Plundered Hearts is one of the most underrated Infocom classics ever. Aside from the fact that it's set in an unusual (and very intriguing) setting (17th century Caribbean seas), the game is most notable for being the only Infocom game in the romance genre, and is therefore arguably the first computer game designed with specifically women gamers in mind. Graeme Cree's excellent review for SPAG magazine provides an excellent synopsis of this overlooked gem:
"Plundered Hearts is a romance novel set in the 1600's. You must rescue your father from the clutches of an evil island governor with the aid of a pirate captain who lights your fire. [The game] takes a rather standard plotline and uses it to very good effect. The writing feels very much like a Harlequin novel, with enough amusing puzzles and clever responses to keep me, a non-romance-novel-reader interested to the end.
The puzzles are a little easier than the standard Infocom fare, but generally interesting and the solutions can be inferred from the clues. There are few "guess what the author is thinking" puzzles, though. The game's strongest point is in its characterization. Not in the other characters; Crulley, Jamison, Lafonde and the others are rather standard, thus my character rating of 1.2. Rather, this game characterizes you, the player, more than any other of Infocom's offerings. In most Infocom games, who YOU are is either unimportant or doesn't affect the plot much... Plundered Hearts more than any other [Infocom] game gave me the feeling of really being inside someone ELSE'S head. Throughout the game, who you are plays an important part. Disguising your identity and altering your appearance is important in several places to elicit a desired reaction from other characters.
Plundered Hearts is one of Infocom's more underrated games. A very good blend of puzzle-solving and storytelling." Two thumbs up definitely, but be prepared for a few romantic clichés ;)
Note: You'll need the included feelies to solve multiple puzzles. Some scans are available here.Reviewed by: Underdogs