Wow, Sara! You’re incredible. Thanks for being so proactive!!
John R., Programmer and Game Designer, Romero Games


According to recent research about worldwide mobile gaming trend, an increasing number of consumers is spending money on games for smartphone and tablet. Mobile games can actually be played anywhere and at any time, they are also far cheaper than PC, console and even portable console games. On top of that, many mobile games can be installed completely for free, with in-game advertising or in-app purchases in order to unlock levels, buy powerful items or just remove adverts.

Dangerous Dave in the Deserted Pirate’s Hideout is the sequel of the popular platform game Dangerous Dave, published in 1990 for Apple II. After 25 years, this game can be played on mobile phones and tablets both in the old-fashioned 8-bit version and in its new, updated graphics. Also, it is now possible to choose the language, as this sequel has never been translated before.

Other than the menu text and the synopsis which leads to the play the first level, the whole new version of the game contains ten notes left in each level by Clyde, Dave’s antagonist. The villain writes his evil thoughts about what he has in store for Dave and never misses the occasion to laugh at him, often using a wide variety of idiomatic expressions which have been a nice challenge to translate.

In particular, some sayings are strictly Southern United States and keeping this feature has been of prime importance, as Dave is defined as a redneck by John Romero, the game developer, and banjo music is clearly recurrent all over the game. However, in few occasions it has been hard to keep these references using the same structure of the original idiom. One clear example is the colloquial expression ‘You’re nuttier than a port-o-potty at a peanut festival’, a typical redneck saying meaning that someone is insane, which I have translated using the specific Italian saying ‘Sei più svitato di un tappo’ to reproduce the meaning of craziness.

Last but not least, testing Dangerous Dave in the Deserted Pirate’s Hideout allowed me to play the game in detail to check the game for bugs and mistakes in order to provide a reliable and consistent translation and an overall playability.