Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (Nintendo DS) - Review by Andrew



Like most gamers (of a certain age) Prince of Persia was the first platformer I ever played. I recall it being significantly different from anything else on the market and while the backgrounds were bland and generic the animation was superb as was the game's construction. The franchise has come a long way since then and even the DS has had a handful of offerings from the Prince. 'Sands of Time' is a little different, as it's actually tied to a big screen outing. Yep, after all this time Prince of Persia has a movie and while we've yet to see it, is has to be better than Super Mario Brothers.


Unlike in some of the other Prince of Persia games, the Prince is not alone in his 'Sands of Time' quest because after a severe bout of amnesia, a Spirit, who is at his side to give valuable advice, joins him. Just in case you can't work it out, the game involves navigating your way though a variety of levels with dangerous traps and puzzles around to slow down your progress. There's actually not much else to say so if you've ever played a platformer, this is it, in its purest form. There are chase levels where you must avoid the rising sand and puzzles involving traps, levers and multiple doorways. This timed element is something that has been brought over from other games in the series. As well as the ability to run, jump and wield a sword you now have a handful of magical powers. The most useful of these is the ability to reverse time so those instances where you have misjudged a jump can simply be rewound, the next is the ability to slow down time, which is very useful for timed doors or spinning blades (of which there do seem to be a lot). There's no Multiplayer though so once this (short) adventure is over, that's it, although for some of you that won't be such a bad thing.


As with the last outing for Prince of Persia, this is all touch-screen controlled so head down to that section to see what's going on.


Sands of Time is visually poor. The developers don't seem to have noticed just what can be achieved with the DS now. This 'style' runs throughout the game where not only are the environments and incidental characters poorly designed but the Prince himself looks like he was rendered over a decade ago.


The actual soundtrack is pretty good and suits the style and feel of the Prince's world perfectly but don't expect any voice acting.

Dual screen

Sands of Time is the second Prince of Persia title to be exclusively stylus driven. The problem is, it didn't work particularly well last time and this offering isn't much different. The problem is that a game like this really should rely on the more traditional controls and the stylus never really allows you to feel like you're in full control of the Prince. This places you more in the position of a remote viewer with the on screen action playing out with little help from you, the gamer. The combat is a little more involved but guards are still easily beaten most of the time. There's also something on the box about the game having exclusive DSi features but as far as we can gather this simply involves pointing the camera towards a light source in order to 'reveal' secret levels. Not exactly groundbreaking.

Final comments

If, like me, you loved the platforming challenge of the original Prince of Persia, then there's a good chance you are going to hate this. It doesn't look great, the game play is simplistic and it's very short. The real problem here though is the control method and while we applaud any developer who uses the stylus in a new and innovative manner, this isn't it and the game suffers because of it. If you do need a Prince of Persia fix, dig out one of your old GBA versions but don't waste your money on this.

Pro: The Movie's Not Bad (We're Told).
Con: Poor Controls, Bland Gameplay, Very Short
Final score: 6.1


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Boxart of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (Nintendo DS)
Platform: Nintendo DS
Genre: Action
Developer: Ubisoft Casablanca
Publisher: Ubisoft