Plunderland App Review – Loot, Plunder, and Upgrade

Considering the amount of games that there are on the app store at the moment, it’s perplexing that I have never once, in my two years of being a gamer played a game that involves pirates and an epic story of plundering. The other day, I started playing Plunderland by iPhone developer JohnnyTwoShoes, and instantly was hooked!

Levels are split up into different campaigns each with a theme. There are three campaigns and three survival missions. The first campaign teaches you the basics and the advanced techniques in controlling your ship, collecting gold, and plundering enemy ships.

You can say that Plunderland is another form of a side-scrolling adventure with your ship sailing down the ocean, and on the way facing all of the elements that the game has.

You control your ship with the simple tilt of your iPhone or iPod Touch. You can move it forwards or backwards depending on what you are aiming for. Shooting is done by touching your ship, and dragging off of it. This will create a banana curved, dotted line that shows you where the cannon will hit. You can then further aim by moving your finger up or down to set the angle.

As you sail around the levels, gold will be available to pick up. It appears when you sink a ship, shake up islanders, or find a treasure chest under one of the secret exes on islands. Whenever you see gold, you pick it up by touching it and simply dragging it to your ship.

Gold can be used to buy different upgrades for your ship. You can buy a new ship design, a crow’s next, another cannon, or a variety of different bowsprits that each have their special perks. The good thing about the game is that it requires a different combination of these items for each level. It’s not just get the biggest boat and you’ll be invincible.

I especially love the custom physics engine that was codes specifically for this game. Some levels you’ll encounter a shark that will periodically jump out of the water and grab one of your crew members straight off of the ship. The shark is persistent and will continue to do this until you kill it. The crew members on your ship each have a ragdoll body. It’s funny to see them being tossed around thanks to this.

The game features artwork similar to those of the Rolando series. Bright and colorful with transparent fills. Everything looks fantastic especially on the iPhone 4 because of the retina display. The game works on all devices except the iPad (support will be coming soon), and it works without flaws or crashes.

Overall, Plunderland is a great one in pretty much all aspects. For the $2.99, I highly recommend it for its polished interface, one of a kind premise, and its replay value!