Plundered Hearts cover art
|Release date(s)||July 30, 1987|
Plundered Hearts is an interactive fiction computer game created by Amy Briggs and published by Infocom in 1987. It was released simultaneously for several popular computer platforms of the time, such as the PC and Commodore 64. Plundered Hearts was Infocom's first (and only) game in the "romance" genre. It is Infocom's twenty-eighth game.
In a move that was formerly unusual for Infocom but increasingly common after its acquisition by Activision, Plundered Hearts casts the player in a well-defined role. The lead character is a young woman in the late 17th century who has received a letter. Jean Lafond, the governor of the small West Indies island of St. Sinistra, says that the player's father has contracted a "wasting tropical disease". Lafond suggests that his recovery would be greatly helped by the loving presence of his daughter, and sends his ship (the Lafond Deux) to transport her.
As the game begins, the ship is attacked by pirates and the player's character is kidnapped. Eventually the player's character finds that two men are striving for her affections: dashing pirate Nicholas Jamison, and the conniving Jean Lafond. As the intrigue plays out, the lady does not sit idly by and watch the men duel over her; she must help Jamison overcome the evil plans of Lafond so they have a chance to live happily ever after.
Infocom had a reputation for not only creating involving stories, but also for feelies, which were extra items included with each game. The Plundered Hearts package held:
- an "elegant velvet reticule" (pouch) containing the following items:
- a 50 guinea banknote from St. Sinistra
- a letter from Jean Lafond reporting the illness of the player character's father
By 1987, the year of Plundered Hearts's release, Infocom no longer rated its games on difficulty level. Some fans consider the game to be equivalent to the company's "Standard" level.
Although this was not the only Infocom game designed in an effort to attract female players (see also Moonmist), it is the only game in which the lead character is always female. (In some of Infocom's other works, the gender of the player's character is either unimportant and/or unaddressed, or could be chosen as either female or male, as in Bureaucracy, Beyond Zork, Ballyhoo, Moonmist and the Leather Goddesses of Phobos games.)
Like several other implementors, Amy Briggs began working at Infocom as a game tester before designing games.
Plundered Hearts was the last release for the Atari 8-bit family.
The game has 54 locations. Tech spec lists 57 rooms.
Spine-tingling peril, romance and adventure on the high seas!
Game reviewers Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser complimented the game in their "The Role of Computers" column in Dragon #128 (1987), citing its "gripping prose, challenging predicaments, and scenes of derring-do". Compute! praised Plundered Hearts' writing and said that the game was suitable for both men and women. ANALOG Computing approved of the game's "intrigue, adventure and, yes, romance" but regretted that "most of Infocom's regular audience (presumably male) are likely to forsake this bold new endeavor" because of its genre.
- Infocom Games - Plundered Hearts - Specifications
- Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (December 1987). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (128): 92–96.
- Trunzo, James V. (January 1988). "Plundered Hearts And Nord And Bert Couldn't Make Head Or Tail Of It". Compute!. p. 44. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- Panak, Steve (September 1988). "Panak Strikes". ANALOG Computing. p. 83. Retrieved 30 January 2015.