Prince Of Persia Retro [iPhone]

Back in the early 90s, I’m sure many of you (like myself) have fond memories of yelling at your screen when the Prince died. Well luckily, you can now experience that in handheld form with the release of Prince of Persia Retro for the iPhone.

Like most iPhone games, control tends to be the deciding factor as to whether it’s worth playing (and paying for) a game. PoPR happens to take those simple, easy controls we knew and loved, and place them in an iPhone friendly format. Moving left and right is controlled by your left thumb, moving up and down controlled by your right and to do actions, you just tap anywhere on the screen. Perfect! There is also a pause button, which is handy.

The gameplay itself hasn’t changed all that much, if it all, since the original release. Jumping is still as nerve-wracking as it always was and combat is just as tough. Always nice when they re-release something and don’t tone it down in difficulty. Occasionally you’ll find that the jump just doesn’t work or that your sword-swinging just won’t happen. You will find yourself screaming at your iPhone wherever you are!

[img_mid]center,11,2010-06-05/IMG_0878.PNG,Just as you remember, no?[/img_mid]

Oh the story, how you are embedded in many people’s brains. As clich├ęd as it may be, the story is just great and makes you feel like the Prince is being insanely heroic to rescue the Sultan’s daughter. With the original, you only had 60 minutes to finish otherwise the Sultan’s daughter would die. I’m quite certain that this time limit doesn’t effect this version, although I could be wrong.

The presentation has been adapted well for iPhone usage, although my only gripe is that you can’t always see how much health you have left because your left hand covers it most of the time. The most useful thing this version has is a level select, so when you get tired of yelling at one level, you can skip straight to the next. It even has a Facebook Connect function, but I’m not certain as to what it achieves.

[img_mid]center,11,2010-06-05/IMG_0877.PNG,Ahh, memmoorriieess…[/img_mid]

The graphics are great! Simple as that. The colour palette has been brightened up, some animations have been redone (i.e. fire) and it looks like the Prince and most of the enemies have had some touch ups. Fitting on the iPhone’s screen, nothing is too hard to see and the movement controls don’t take up much screen space at all.

One thing I did learn just now is that the Prince’s animation is the result of rotoscoping Jordan Mechner (the creator)’s younger brother!

[img_mid]center,11,2010-06-05/IMG_0879.PNG,Deaths are as visceral, if not more, as you remember![/img_mid]

One of the best features about PoPR is the fact that it uses the original music and sounds. From the loose tiles rattling to the “uh” you hear when you run the Prince into a wall. Such memories! It won’t allow you to play with your own music on but that’s pretty obvious.

It’s great and you will be left screaming and most likely rage-quitting on several occasions. Perfect nostalgia and if you’ve never played it before, it’s certainly the best way to experience the original 2D graphics. It is also totally worth the puny $AU1.19 on the AppStore!

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Jordan Mechner (Original) Ubisoft (iPhone Port)
Price: $US0.99 ($AU1.19)
Score: 80%

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