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SmartGamer - Seven Seas Review

Seven Seas, by Astraware

Review by James Sweet

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. Listen up me hearties, it's time to plough the Seven Seas! This be a pirate themed puzzler, and no mistake so ye'll be getting a pirate themed review. Ol' Cap'n "no-beard" James be a-liking puzzles, but only if they be more entertaining than a one-legged man walkin a plank. Tis time to see if Astraware's Seven Seas is a true seaman, or naught more than a scurvy land-lubber.

      

First off, Cap'n James likes his games easy to install, an' Seven Seas installation is easier than a cutlass fight with a dead man. Ye simply run the installer an in less time than a monkey climbing the rigging of a clipper ye'll find yerself ready to play.

The graphics be nice and crisp. Not as pretty as a sunset o'er the ocean, but far nicer than the belly o' a whale. Ye'll find the pirate look a-covering most o the screens, but some of the options menus are standard windows menus. Tis a shame, but there ye have it. In general the Cap'n tis pleased to have em on his ship.

      

On the first screen ye'll find yerself with a dilemma to shake yer bones. The choice laid out before ye is between an Easy game and a Hard game. Yer gotta paddle before ye can swim, so even ol' Cap'n James chose Easy for his first time.

The game itself ain't tricky to learn. Yer gotta captain your ship in a sea of ruthless pirate ships. Each of these ships be crewed by a black hearted crew with nothing more on their minds but ter send ye down to Davey Jones locker. Yer ship be the only one on the water with cannons, so those sons of serpents that persue ye will be a tryin to ram ye. Ye take turns at moving. First ye move or fire your cannons, and then the scurvy pirate ships make a move towards ye. This course o' actions continues till either ye or they be all a headin for the bottom o the sea. There be 4 ships after you on the first level, but fortunately their captains have the brains of sea cucumbers. This means it be fairly easy for ye to lure them to their watery graves. They will always try to move diagonally towards ye until they are on the same row or column, and then head directly towards ye. Using this know-how the wily captain can lure them onto islands, or get them to crash into each other or into earlier shipwrecks. If they be directly port or starboard ye can also send 'em down with the help o' the ship's cannons.

      

Ye'll be finding on later levels that some 'o the ships that be after ye are captained by smarter captains, who can spot a trap. These ships be rigged with blood red sails, so ye can spot em easy, but escaping be more tricky. The Devil-spawned captains of these ships be smart enough to avoid crashing into islands, shipwrecks and the basic ships. Cap'n James be a finding that ye needs to give em a blast of cannon fire to show em the way to Davy Jones locker on most occasions, but every now an again they smashes into another red sail-ed ship, which brings a grin to Cap'n James' face almost as wide as 'is scar. If ye get really far ye'll find a bone-shivering monster o the depths be a sharing the waters with ye. Ye can't kill it, so your only chance is to set full sail away from it.

      

Sounds are another coin in the treasure chest, a nice hearty sea shanty for the menus, and a different, and easy on the ear jitty for the game. Ye'll hear a pirate calling "all hands on deck" when ye start, and to "walk the plank" when ye sink. Ye can even turn on vibrate, so ye can really feel that ship breaking up when a scurvy pirate smashes into ye.

Sounds are another coin in the treasure chest, a nice hearty sea shanty for the menus, and a different, and easy on the ear jitty for the game.

In general the gameplay be good fun. If ye be a casual chess player ye'll find this game fits ye like a parrot fits a perch. One o the things Cap'n James be a-liking in Seven Seas is that ye can load it up quicker than a Shark to a drownin' man, and yet if some urgent business be a croppin up, ye can press the home and back buttons, and the game'll quit or suspend instantly ready to come back to later. Each level be a generated randomly, so ye'll be sure of a new game every time ye play. This be both a good thing and a bad thing. The cap'n be liking the new challenges of each and every game, but at the same time the random levels can throw up a bad 'un or two. Some levels ye'll be a finding its simply not possible to complete wi'out a ship going down. Captain James woulda liked to be seeing a mission mode wi' pre-built levels in addition to random level games. Ye'll also find an undo option, so if ye be clumsier than a man with 2 wooden legs then ye'll still be able to play. If ye choose the hard option ye'll be getting the same game, but starting at a level which'll take ye some time to achieve on Easy. The cap'n be finding that its not possible to get past more than about 3 levels on Hard, so ye'll be finding Easy more fun.

Conclusion

Seven Seas be a simple game for Captains a-liking puzzles. Overall it be a barrel of fun, but ye'll not be getting that much game for your pieces of eight. Ye'll find it a game easy to pick up, and one which be well integrated with your phone. The random levels be good in that ye'll continually get fresh adventures, but bad in that some levels cannot be done without losing ships. The Cap'n be a thinking it'd be better with an added mission mode. The theme, graphics and music all be a-getting the Captain's approval. Pirates in search of a puzzle should definitely stow this gem in their treasure chest!

Gems:

Pretty graphics, and nicely themed music.
Randomly generated missions give replayability
A swashbuckling good puzzle!
Well integrated with the phone operating system.

Sharks Teeth:

Bit too simple
No pre-built missions
Some of the option screens aren�t themed.

Seven Seas scores 6/10

Scoring

All reviews are rated from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest score available and 10 the highest.

Here at SmartGamer.org, we pride ourselves on rating games as fairly and honestly as possible.

If a game deserves a low score, rest assured that it will get it.


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