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Plundered Hearts

DOS - 1987

Also available on: Mac - Amiga - Amstrad CPC - Apple II - Atari 8-bit - Commodore 64

Alt name Ribbons and Rapiers
Year 1987
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Adventure
Theme Interactive Fiction, Puzzle elements, Romance, Sea Pirates / Caribbean
Publisher Infocom, Inc.
Developer Infocom, Inc.
Perspective Text-based / Spreadsheet
Dosbox support Supported on 0.61
4.91 / 5 - 11 votes

Description of Plundered Hearts

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Plundered Hearts is one of the most underrated Infocom classics ever. Aside from the fact that it's set in an unusual (and very intriguing) setting (17th century Caribbean seas), the game is most notable for being the only Infocom game in the romance genre, and is therefore arguably the first computer game designed with women gamers in mind.

Graeme Cree's excellent review for SPAG magazine provides an excellent synopsis of this overlooked gem:

Plundered Hearts is a romance novel set in the 1600's. You must rescue your father from the clutches of an evil island governor with the aid of a pirate captain who lights your fire. [The game] takes a rather standard plotline and uses it to very good effect.

The writing feels very much like a Harlequin novel, with enough amusing puzzles and clever responses to keep me, a non-romance-novel-reader interested to the end. The puzzles are a little easier than the standard Infocom fare, but generally interesting ones that can be reasoned or inferred. There are few "guess what the author is thinking puzzles".

The game's strongest point though is in its characterization. Not in the other characters; Crulley, Jamison, Lafonde and the others are rather standard, thus my character rating of 1.2. Rather, this game characterizes you, the player, more than any other of Infocom's offerings. In most Infocom games, who YOU are is either unimportant or doesn't affect the plot much... Plundered Hearts more than any other [Infocom] game gave me the feeling of really being inside someone ELSE'S head. Throughout the game, who you are plays an important part. Disguising your identity and altering your appearance is important in several places to elicit a desired reaction from other characters (not to mention avoiding some undesired reactions).

Plundered Hearts is one of Infocom's more underrated games. A very good blend of puzzle solving and story.

Two thumbs up definitely, but be prepared for a few romantic cliches ;)

Review By HOTUD

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Comments and reviews

Kellyraetreides 2020-07-02 1 point

I've been playing this game since it first came out. O was a teen then, myself. I get that people are frustrated you can't do anything you want. Part of that is the snarky in joke of interactive text fiction by Infocom and its puzzle solving process. The other part, as I recall the original writers saying in an interview is they really wanted to give men an idea of what it was like to be a woman in those time with the restrictions, alluding as well to social conventions of the 80s. As a young girl, then woman, and now middle aged woman, I still enjoy playing this game to make sure the LaFonds of the world get justice some way. Also, you don't have to choose romance, inspite of it all based on your choices, you can be a pirate queen.

anon 2016-02-13 0 point

Yeah, I'm a girl and this is cheesy as heck. Great if you're into novellas so trashy they're funny, but the plot seems to just happen to you no matter what your character does.

Chickadee 2014-08-24 0 point DOS version

GREAT GAME FOR GIRLS! I'm about 10 minutes in and I had to stop to write a review. If you're a girl and you want to experience a perfect, classic romance this the perfect game for you!

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