The life of a pirate never looks easy on paper. Even if you survive voyages on the perilous high seas, violent skirmishes with the British Navy, and rambling chats with Captain Jack Sparrow, you might still face being blown up by your own crew.

At least that's what Billy the Mop - the put-upon hero of Clumsy Pirates - has to deal with after one of his drunken shipmates accidentally lights a bomb fuse and demands he get rid of it. 96 times (there are lot of levels).

Playing very much like a relic from the 8-bit era, the game plunders elements of Bubble Bobble to create a fast-paced puzzle experience that's, annoyingly, let down by steep difficulty and lagging controls.

When the ship goes down

The only way you can save Billy from being blasted into the screen is to use a stingy amount of bubbly froth to carry him up the decks of the ship and throw the bomb overboard.

Billy walks continually from left to right and only turns if he hits an obstacle or the end of a platform. With holes littering the decks and ladders waiting to be auto-climbed, it's easy for him to get stuck in a looping death stroll as the fuse burns down to the right of the screen.

One slip-up in your bubble placement and it's nearly always curtains for Billy. This makes for a fraught and often overly frustrating experience that's at odds with the cartoony, rather charming personality of the game.

Lost at sea

With your view obscured at the start of each level and when you pause, there's no way to really plan your route beyond trial-and-error.

The tap controls also seem to lag a critical moment behind Billy's brisk pace, which doesn't help if you're making a last minute bubble dash.

With later levels piling on extra hazards like fire that needs to be extinguished and wind that can shove or slow Billy, expect your teeth to be severely ground down as you play - especially if you take on the ultra-tough Night versions of each boat-themed stage.

With just a few concessions to casual players, Clumsy Pirates could have been a hit arcade-puzzler, but right now it's more likely to join Davy Jones at the bottom of the Google Play chart locker.

Android version reviewed.