Tales of the Arabian Nights

by D. Deans, D.J. Burt, Keith A. Purkiss, M.A. Trace, Tel., Ian Gray
Interceptor Software
Crash Issue 18, Jul 1985   page(s) 14

Producer: Interceptor Software
Memory Required: 48K
Retail Price: £5.50
Language: Machine code
Author: I Gray and others

This game first appeared sometime before Christmas on the Commodore 64 and generally received favourable reviews.

Don't be deceived into thinking that Sultan Saladin is some form of cold and healthy crinkly green meal served with dried fruit. He is in fact a very unsavoury character from the Tales of the Arabian Nights who practised the same nasty habits as the black widow spider only with the roles reversed as a result, the Sultan's brides last a short time! Prince Imrahil's sister has been seized by the Sultan and is taken to Baghdad. It's up to you to help him rescue the girl.

The journey to Baghdad begins aboard one of the Sultan's ships where you must collect, in order, the golden jugs each bearing one of the letters in the word A-R-A-B-I-A-N. As you scamper about the rigging a multitude of nasty monsters from above and below the water attack you.

From the ship it's up river by raft to a great cavern where you encounter Al-Khemized and his dreadful genies. While you're in the cavern perhaps you could just have a quick jog round and put the jugs in order then you can move on; to the desert. The desert scene, like the river, is to be noted for its lack of jugs, it's just you against the nasties. Next stop, the city gates, but mind out for the arrows and boulders as you sort out those jugs. Among the platforms of the next scene, the garden, you find some more golden jugs and this time the arrows are small fry compared to the nastie genies. At last the Palace; more golden jugs but don't forget to duck and weave as you sort them out. After the Palace you pick up Anitra and with her in tow you're only a magic carpet's flight from home, just mind out for the arrows and those nasty birds.


Control keys: Q/A up/down, N/M left/right, SS to jump
Joystick: Kempston or Protek
Keyboard play: narrow selection of keys but otherwise OK
Use of colour: pretty good
Graphics: above average
Sound: great when you turn it off
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 5
Screens: 8

After admiring the rather 'flash' cassette case I was really looking forward to taking on The Tales of The Arabian Nights, but when I started wow was I bored! One of the first things I realised on the ship scene was that once at the top of a mast you could not go down, the instructions gave no indication of this. The graphics are reasonable and after you have passed the first screen the game develops a little. The sound could have been a great deal better, a few measly bleeps as you collect a jug but at least one is given the option to switch the sound off. This appears to present the game as good value for £5.50 but I'm not so sure.

Not the world's most challenging arcade game this, in fact if you you can spell Arabian you should have no trouble rescuing Anitra and then she can sort out the wretched jugs.

Arabian Nights has to be one of the most bug-ridden games I have ever played. It has a demo mode that doesn't go away, I had to break into it to actually play the game, and once you do get into it you really have to try hard to avoid the bugs. I only saw the first screen because avoiding one of the nasties means you have to walk off the edge of the ship and then you fall into the sea and disappear under the waves only to reappear at the top of the screen falling back into the sea. This continues to loop infinitely until you pull the plug as there isn't an abort option. This game has hardly any sound and fairly jerky graphics that are painful on the eyes.

Use of Computer: 51%
Graphics: 55%
Playability: 46%
Getting Started: 65%
Addictive Qualities: 43%
Value for Money: 55%
Overall: 55%

Summary: General Rating: Slightly better than average.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Spectrum Issue 18, Sep 1985   page(s) 45

Rick: Unfortunately, this placid platform game is based on one of the greatest and longest stories ever told. It sure is long and sure does grate.

You are Imrahil the Kalendar Prince who has a date to keep (and no doubt a few to eat) saving the Princess Anitra from the wicked grasp of the Sultan Saladin. This game of Eastern Promise doesn't make the platforms any more exotic than a Pakistani porter would those at Clapham Junction.

A pretty box contains a pretty poor game as you have to collect pots of gold that come to spell to the word Arabia. This Bedouin booty turns up on several different screens ranging from a ship, a desert, a garden, a palace and then eventually freedom. The Prince has various perils to overcome as part of his own Middle Last crisis - including an octopus straight from 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and arrows that have apparently been shot from a neighbouring version of 'Hunchback'. The baddies have an unfair advantage at first because the collision detection ain't too hot. And I certainly dream of genies with greater powers than those portrayed here... 2/5 MISS

Roger: The name promised an adults-only platform game - well, it is a platform game and I wouldn't let kids near it but for very different reasons. 1/5 MISS

Ross: I've seen this on the (whisper) Commie 64, and without the music and speech, there's little left but a crummy platform game. 2/5 MISS

Ross: 2/5
Roger: 1/5
Rick: 2/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 41, Aug 1985   page(s) 26

Publisher: Interceptor
Price: £5.50
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston

"Lord of the silken bowstring," said Scheherazade, "I'm sick of telling stories. Let's play a computer game instead." And so the great Sultan plugged in his gold-plated Spectrum.

"Aha!" quoth the Sultan. "Tis a tale of the rogue Imrahil and his quest to rescue Anitra from the evil Saladin."

And so the mighty Sultan settled down and began to guide the pale, flickering Imrahil about the screen of his bejewelled Sony.

"See my lord," murmured Scheherazade, "here is the ship of Sinbad, full of gold. Each bag is marked with a letter, and the letters spell out the sigil ARABIAN. Collect the gold and enrich thyself with points beyond measure."

But the Sultan grew angry, for he found it most difficult to spell Arabian. There were three As in it, and which was which, and what was what, and why? Lives did he lose as the night progressed, jumping from deck to deck and mast to mast, avoiding the hazards of Sinbad's ship. And the couscous sat heavy on his bowels.

Then Scheherazade of the nimble wrist took the diamante joystick and showed her master how to negotiate the first screen, and then it was straight down the river by raft to the caverns of Al-Khemizd.

"More gold!" roared the Sultan, and straightway began collecting the bags again. Meanwhile Scheherazade tiptoed out to play much more exciting state-of-the-art stuff with her friends in the village, and was never called upon to serve the Sultan again.

Which teaches us, O children of the desert, that even the simplest of level and ladders games may provide a few hours of escape from the rigours of the harem.

Overall: 4/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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