Developer: Ubisoft
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.0.4
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The original Prince of Persia will always be, a gaming classic. Prince of Persia Classic is a great adaptation of it, but with a contemporary facelift. Prince of Persia The Shadow and the Flame is actually an adaptation of the original classic’s sequel (Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame), but is also essentially a sequel to the second classic. Admittedly it’s all a bit convoluted but the important thing to note is that this action platformer is pretty darn cool.

popshadowandflame12The prince who never really seems to do anything princely is back with another adventure full of things, both living and otherwise, that want him dead. As per usual players have to navigate through a number of deadly environments as they make their way to the exit or attempt to complete whatever goals the story has deemed necessary. For the most part it’s more of the same excellent gameplay we’re already familiar with, just with some slightly different traps and enemies. Although there are some differences such as the ability to respawn using special magic potions that can be found, bought, or looted. The butterfly that was used as a guide in Classic has also been removed, however players can call up a map at any time to get their bearings. There’s also an in-game shop that can be used to buy extra potions, weapons, and combos but I found little use for it.

Classic is a good looking game, and The Shadow and the Flame looks even better. The camera never really gets close enough to detail the characters but the environments are certainly pretty. I was also impressed with the touch controls. Climbing up or down can feel a little stiff and slow at times but for the most part they work great. There’s even a button for walking now, which means no more accidentally dashing off a cliff! The lack of a constant timer has also been great. I know it was a staple of the original, but not having to worry about speed and having the chance to really explore made a big difference to me.

popshadowandflame10That continue system also makes a difference, although not in a good way. I absolutely appreciate being able to pick up where I left off after getting skewered without having to restart the entire level, but it’s a finite resource. Once the potions are gone players have no choice but to restart from the beginning every time they die. That or spend real money to buy more, which I find questionable for a game that isn’t free-to-play.

Aside from the finicky continue system, however, Prince of Persia The Shadow and the Flame is an incredibly solid action/adventure. One that’s pretty, fairly expansive, time-consuming, and feels right at home on iOS.

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