Clumsy Pirates is so good it made me burn my nachos – and sadly, reader, that’s not a turn of phrase. Thumbstar’s latest puzzler may look simple, but it exerts a surprisingly powerful grip, and although I only loaded it up for a quick look before dinner, it drew me in and led to my cheese-splattered downfall.
The idea’s pretty simple, really: you’re a pirate and you’ve been given a bomb to dispose of, and so you must roam the game’s 2D environments looking for an opportunity to chuck the thing over the side. Your pirate auto-moves, climbing ladders when he sees them and dropping down gaps when they lie in his path. To get him to the top of each screen where the goal awaits, you can place a series of bubbles that will carry him up a level.
There are lots of rules and complications, and the game’s essentially a rather neat series of programming challenges. What makes it really interesting, though, are the collectable coins that really force you to rethink your approach and opt for some fairly complex tactics. Nice art, a smart gimmick and plenty of levels: that’s when I started to smell smoke.
Thumbstar, incidentally, is the Edmonson brothers’ latest venture, and it looks like a pretty smart outfit.