Prince of Persia
A port of the ground-breaking game of the same name. The original on other platforms was released by Brøderbund and designed by Jordan Mechner. Prince of Persia was released on a wide range of platforms, including the Amiga, Apple II, Apple Macintosh, DOS, NES, Game Boy, SNES and Sega Genesis.
The game was played in real time. You played the intrepid adventurer and had an hour to save the Princess from the evil Sultan before she was forced to marry him or die.
The animation was one of the first of it’s kind as Jordan had animated the movement of the characters as close to real life as was possible at that time.
Included temporarily, is the freeware demo that was released to promote the game.
Your Sinclair review, courtesy of The YS Rock ‘n’ Roll Years.
Crash review, courtesy of worldofspectrum.org
Well, Prince Of Persia was the surprise all formats hit of 1990 or so. So, unsurprisingly it only arrived on the SAM in about 1992. But this is typical and we SAM owners have come to expect things to be late.
It revolves round the plot of an evil Arabian bloke called Jaffar kidnapping a princess, and saying that he’ll kill her in an hours time or something, this, as with the plots of many games, is completely irrelevent and the game boils down to jumping over pits, dodging visciously sharp blades and stabbing various people to death. And as platformers go, it’s pretty playable. The thing that made it popular in the first place though was the animation.
It is SUPERB, the graphics for all versions where drawn from Arabian type films to give a really human fluidity to all the movements of the main character.
He skids, runs, jumps, and is impaled on spikes in a really humanoid manner. The game must have loads on animation, in fact it has twice as many frames as the Atari ST version.
In fact, rumour is, the graphics where converted from the PC version by copying them down, pixel by pixel, onto graph paper, then reassembling them on the SAM.
Let me tell you, graph paper is a bugger and a half to design graphics on, I know from bitter experience…
Anyway, the game. Well it’s played over about 12 levels, each one being quite difficult, and taking quite a bit of planning ahead to solve, as trigger pads around the map open up previously shut doors allowing access further into the level.
The goal of the first level is to get the sword, thus enabling you to kill the guard and get to the exit to the next level. It’s actually quite hard and it can be annoying falling to your death because of a slightly miss-timed jump.
But once you get through the first level, you make gradual progress, and the learning curve is quite smooth up to about level seven (whereupon it gets unfeasibly hard and evil), each level bringing a new magic potion, enemy or surprise into play.
It plays alot like a story as, in between levels you see the captured princess crying, or talking to her pet mouse or something. This is a nice touch, and, occasionally the princess’s actions have a direct affect on the level. Though I won’t spoil the pleasant surprise.
So, how do I rate it…
|Graphics||87%||Very nice, and beautifully animated. Backgrounds are a little bit bland, though.|
|Addictivity||85%||The gradual progress keeps you coming back…|
|Instant Appeal||92%||Very good, the plot element is quite grabbing.|
|Sound||80%||Nice rousing music on intro screen, good spot FX too.|
|Overall||83%||A very playable game, which maybe gets too hard.|
Persia is a town on the verge of total chaos. People are running through the streets with massive sandwich boards stating the end of the world is nigh, and everyone is busy preparing their hangman’s nooses for… well, you know. And no! It isn’t because they’ve run out of Turkish Delight (ha, ha) or a more realistic reason like Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush has ended. Nope! Simply put, the Grand Vizier (eh?) of the King of Persia has stolen the reins of power, and told the King where to go. Because you’re an outspoken sort of chap, you end up being chucked into the deepest, darkest dungeon of the King. You also have a thing for the King’s Daughter, but we won’t go into that soft stuff…
Your beloved Princess has been locked away herself in the highest dungeon the evil Vizier bloke could put her, leaving you with at least something to aim for in your quest to overthrow the Vizier and snog the Princess. Meanwhile, the Vizier is busy trying to persuade the Princess to marry him. She has one hour to decide, or she dies! Personally, I would rather go home and play on my SAM, but looks like I have to be the hero - again!
Playing the hero, you have to negotiate a network of 13 huge dungeons, jumping huge caverns, dodging falling ceiling and wonky floors, opening doors, fighting skeletons and guards, and snogging the Princess! The fighting bit of the action has to begin when you find a handy sword at the other end of the first level. It’s no good fighting the guards without a sword - though it does look funny when you try to jump over them!
Once this is done, you have to find the exit and escape the level, each one loading quickly from disk. As the levels progress, there are more and more things to fight and avoid, including bad potions (you can’t see that they’re bad, ho, ho), massive falls, metal blades - which you have to time precisely, skeletons which are indestructible - except for a nasty fall, and even a fight with yourself! Confused? I know I was! When you fight, fall too far, etc. you may lose one of your three energy points. These can be replenished by collecting potions, and you are against a one hour time limit.
Well, what can I say? Chris White has worked a rather fine miracle in programming Prince. The animation of the main character is faultless, and is as realistic as you can get. Okay, so there is very little detail to the main character, but when he’s moving, you won’t seem to notice it! The game is a tad hard to get into first off, but soon you’ll be playing with the best of them! In short - if you want to be impressed to the hilt then get Prince. You will NOT regret it!