Today’s featured app is Plunder!, a freemium strategy game that takes place on an ocean grid and, like some 70% of the games on the App Store, involves pirates. But don’t let that overused premise stop you from downloading this game. What we didn’t realize when we first booted it up was that Plunder is a whirlpool of addiction just waiting to suck you in.
The goal of each randomly-generated level is to clear the way for your eight pirate ships to move from the left side of the screen to the right. To do that, you must strategically detonate mines blocking their paths, while also sinking cargo ships to steal their booty.
When you detonate a mine, depending on what type it is, it shoots debris in either two or four directions. The debris doesn’t damage your ships, but it sinks cargo ships and arms and/or detonates other mines. When you run out of armed mines on a level, you lose any ships left onscreen and progress with a thinned-out fleet. This continues until you lose your last ship.
The freemium aspect of the game is straight out of the arcades of yesteryear. Each gameplay session costs one coin. You start the game with three coins and earn one coin a day, provided you used the previous day’s coin. If you play the game well, you earn extra coins as you go. However, if you’re not so good at the game but for some reason want to keep playing it, you can purchase coins in packs of 20 for $0.99, 100 for $2.99, or 600 for $4.99.
This might seem like nickel-and-diming, but we’ve been playing for over an hour and still haven’t run out of coins. Once we do, we might go through withdrawal and have to plunder beneath our couch cushions to keep playing.