Plundered Hearts

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Plundered Hearts
Plundered Hearts box art.jpg
Cover art
Developer(s)Infocom
Publisher(s)Infocom
Designer(s)Amy Briggs
EngineZIL
Platform(s)Amiga, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, IBM PC, Macintosh
ReleaseJuly 30, 1987
Genre(s)Interactive fiction
Mode(s)Single-player

Plundered Hearts is an interactive fiction video game created by Amy Briggs and published by Infocom in 1987. It was released simultaneously for the Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit family, Atari ST, Amiga, Macintosh, and IBM PC compatibles. Plundered Hearts is Infocom's only game in the romance genre. It is Infocom's twenty-eighth game.

Plot[edit]

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.

Feelies[edit]

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

Development[edit]

As early as 1984 Infocom employees joked about the possibility of a romance text adventure, although The Boston Globe observed that "somehow the moves don't seem appropriate to a computer keyboard".[1] By 1987, the year of Plundered Hearts's release, Infocom no longer rated its games on difficulty 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.

Like several other implementors, Amy Briggs began working at Infocom as a game tester before designing games.[citation needed]

Tagline[edit]

Spine-tingling peril, romance and adventure on the high seas!

Reception[edit]

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".[2] Compute! praised Plundered Hearts' writing and said that the game was suitable for both men and women.[3] 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.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dyer, Richard (1984-05-06). "Masters of the Game". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 1997-06-07.
  2. ^ Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia; Lesser, Kirk (December 1987). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (128): 92–96.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Panak, Steve (September 1988). "Panak Strikes". ANALOG Computing. p. 83. Retrieved 30 January 2015.

External links[edit]