Bring me to the main page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

Arabian Nights logo

Plattform-Hüpfer gibt's derzeit reichlich, und ein Mangel and Adventures ist auch nicht zu beklagen – ordentliche Zwitter aus beide Genres sind hingegen rar. Doch mit dieser orientalischen Perle hat krisalis ein Action-Adventure auf die Beine gestellt, das seinesgleichen sucht!

Arabian Nights Weil wir gerade beim Suchen sind: Am ehesten werden sprungstarke Abenteuer ja an der Konsolen-Front fundig, doch selbst vor japanischen Highlights wie etwa „Castlevania" oder „Wonderboy III" braucht sich dieses Ausnahme-Game aus dem regnerischen England nicht zu verstecken. Hier schlüpft man in die Sandalen Sinbads, der den Garten des allseits beliebten Kalifen bearbeitet. Die schonste Blume dieses Kleinbiotops ist freilich des Herrschers hübsches Tochterlein Leila, in die sich unser Held auch prompt verliebt. Das passt jedoch dem bösen Vizekonig nicht in dem Kram, weshalb er die Prinzessin flugs entfuhrt und den verknallten Gartner auch noch die Schuld dafur in die erwähnten Sandalen schiebt. Sinnigerweise startet die Prinzessinnen-Rückholung daher im Kerker…

Hat man die arabischen Dungeons erstmal glücklich hinter sich gebracht, geht's durch düstere walder, diamantminen und Schiffe, bis am Ende schliesslich und ausweichlich der Ober-Fiesling selbst in seiner Burg kaltgestellt werden muss. Doch bis dahin ist für jede Menge Abwechslung gesorgt: In einer horizontal scrollenden Ballersequenz darf sich Sinbad als Pilot eines fliegenden Teppiches betätigen, er soll seine Qualitäten als Taucher unter Beweis stellen, und sogar eine Rennsequenz in einer Kohlenlore (Indy lässt grüssen) gilt es siegreich zu uberstehen! Bei alledem lernt man Plattform-Landschaften kennen, die durch phantasievollen Aufbau bestechen, denn manche Levels sind gigantisch gross, andere labyrintharig verzweigt, und neue Ideen finden sich praktisch am jeder Ecke – etwa, wenn man uber eine „Plattformschlange" balancieren muss, während sie beständig uber dass Spielfeld kriecht.

Amiga Joker Hit Selbstmürmelnd fehlt es auch an Geheimraumen nicht, wo unter anderm Gegenstände warten, die sich im weiteren Spielverlauf oft als nützlich erweisen. Dann nämlich, wenn es ans Knobein geht: Passanten bieten als Dankeschon fur eine kleine Gefälligkeit Tips zum Weiterkommen an, andere Einwohner im Plattform-Orient lassen erst nach einer Geldspende mit sich reden, und so oder so harren einige (jedoch nicht übermassig knifflige) Puzzles ihrer Lösung. Doch im Vordergrund steht ganz klar die Action, weshalb unser mätchenhafter Held auch von Angang an fleissig den Krummsabel schwingt. In den Genuss seiner Fechtkünste kommen natürlich zunachst die Gefangniswärter, später dann angriffslustige Eulen oder extradicke Feind-Exemplare wie ein feister Lampengeist, der mit Geroll um sich wirft. Und sind erstmal alle sonstigen Herausforderungen des jeweiligen Levels (z.B. Hochschwindigkeitspassagen oder schicklichkeitsbetönte Jump- & -Run- Abschnitte), überwunden, will stets noch ein imposantes Schlussmonster besiegt sein. Beispielhaft sei hier der aufgeplüsterte Kugelfisch am Ende der Unterwasserwelt erwahnt, dessen zielgenauer Stachelbeschuss Reaktionen auf eine harte Probe stellt.

Doch so märchenhaft dieses Digi-Marchen auch ist, ganz perfekt ist es nicht: Die eine oder andere unfaire Stelle erschwert das Heldenleben unnötig, und eine etwas grosszugigere Verteilung der Extras hätte den insgesamt zehn Levels sicher auch nicht geschadet. Genaugenommen sind das aber Kleinigkeiten, zumal ja die Technik keinen Anlass zur Klage gibt. So geht etwa die Steuerung voll in Ordnung (selbst Zwei-Button-Sticks wie das Sega-Pad werden unterstützt), jeder der dröllig gezeichneten Abschnitte wartet mit komplett neuen Hintergrunden auf, das multi-direktionale Scrolling hat Weichspuler-Qualität, und ein gelungenes Intro ist ebenfalls mit an Bord. Zudem wurde an netten Grafik-Gags nicht gespart, bleistiftsweise rieselt Laub über den Sereen, wenn man im Wald auf wehrlose Baume eindrischt. Ganz besonders hervorzuheben ist noch die fantastische Musikbegleitung, denn was hier an ebenso melodishen wie abwechslungsreichen Klängen das Ohr umschmeichelt, ist schliesslich einmalig! Tja, und die Sound-FX sind ebenfalls nicht von Schlechten Eltern.

Kurz und gut, man merkt einfach an allen Ecken und Enden, mit wieviel Liebe zum Detail die Programmierer am Werk waren - und im übrigen noch sind, denn für Herbst ist eine spezielle A1200-Version angekündigt, die neben nochmals verbesserter Präsentation vor allem mehr Landschaften und damit mehr Gameplay beinhalten soll. Es mag sich also lohnen, noch ein bisschen mit den Kauf zu warten, wenngleich man dafür schon sehr geduldig sein muss. Denn in der Zwischenzeit bietet Arabian Nights den Besitzern von Standard-Amigas eines der schönsten und spielbarsten Action-Adventures seit 1001 Jahren! (rl)

Amiga Joker, April 1993, p.p.30-31

DIE KONKURRENZ
Gute Action-Adventures finden sich am Amiga nicht alle Tage, einige wenige Glänzlichter gab's in letzter Zeit doch. So sind etwa bei Psygnosis' technisch brilliantem "Beast III" die Ratzelnusse ganz besonders hart ausgefallen, wahrend Delphine's "Flashback" vor allem durch die fantastische Animation des Helden ins Auge sticht. Arabian Nights stellt diesbezuglisch gesundes Mittelmass dar, den die wenigen Knobeleinlagen uberfordern auch den Action-Puristen nicht.

ARABIAN NIGHTS
(KRISALIS)
ACTION-ADVENTURE
86%
"MÄRCHENHAFT"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
74%
76%
93%
80%
83%
88%
VARIABEL: 3 STUFEN
PREIS DM 79,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1 MB
2/JA
NEIN
NEIN
KOMPLETT



Arabian Nights logo  CU Amiga Screen Star

As the only one in the office with a penchant for curly-toed sandals, Jon Sloan was the perfect choice for Krisalis' new platform puzzler.

Arabian Nights D id your parents ever try to send you to sleep at night by telling you stories of a brave prince beating overwhelming odds to rescue a princess? Were they full of demons and nasty monsters? Yes? I know, I needed years of therapy afterwards too. That aside, if you want to relive those tales of derring-do, Krisalis are releasing the game for you.
Arabian Nights tells the story of Sinbad Jnr., Chief Gardener's Assistant Helper (2nd Class), to the Caliph of some small eastern country. He is secretly in love with the Caliph's daughter, Princess Leila (isn't the hero always?). Unfortunately, he just doesn't have the necessary amount of OOO's at the end of his bank statement to make a serious play for her hand. To cap it all, the evil Vizier has designs on Leila too, and he has the power to get her. Being a generally nasty sort of bloke the Vizier can't make Leila an offer directly, so he summons a demon from one of the more unpleasant levels of Hell to steal her away. Sinbad is in the garden when the demon appears and attacks Leila; sensing trouble (boy, this kid is quick!) he starts to scale the palace walls to reach Leila's balcony. Just as he gets there the demon takes off so Sinbad grabs its foot, but his grip isn't very good and he falls to the ground below. When he wakes up Sinbad finds himself in the palace dungeon accused of kidnapping Leila and using evil sorcery. Sinbad has to escape to rescue the princess and dear his name. Which is where you come in...

FARE'S FAIR
What we have here is the usual scrolling platform fare. Guide Sinbad across the screens, leaping unleapable gaps and whacking all sorts of nasties in the process. On the face of it there doesn't seem to be much to distinguish Arabian Nights from the 1001 other platform romps.
Fortunately, there's more to it than first meets the eye. Apart from beating the necessary joystick-twitching dangers, playing Arabian Nights requires a little brain power as krisalis have had the foresight to include a puzzle element in the game. Not only does it make up playing and winning harder, it also adds to the lastability of the whole thing.

The puzzles are not brain straining but serve as a useful diversion from the main action. For instance on level two Sinbad has to find some way to reach a high platform. Look carefully and you'll see a flower which looks as though it needs watering. If you check your inventory (he can carry up to 36 items at once) you won't find any liquid. However, earlier in the level he upset a bear which is now weeping; to carry the water you'll need some kind of container, and a search will reveal an old granny who gives you her thimble. Put two and two together and Sinbad will soon be reaching new heights. Don't worry if this seems too obscure to solve immediately, because whenever he needs one, Sinbad will be given an on-screen clue. This appears in the form of a light bulb above the character's head and pressing the space bar brings up a message. Sometimes this is a clue, at others it will warn you of a hidden danger immediately ahead.

SPRINTING ARAB
Sinbad is a nippy little fella and zooms around the platforms. He animates at a speedy 50 frames per second and, if you've got an '030 processor or higher, pressing F10 toggles him up to 60 fps! Not only is he fast, he's fairly agile too. He can leap huge gaps and do a snazzy running slide which, if he ducks at the same time, is extremely useful in avoiding low hanging spikes. Each of the nine levels is littered with these spikes, as well as acid pits, large spiky balls and other objects which must be avoided at all costs.

Coupled with the background stuff are a smattering of nasty characters who seem intent on stopping Sinbad fulfilling his quest. Contact with these objects and creatures saps our Sin of his vital energy, so either dodge them where possible or whip out your trusty sword for a swift bit of slicing.

Speaking of energy, Sinbad starts off with a fairly limited amount, denoted by blue rectangles in the left corner of the screen. Every contact with a dangerous object takes away at east one of these bars. Fortunately, scattered around the levels are treasure chests which contain varying amounts of extra energy. These chests are vital to his health and must not be squandered. Some house special magical amulets which increase the total energy units Sinbad can have. They may also contain certain useful power-ups, including keys, speedy boots and weapon boosts - Sinbad starts off with a fairly weedy sword, more of a penknife, really but this can be increased on later levels to a longer, missile throwing slicer. it's absolutely vital to keep the various objects that you find as they will almost certainly be put to good use at some point. Tapping the space bar brings up the inventory and you can alter the objects that Sinbad's carrying in his hands according to need.

One of the main pluses of the game is the amount of variety between levels. Not only do the backdrops change, but also the style of gameplay. Level one is the Caliph's dungeon and, apart from the puzzles, is a simple platform game, likewise level two, set in the forest. But level three has Sinbad on board a flying carpet swooping across the skies in a basic shoot 'em up. Later levels consist of an under water maze, another shoot 'em up and there's even an Indiana Jones style mine cart race.

GOOD AND BAD
Arabian Nights has a lot going for it. Both the coder, Simeon Pashley, and the artist, Darren Hebden, have obviously put a lot of thought into it. Every level contains some nice comic touches, which range from Sinbad's precarious balancing act when he's too close to the edge of a platform to the jumping sheep which leap up to smash into his flying carpet (and emit a plaintive 'Baa!' when they get shot). The animation is top notch as is the soundtrack.

However, there's also a lot missing. I would have liked for there to have been more baddies and a few more power-ups. Despite the level variance, it all seems repetitive after a while. Equally, the restart points for when Sinbad is killed seem to have been chosen with little thought. There's also an odd mix of scrolling and flip-screen movement - why didn't they settle for one way of redrawing the screen?
Despite these drawbacks, this is still one helluva game. I can recommend it to anyone with a love for platform romps who fancies some thing a little different.

CU Amiga, May 1993, p.p.58-59

MEET THE GUYS

The Palace GuardThe first nasty attack to Sinbad is this palace guard. He's got a huge sword, but fortunately he's not too bright.

The PrisonerNot all people are out to get Sinbad. Free this prisoner and he'll give you a set of lockpicks.
The Earth DjinniOne of the Vizier's elemental Djinnis. This one represents Earth.
Walking Time BombThis guy looks cute, but he's a walking time bomb - avoid at all costs.
The Water DjinniThe second elemental Djinni is Water. Watch him grow before shooting spikes at you.
Another Elemental DjinniAnother elemental - this one and his partner are one of the toughest guardians to beat.
The DragonThe dragon that took Leila away can be tackled at the end of one of the magic carpet sections.
The VizierThe grand old Vizier himself. Apart from an inflated ego, he's hiding a lot of magical powers so caution - and a big sword - is needed before taking him on.

A1200 Version
As it stands, Arabian Nights is compatible with the A1200. And playing it on one of these beauties increases the overall amount of graphic detail. So, for example, you'll see loads of leaves falling from the trees, bigger dust clouds and more objects in the backdrops. Also, Krisalis are planning a super A1200-specific version which should be available some time later this year.

KRISALIS £25.99
A500
A1500
A500+
A2000
A600
A3000
A1200
A4000
KRISALIS SOFTWARE LTD., TEQUE HOUSE, MASONS YARD, DOWNS ROW, MOORGATE, ROTHERHAM S60 2HD. TEL: 0709372290
 
RELEASE DATE:
GENRE:
TEAM:
CONTROLS:
NUMBER OF DISKS:
NUMBER OF PLAYERS:
HARD DISK INSTALLABLE:
MEMORY:
 
OUT NOW
PLATFORM
IN HOUSE
J, K, PAD
2
1
NO
1Mb
 
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
91%
89%
78%
85%
An above-average platform romp, but lacking longterm challenge.
OVERALL: 89%



Arabian Nights CD32 logo  CD32

Buzz * £14.99 * Out now

A rabs eh? Are they all called Sinbad? The main protagonist in this Middle East affair is not a sailor but an apprentice gardener at the local royal palace. But it seems that our Sinbad has eyes for only one petal, and that is the Princess Laila (not the one from Star Wars, nor the one that got Eric Clapton on his knees). Meanwhile, in another part of the world, an evil chap hell bent on ruling the kingdom casts a spell and kidnaps Laila while Sinbad’s vain attempts at rescue fail miserably and he is arrested by palace guards for sorcerous deeds. Unfair, but you need a plot don’t you?

Sinbad’s task is to escape the dungeon and rescue the woman he loves. In the winking of an eye you are off on nine fun-filled levels of platform mayhem, collecting everything in sight, solving puzzles and slaying baddies left, right and centre. It is not outrageously difficult but it is certainly addictive with large, well-animated sprites and catchy tunes and effects. There are vicious end of level guardians to tackle and one of the levels puts you on a flying carpet with bleating sheep winging their way towards you – honest. Arabian Nights is a chirpy platform outing and it is not going to break the back at 15 quid.
Stephen Bradley

88%

Amiga Format, Issue 55, January 1994, p.84


Arabian Nights CD32 logo  CD32

Während es mit den „richtigen“ Neuerscheinungen für Commos CD-Konsole immer noch recht zäh vorangeht, können wir Euch hier schon vier brandneue CD32-Versionen von älteren Amiga-Titeln (Arabian Nights, Deep Core, John Barnes European Football & Nigel Mansell's World Championship) präsentieren!

Krisalis kann es aber auch viel besser: Diese geniale Mixtur aus Adventure und Jump & Run entspricht technisch ziemlich genau der feinen Diskversion. Inhaltlich muß der Knirps Sinbad in den multidirectional scrollenden und mit Abgründen gespickten Plattformwelten Gegenstände aller Art aufklauben, mit diversen Waffen hantieren und letztlich einen weiblichen Sultan (Sultanine?) finden; bei Problemen gibt es Onscreen-Tips in Form von Sinbadschen Geistesblitzen.

Wer also eine gelungene Steuerung, orientalische Klänge und gehobenen Spielspaß für schlappe 49 Taler sucht, sollte hier zugreifen – wir spendieren aufmunternde 83 Prozent. (md)

Amiga Joker, January 1994, p.80


Arabian Nights CD32 logo  CD32

Buzz £14.99

I had not really had the chance to play the original floppy version of this very much, so I was quite excited at the idea of getting into it properly on the CD32. And how right I was – it is a corking little platformer, made significantly better by the use of the joypad buttons, which are even redefinable so you can choose your own favourite combination for jump, attack and menu access.

The gameplay comes somewhere between Super Mario World and Dizzy, with puzzles set at just the right level of difficulty to not be obvious, but not seriously impede your progress. The only bit I do not like is the gratuitous and slightly nob shoot em up level in the middle, but it is nowhere near bad enough to ruin the game. There are not any noticeable CD32 improvements, which is a shame, but hey, it is a brilliant game all the same.
STUART CAMPBELL

Amiga Power, Issue 34, February 1994, p.p.80-81

THE BOTTOM LINE
CD32 Lovable and lovely platformer, and at a bargain price to boot. Put it at the top of your CD32 shopping list. Well, after the CD32, then.
88
P E R C E N T


Arabian Nights CD32 logo  CU Amiga Screen Star  CD32

BUZZ £14.99

T Arabian Nights CD32 his disc goes to prove one thing, you don't need masses of video bites and lengthy CD soundtracks to make a good game. With Arabian Nights you simply get the same quality action you get on floppy disk.
The only thing this has in common with the original Arabian Nights legends is that the main character is called Sinbad; although this one's given up sea-faring for a spot of gardening. Still, with baggy trousers, a traditional fez on his head, and a sword given to him by Sinbad Senior, he is destined to become a hero.

While indulging in a spot of late night pruning, he sees the local princess, Laila, being carried off into the night by a creature summoned up by the evil Vizier. Realising that if he told anyone what had seen they'd probably think had spent too much time in the mushroom patch, he sets out to rescue the Princess himself. The resulting adventure is one of the best platform games of 1993. It combines masses of levels with taxing gameplay as you hack n' slash your way through the Vizier's evil henchmen.
There are a few pick-ups for extra lives, energy and weapons, but these are few and far between, especially on the later levels.

Arabian Nights doesn't have the kind of flashy features of other CD games, but what it does have is plenty of playability and enough of a challenge to keep you hooked for a long time.
Mark Patterson

90%

CU Amiga, February 1994, p.51