Title Arabian Nights Game Type Platform Company Krisalis Year 1993 Original Price £25.99 Programmer Simeon Pashley (coder of Manchester Utd Premier League Champs) Players 1 Compatibility ECS/AGA 68000-020 (JST HD fix patch currently in production) Submission Carlo Pirri
Review The plot of this game is the bog standard 'be a macho man hero type guy and save the helpless damsel in distress' one. You are Sinbad Jnr., a lowly gardener in the kingdom of a rich caliph, whose daughter you are secretly in love with. One day whilst in the kingdom gardens you see Princess Leila on the balcony above being attacked by a demon, conjured by the evil Vizier in an effort to kidnap her and cast a spell over the kingdom. Adrenaline pumping, you whip into action and try to save your beloved Leila. Just as you get there the winged demon takes off. You see one last chance to save her and grab hold of the demon's talon, only to fall back to earth with an almighty thump that leaves you unconscious. Just to add salt to the wounds, when you awake you find yourself in the palace dungeon, accused of kidnapping the princess and sorcerous treachery. You must escape to clear your name and save your beloved Princess Leila. Arabian Nights is played over 10 levels. You guide Sinbad across the screens, leaping over hazards like bubbling lava and wielding your sword over the heads of the baddies, all the while trying to preserve your 4 energy bars in the left-hand corner of the screen. However, you have to show some brain as well as brawn in this game, as there are many puzzles scattered across the levels for you to solve. The puzzles are occasionally obscure but not so difficult that you'll be tearing your hair out as I tend to do in arcade adventures like Monkey Island. Ultimately the puzzles are what sets this game apart from many of the average run, collect 'n' jump games on the Amiga. In any case, if you get stuck you can get some help by pressing the space bar when a light bulb appears above Sinbad's head. Sometimes you'll be given a clue, other times you'll be warned of some danger immediately ahead. Potions and power ups are scattered around the place to increase energy and sword power, and they certainly will be needed to battle some of the end of level guardians. Lose all 3 lives though and it's game over, man! Sinbad is a speedy little character, animated at 50fps. If you have an '030 or better (and the game will actually boot properly off disk!!), pressing F10 will get you 60fps animation apparently. According to the manual, you will also get more detailed graphics and on-screen action. I wasn't able to test this since the game crashes and burns on my A4000/030. However, I can tell you that the graphics are very cartoon-like and quite nicely varied and animated as such even without the enhancements promised by higher processors. The tunes are quite energetic for this type of game, but tend to grate after a while. Overall, this game is a real treat to play and look at. Graphics and gameplay are well varied across the levels. Animation is wonderful, especially with some of the humorous touches the programmers have incorporated into the game, like Sinbad overbalancing when he's too close to the edge of a platform. My main complaint about the game is that perhaps it could have been a little harder and there could have been more levels. My other big gripe is that since it was produced in 1993 why doesn't it bloody well work on any of my '030 Amigas, even after degrading??!! Never mind, the JST guys will take care of that problem pretty soon! All I have left to say about Arabian Nights is buy it if you missed it!!! My Ratings January 1999 ----------------------- Presentation 95% ------------ Some of the best I've seen. On booting you get the option of loading intro animations or skipping them altogether on booting. The game is also multilanguage- English, French, German and Italian. Finally, you have some good options to change the number of lives, energy bars and the difficulty level. Graphics 85% -------- Splendid cartoon animation on Sinbad, especially in the humurous moments. Good use of colour and variety also. Sound 70% ----- A few good bouncy tunes of a Middle Eastern flavour, but some annoying ones too. Hookability 90% ----------- The game just screams out to you to pick up the joystick and play it!!! Lastability 72% ----------- You'll have great fun trying to complete this game, but like many platformers there's little to entice one back afterwards. Overall 82% ------- A better than average Amiga platform game, making good use of the puzzle element. Harder puzzles and more levels would have made for a higher overall rating. But go out and buy it anyway- you won't regret it!