Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert has returned to his roots with the announcement of his new pirate-flavoured iOS puzzler Scurvy Scallywags.

Well, it's actually called Scurvy Scallywags in The Voyage to Discover the Ultimate Sea Shanty: A Musical Match-3 Pirate RPG, but we're not sure how that's going to fit under an iPhone icon.

The game, built in tandem with Deathspank co-conspirator Clayton Kauzlaric, is a match-3 RPG - in a similar vein to Puzzle Quest or 10000000 - in which the combat happens right on the game board.

Here's how it works...

"In traditional match-3 games like Bejeweled," Gilbert explains, "when you match three shapes they disappear and the gap is filled by pieces falling in from the top."

In Scurvy Scallywags, however, the board collapses in on itself from the direction you swipe when making combinations, so pieces might fall from the top, rise from the bottom, or slide in from the sides.

Scurvy Scallywags

Not only does this feel "fantastic and very intuitive", but it also enables you to "actually move your pirate around the board and position him next to enemies to do battle".

According to Gilbert, the game will feature "close to 100 different hats, shirts, heads, and swords to find and use to dress up your pirate. There are also ten different ships to build, plus a sea shanty you collect that is sung by real-life pirate singers."

The game will be out "in the next month or so" on iPhone or iPad, with a possible Android port down the line.

Gilbert recently put out the Ouya-bound puzzle-platformer The Cave, and parted ways with Double Fine (the company run by his former Monkey Island parter Tim Schafer). Gilbert's last mobile effort was the PG Gold Award-winning The Big Big Castle.

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