Arabian Nights

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 

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

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

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!

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