In the computer game Prince of Persia – the first, ‘classic’ version – you have one hour to complete the levels and rescue the Princess. Turns out that I needed a bit longer to complete this quest; around 23 years longer to be precise.
What a great game it still is: elegantly designed and dead hard, unforgiving and rewarding at the same time. Yes, it looks basic but it’s – like – deep man. Gameplay features like the leaps of faith off one side of the screen in to the unknown were so novel; completing one made me feel genuinely bold.
Years later. my fondness for PoP led me to buying a PlayStation 2 for the sole reason that PoP Sands of Time came bundled with the console.
How times change from that Game Boy version I first played as 10 year old: this week I competed classic PoP on an iPad mini, it has touch screen controls and 3D graphics. When the power-mad Jaffar lay dead – vanquished by my furious bashing and mashing of the screen – I felt genuine satisfaction at laying another thing to rest.
Not completing Classic PoP irked me down the years and finally doing it this week was cathartic. Straight afterwards I purchased PoP 2, but its not the same: my appetite is gone.
The reason why it’s taken nearly a quarter of a century to save the Princess lies in a unequal swap I made in primary school with a very strange girl who never returned my PoP game and left me stuck with the Addams Family game.
It was total cack, I recall.