Review – Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island

In the early days of PC gaming there was a wave of games released known as SCUMM games. Most notable of these games were The Dig, Full Throttle and The Secret of Monkey Island. The Monkey Island games have warranted five sequels and two HD reboots. This year will be the 20th anniversary of this successful franchise. However, today’s game under review is a game that comes from the creator of the third in this series, Bill Tiller. This game is Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island. Although this may sound like a knock of the Monkey Island games, Ghost Pirates definitely stands on its own.

Just after booting up the game it is clear that the production values were well done. You are introduced to a salty pirate song which brings you into the mood for playing before seeing the world you are about to explore. To accompany the music are exquisite hand-painted environments. The characters themselves have a cartoony vibe which fits well within the setting.

In the opening cinematic we are introduced to a cliché story. Captain Flint, the pirate king, has been betrayed by a fellow comrade named Greenbeard with the help of Queen Zimbie, a voodoo priestess.  Now it is up to our three protagonists, Papa Doc, Bluebelly and Jane to recover their bodies, save the King of Pirates and stop Queen Zimbie from achieving her goal.

For those that have played Curse of Monkey Island you will already have an idea of how the controls handle. You will be picking up different types of items and use them on other objects or characters. However, the game play is changed slightly. This change is that if Bluebelly picks up an object he can show it to his ghostly friends which will, in turn, give him more information about said object. At first glance it appears that the developer just added anouther annoying portal for the player to go through for example, one of the earlier puzzles is that Bluebelly picks up lock picking tools, however he does not possess the knowledge of how to lock pick. So he asks James for advice. After that he can now unlock doors with the tools. None the less, this extra portal is completely logical and does not hamper the experience of the game as much as it would seem to.

In the end, you will already know if you want to play this game. For many of the PC gamers out there I suggest for you to check out any of the games mentioned in this review to go through PC history.


Thomas Riess

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