#488 – Prince of Persia

A computer port absolutely not suited to the NES
Not my prince.
Screenshot brought to you by Questicle. I have ten more just like it.


PUBLISHER: Virgin Interactive


GENRE: Adventure

RELEASE DATE: November 1992

Prince of Persia may have been a quality Apple II game – “groundbreaking,” “innovative,” and other high-falutin’ adjectives – but it’s a heaping bowl of weaksauce on the NES. The goal remains the same as the computer version: make it out of the dungeon’s thirteen levels within an hour and save the princess. There’s puzzles, guards, skeletons, trap doors, spiked floors, large spine-snapping drops, and on top of it all, terrible controls to ensure dozens of untimely deaths and swears, swears, swears! Left or Right makes you run, but instead of stopping on a dime when you release the button, you trip to a halt. Even if you’re running towards a pit or a trap door and you attempt to stop, the jerkiness of the prince’s halt will likely kill you dozens of times. Because of this terrible design flaw, running is pretty useless in Prince of Persia. Tiptoe with ‘B’ to get around and jump with ‘A’ when you approach a pit. If all you do is tiptoe and jump, you might live to see later levels. Sword fighting is awkward and requires more luck than skill.Prince of Persia isn’t meant to be a high-octane action game, thus a unique control scheme is to be expected. Unfortunately, the game calls for preciseness in every action you make, and the sloppy controls seem to go out of their way to hinder you. That’s not magic. That’s witchcraft.


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3 replies on “#488 – Prince of Persia”

I quite like this version! It’s a whole lot better than the direct sequel, by the way. At least it’s usually clear in this one how you need to proceed, even if you need to coax the controls a little to do so.

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