Prince of Persia

“The princess must marry the grand vizier or die in one hour” is the nebulous story behind Prince of Persia. See, the grand vizier is evil, but the sultan’s away, so he’s in charge for some reason. He gives the princess her ultimatum, and totally won’t kill or marry her if her boyfriend can reach her in one hour. Problem is, her boyfriend has been tossed into a fairly sadistic jail. Good thing he’s inexplicably acrobatic.

He friggin’ has to be. The prison and the rest of the castle is filled with precipices, spike traps, hidden switches, gigantic razor-sharp jaws, and a guard or two, all placed there to make sure you don’t go more than a couple of feet without having insta-death looming about your head.

The first level is a gimme. You’re going to fool yourself into thinking that you can take the rest of the game with little effort. Do not be fooled. This game hates you with a fiery passion. The only way to progress in the game is to memorize the location of each trap and perform a careful dance, pirouetting around the dangers and emerging unscathed on the other side. And that pesky time limit ensures that you’re going to be starting this game over many, many times.

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