Plunderland

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Plunderland App Poster Image
Silly pirate shenanigans, but some parts can get mean.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Figuring out how to sail your ship and fire the cannon is pretty easy, but aiming can be quite challenging -- and your cannon often aims away from enemies for no apparent reason. The difficulty also ramps up significantly after the first 10 levels.

Violence

You'll sink enemy ships and aircraft with your ships's cannon as well as fire on island natives. You can also hold your opponents under the water to drown them (then watching them sink to the bottom) or over fire to burn them (and watching them run around the island, often catching other inhabitants on fire). In later levels, you'll also have to deal with sharks and not-so-terrifying sea-monsters gobbling up your crew. You will see little splashes of blood, but it is all very cartoony.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Plunderland is a pirate-themed action/adventure game. It's filled with explosions and cannon battles and while that's handled in a cartoon-like fashion, sailors on enemy ships do die. There are also other ways to beat the enemy, like "grabbing" one with a finger swipe and drowning him in the ocean manually or setting him on fire, that make this game questionable for kids. 

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Is it any good?

Plunderland is a side-scrolling game, like early Sonic or Mario titles, that always keeps you moving forward. The premise is pretty basic: Sail from port to port, pillaging as you go, battling the English army, sharks, sea monsters, and (if you choose to engage them) island natives. It's simple to learn, graphically appealing, and lets players interact with the environment to an impressive degree (much like Pocket God). That interaction helps to keep the game fresh and adds to the replay value. It also plays into the strategy of the game (i.e. do you use your own ammo or catch shots from enemy ships mid air and hurl them back to where they came?). But, in the long run, the sadistic potential of that interaction (drowning or burning your opponents) makes it a questionable title for younger players.

App details

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