Bored o’ those landlover match-three games?  Then you’ve found the right game ye’ scurvy scalawag.

If any genre is in need of a shakeup, it’s match-three puzzlers.  So I commend Wildmane Studios for trying something different with the stale titles.  That said “simple arithmetic” is a risky gimmick – just ask Donkey Kong Jr. Math.

The numbers aren’t the issue here.  The arithmetic is indeed simple.  It’s more stemming from the general gameplay, the unique adding combination techniques, knocking coins out, etc.  Typical match-three games offer some of the most intuitive, pick up and play experiences around.  For better or worse, the differences in Chests O’ Booty mean some will struggle to grasp the mechanics from the get go. There are brief instructions but, perhaps a tutorial would’ve been beneficial since the game marches to the beat of its own drum in a sense.  I appreciate the changes, but from a broad perspective it does affect the accessibility factor.

Chests O' Booty instructions

Even that’s not really the issue though, and I want to stress that.  Simply put, Chests O’ Booty just isn’t all that interesting.  It has three modes, none of which are particularly compelling.  Casual mode is too casual – it’ll never end unless you manually quit.  Timed mode is a scant 45 seconds, with no options to lengthen the time.  Even versus mode (which would lift the game up) falls short.  There’s no CPU opponent – it’s multiplayer only.  There’s even a bug making GamePad use inoperative.  At least the latter is being patched, thankfully.

Chests O' Booty vs mode

Visually Chests O’ Booty is a bit dark, with some muddy and jagged textures.  It’s decent enough however, and for this type of game is fine.  The image will display on either the TV or GamePad, but curiously never both.  Even though there’s not much variety, I did enjoy the music.  Control with the GamePad is undeniably mixed.  The aforementioned bug, lack of video during TV use, and no stylus control can’t be ignored.  Thankfully other controllers are supported, which is a fair save.

Chests O' Booty gameplay

Wildmane Studios is one person.  Chests O’ Booty (although a year old PC port) is their console début.  This makes many of the games missteps understandable.  I’ve no doubt Wildmane’s next Wii U eShop game will be better, and I am looking forward to see what the Studio comes up with next.  In the meantime, how do I score Chests O’ Booty?  It’s lacking both in accessibility and an addictive nature when compared to its peers.  Still, this is a casual title, offering a twist on a popular genre, and selling for a budget $1.99 price.  It wasn’t for me, but it’ll probably find success with others.  So I can’t give it a bad score.

Chests O' Booty logo