Pirate Treasure Hunting 

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Can you step aboard a haunted ship and save its captain from a life of being "all-at-sea"?

Catherine Ragnor and the Legend of the Flying Dutchman

For its next excursion into the area of Match-3 game play, eFunsoft has brought together the stories of the Flying Dutchman with the activities of the cursed Hendrick van der Decken and the female pirate Catherine Ragnor.  The result of this combination is the game of Catherine Ragnor and the Legend of the Flying Dutchman

A series of introductory scenes tells the story of how Hendrick van der Decken and his unfortunate crew on the Flying Dutchman became cursed to sail the ocean without being able to enter port.  As a result of this curse, Decken turns to piracy and sets out to destroy every other ship the Flying Dutchman comes across including the Golden Eye which was the ship captained by Catherine Ragnor.  She was the only survivor of this attack.

The crew of the Flying Dutchman is then joined by Catherine Ragnor as her own ship was destroyed.  Later the crew is then joined by a stowaway named Peter Thorne who was the sole survivor of another Flying Dutchman attack which resulted in his crew being killed and left him cursed to be brought back to life every time he was killed and suffered the pain of his death.  Thorne does have one redeeming factor in that he knows the rough location of magical treasure which, once found, grants the finder one wish.  Of course Decken wants his inability to go on dry land removed while Thorne wants his curse removed and Ragnor want revenge.

This is the situation set for Match-3 game play as the three main players try to find the treasure and avoid capture by the legal forces chasing them.  Following the usual pattern of Match-3 game play adopted by eFunsoft, this game is split into five chapters. Each chapter will contain four updates which must be carried out before progress is allowed in the game. 

Match-3 game play remains the same although the actual grid structure tends not to be so rigid in its enclosed format with a variety of shapes used.  As part of the task when dealing with each grid, a specific challenge must be reached.  This challenge will consist of removing particular types of tiles and, in some cases, artefacts in the form of pieces of a treasure map that, when completed, will reveal the location of hidden treasure.

As usual tiles are removed by the creation of groups of three or more similarly embellished tiles.  These tiles then disappear, possible forming part of your challenge, and are replaced by other tiles falling downwards thus, maybe, forming a cascading effect.  When artefacts are required these will need to be guided towards the base of the grid by creating a pathway beneath them so they can drop into.  Assisting in the task of reaching the target are the game's power-up selection,  Featuring tools such as a cannon, axe and a bomb, these power-up appear to the left of the grid and can be accessed when required.  They will need to be recharged after each use.

When a treasure map has been completed, the game switches to Ship Battle mode.  You are placed in charge of a ship and need to battle against an AI controlled opponent which could be another ship or maybe a beast from the deep.  The battle consists of firing cannons at each other using a constantly changing power setting and keeping a check of the force of the wind for and against you.  I really struggled with this aspect of the game, constantly over shooting, and count my few victories on the fingers of part of a hand.

As mentioned earlier, each chapter of the game contains four upgrades which must be paid for with any rewards earned from the spoils you have collected.  These upgrades tend to involve improvements to the area in which this story is based.  As well as the general upgrades, which are compulsory, you can also upgrade the ship which you use for battle sequences.

Despite regularly being defeated in battle, I enjoyed playing this game.  The flow of the story line is helped by the use of spoken dialogue from the main characters who are always static in appearance.  Match-3 game play is up to eFunsoft's usual standard.

This game can be downloaded from where it is priced at $9.99.  The game requires a 1.5 GHz processor with 1024MB of RAM running Windows 7 and later.

Catherine Ragnor and the Legend of the Flying Dutchman | GameHouse

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