The original Prince of Persia, which I never played, was a 1989 platformer for various ancient systems. When I found the series, in 2003′s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, it had morphed into one of the funnest things ever, a sensational third persion actioner that mixed Lara Croft style jump-and-gun adventure with a cool gimmick: the ability to turn back time. Nice! There were also two sequels: Warrior Within and The Two Thrones, both excellent.
So okay, The Forgotten Sands, released to coincide with the terrible Jake Gyllenhaal movie, is not those games. It’s simple, unimaginative, kind of easy and rudimentary. But you know what? It’s still fun. It’s got a couple of clever gimmicks that go a long way. You can freeze water for a brief period so that you can climb up water pillars or swing on frozen waterspouts, and you can repair one section of ruins at a time, restoring a wall you might have to run across. By the end, when you have to freeze a fountain, unfreeze it to jump through a waterfall, repair one section of ruins then jump to another and freeze that one before you land – well, it’s just a good time.
Sort of the gaming equivalent of a mindless action flick. Judge it by its predecessors and it can’t compete. Take it for itself, and a good time will be had by all.