IFComp 2008: Piracy 2.0

Sean Huxter traps us on a ship overrun with space pirates. We were overdue for a visit from the space pirates this comp, I think.
Spoilers follow the break.

This one seems competently put-together. It’s basically an all-one-big-puzzle sort of game, like Suspended. Before you can really do anything about the pirates, you have to learn enough about the ship’s systems and the overall situation to know what your options are. For example, you can separate the bridge from the rest of the ship and try to make a run for it, but this doesn’t do you any good unless you’ve already disabled the main ship’s weapons. While you’re learning this, pirates periodically pop up to shoot at you, like the nasty little dwarves in Colossal Cave. There’s a device that can heal your wounds in one location, but it’s only got enough juice to do it three times, which gives you some motivation to optimize your route. This is definitely a game to be mastered over multiple play-throughs.

I’d say it’s a pretty strong entry as a puzzle game, but I’d be happier if the environment were more interesting. The comparison to Suspended stands again here: like the compound there, the ship is all bare corridors and purely functional devices. I can’t help but think of the two games from last year’s Comp that involved space pirates, both of which had a much stronger sense of personality than this.

Rating: 6

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