Gargoyle version, which the ReadMe implies may have some small differences from the main one.

Reviewed by TDS

Pirate’s Plunder! is your definitive perfectly-executed, well-written, well-coded, light-hearted adventure. 

This game has a lot of things to offer. 

It has personality—the characteristic tone of the game is unlike any other; the proliferation of ‘ye’ and ‘yon’ and other such locutions are only tolerable because the game creates its own distinct atmosphere. The story—thin as it is—serves as a backdrop to the exploits of the main character as he tries to find the treasure and get off of the island. Sorry folks, not blockbuster plot here; clichés are wholly embraced here, and to good measure. And it doesn’t overstay its welcome either; this game is over soon enough. 

It has puzzles—interesting ones that make sense. There are no out of place puzzles, and it does not seem as if he’s padding the game. The puzzles are easy to solve. They would be a bit harder were it not for the gentle push of the author’s hand. There is a lot of hand-holding going on in the game. Direction certainly isn’t a bad thing, but if you are the type of player who gets a special kind of enjoyment from solving a puzzle relatively unassisted, you will probably be dissatisfied. The game seems tailor-made for beginning IF players and/or veterans who want a quick, entertaining romp.

Reviewed by Po Prune

This is a fun little story and like Lumin's “the Aegis” it would make a great game for novice players. The important commands are written in bold which leaves out a lot of guessing, but maybe also some of the challenge in solving the puzzles. 

The fact that the story is told in old “Pirate language” is a great idea. But I would imagine that foreigners could have a bit of trouble understanding some of the words and phrases. 
The instructions regarding the game, comes after the introduction where it, in my opinion, should have been displayed before the story starts. 

A nice captivating story. You are the Captain, and a pirate, and you have to find a treasure on Loot Island and get away with it.. Not as simple as it may sound. Especially with your old mate Ichabod around, who in my case was more of a puzzle than of help, until I figured out that he has his own little part to play in this game. 

The fact that the available commands are in bold makes the game easy to play. And I only discovered a couple of places where I would have liked to have a synonym (D for Down, and Place for Put) I will not reveal where they are, but it will be obvious when you play the game. 
If you try something that doesn't quite work, the game gives you a hint of what you might try. You'll find out what I mean when you try to get the chest. 
The puzzles are logical, although one or two had me think for quite a while. But nothing that the hints probably couldn't have helped me through (just me being stubborn, I guess) 

Technical Achievement: 
This game stand out from the others I've played in this competition, because it allows the player to type his/her name at the beginning, making the game more personal. Also the hints are very well managed, with plenty to go around. 

I certainly enjoyed playing the game, and it kept me captivated. So I would absolutely recommend you to go ahead and give it a go.

Reviewed by Jubell

I am a major Thingamus fan and when I learned this new game existed I squeed like yon fangirl.

I like how the game is clearly and unabashedly Toned and Themed without (as always) becoming overwhelming or kitsch. We get the Elizabethan/Medieval dialect mixing with pirate jargon and images in a very complementary fashion.

Love that Kraken.

Love that rascally snake. (that portion was actually a stroke of genius and was very "Thingamus")

What I didn't like, while I Ichabod was charming in an acceptably sidekick-y fashion, was that this IF piece was devoid of character interactions. I admit to being biased about that as well because I am a character artist and I GRAVITATE towards characters and dialogue. It's why I glommed all over "Albert is Lost". In "Pirates Plunder" I felt as though it took away from the depth of the game but that may be my own fault...er...or rather indicative of my lack of experience.

You see with "Albert is Lost" I'd EXPERIENCED a renaissance faire. I've been to a few, I know the general look, feel, and I know what kind of people to expect there. You could consider my blanks officially filled in.

With "Pirates Plunder" I am NOT a fan of ye old pirate genre (not antagonistic towards it, just apathetic) and so while the marsh and island are things I get I end up wanting more when visit the ruins. Heck I wanted to go in and EXPLORE that place or at least know what was up with those carvings (Very Alexander the Great's Mother). So in that vein I agree with Lumin, I really wished for more to fill in that gap (while with "Albert is Lost" I was completely satisfied with its shortness. Mayhaps my fickle nature doth show?).

But in the end, it did feel good. There was a bit less "fiction" here and more puzzle-y goodness but I think it did a good job with everything it DID contain.

Sail it up me Hearties!
(Wait, wha?)

Reviewed by Lumin

First, a disclaimer! I might very well be incapable of being objective here just because I don't think I can ever get enough of Thingamus's writing style. Even simple things like the fact that my character 'swaggereth east' instead of just, you know, moving there, puts a huge grin on my face. (Also, pirates!) 

So, that out of the way, in my incredibly biased opinion this was ridiculously fun to play. Everything I did or looked at had an appropriately piratey description, and I don't think I ever even saw a single default message to break the mood. 

This game also has to be one of the newbie-friendliest ones I've ever seen, with a handy (in-character) tutorial, objects with clearly described uses to remove the possibility of GTV, and a simple, straightforward plot. (Also, pirates!) 

If I reeeeaaally force myself, I suppose I could still think of two minor nitpicks. First, at one point a ship shows up, but afterwards is not actually visible when you look around. (Though due to the nature of this ship and its crew, I suppose if one were creative enough it could be argued that that could actually make sense, though I'm pretty sure that wasn't the intention from a gameplay standpoint.) 

Secondly, the game is way, way too short. That simple, straightforward plot is a double-edged sword; without more puzzles, or at least more complex ones, it means the game is over just when it feels like is should be beginning. I wanted more content, a bigger island and a treasure that was trickier to find. 

...for that matter, remotely realistic expectation or not, after leaving the island I wanted to sail around the ocean drinking grog and having adventures on the high seas. I choose to believe that the author is working on making this so EVEN AS I TYPE THIS and nothing will ever persuade me otherwise.

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