Scurvy Scallywags in Review – Much More Than Match 3

This is one of those rare cases where I let my objective reviewer guard down and thought to myself “this game is going to be great.  After all, it came from the mind of Ron Gilbert, so how can it go wrong?”  I was basically setting myself up for mild enjoyment, because we all know over-hyping something diminishes its “wow” factor, or utter disappointment.  Thankfully Scurvy Scallywags not only failed to disappoint, but it actually exceeded my lofty expectations.  I’m not going to dig myself into a hole by saying this is the best game ever, but boy is there a lot to love here.


The backdrop of the game is a Broadway musical, which would only be more brilliant if the other developer were named Sullivan.  You take on the role of captain of a pirate ship, and you must recover the 16 verses of the Ultimate Sea Shanty.  In order to complete your mission you’ll travel to a variety of islands to gather goods and fight vile creatures, all in the guise of a match 3 game.  The brilliance here is that your characters as well as all the bad guys and the items that you need to collect appear on the board, and you must match items and shift the board to get everything you need.  As you make matches the board shifts in the direction you swiped to make the match, so take your time and consider your moves so you don’t accidentally swipe yourself into a bad situation.


To build up your power you must match 3 or more swords, and you can only defeat a monster if your power is greater than or equal to theirs.  If you get sucked into a battle where your power is inadequate you’ll lose a heart.  When all of your hearts are gone you can resurrect yourself by spending some gold, otherwise it’s game over – thankfully though this only means you lose your stats and island progress; all skills, gold and items collected remain intact.  Special items like treasure chests, presents and items to fulfill quests must be picked up by swiping your pirate on top of them.  To engage a creature you swipe to switch places with them.  When combat is complete (assuming you had enough power) they will leave a treasure chest and you will earn experience that helps you level up.  With each new level you can increase one stat and you unlock new skills that you can purchase and use.


Selecting the right skills is essential to doing well later in the game.  You can only have 5 “active” skills selected at a time, but I’m pretty sure you can swap them out whenever you’re on the main map.  An active skill requires you to tap it in order to use it, at which point it has a cool down of a certain number of matches before you can use it again.  Treasure chests earn you up to three random gifts, which may include parts required to build ships.  Each ship gives you some sort of benefit during game play.  I’m sure there are a few things I’ve left out, but there is so much fun stuff here you won’t mind discovering it all on your own.  The game does support Game Center for achievements, though honestly this is one of those games where you really don’t need it.

The graphics are fun.  The pirates look cool and you can get a bunch of different outfits that you can mix and match for your character.  There are several different tile sets depending on what you are exploring so it should never get boring.  The sound effects are right on, and I like the fact that the different objects you match actually have distinct noises.  The music is great.  It’s one part Broadway and one part pirate with just a dash of Scooby Doo thrown in to spice things up.  This is definitely one of the better audio / visual presentations for a match 3 game.


If you like match 3 games, you will definitely want to check this one out.  If you’re into grinding to complete quests or achievements, Scurvy Scallywags is for you.  About the only way you could not like this game is if you prefer the same old same old and don’t have a sense of humor.  Well, okay, I suppose if you really don’t like match 3 games then Scurvy Scallywags might not float your boat, but then you’ll just be missing out on a great game.

Kiss It Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: Scurvy Scallywags Developer: Beep Games, Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.2 Min OS Req: 5.0
Price: $1.99 App Size: 88.5 MB
  • Awesome Broadway musical pirate theme
  • Unique match 3 game play
  • Cool skills
  • Fun visuals
  • Wonderful music
  • Skill cool down time can be a bit extreme


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