Saturday, 14 March 2015

GROW: Arabian Nights

Review by @madsdk

Developer: Krisalis
Publisher: Buzz
Year: 1993
Platform: Amiga CD32
Genre: Platform / Adventure

While working on a video project, that I will be sharing with you guys and girls soon, I recently discovered Arabian Nights - a wonderful little platformer come adventure developed and published in 1993 by Krisalis. Krisalis are perhaps most well known for their Manchester United soccer games on the Amiga, but they did a lot of other brilliant titles in various genres, including two excellent platformers: Arabian Nights and Soccer Kid, both released in 1993.

Arabian Nights starts off with a beautiful little hand drawn animation sequence, showing our protagonist, Sinbad Jnr., working as the "chief gardner's assistant helper 2nd class" in the gardens outside of a palace, while watching the beautiful princess Leila on one of the palace balconies. Princess Leila is then kidnapped by a flying demon, and our protagonist rushes off to save the her, only to be thrown into the dungeons of the palace after being wrongfully accused of being behind the princess' disappearance. This is where you gain control of Sinbad.

At its heart Arabian Nights is a platform game. It sees you controlling Sinbad as he runs, jumps, and fights his way through various levels. The platforming is quite good, the controls sufficiently tight, and the graphics are pleasant to look at, and in true action platformer style, there are some really fun boss fights to tackle as well. You soon discover that there's more to the game than platforming though, as you already in the beginning of the first level meet a man who's hanging chained to a wall. In order to free him you need a crank, the crank turns out to be a snake that you can get from a snake charmer elsewhere in the level - provided that you collect 65 jewels for him first. Typical adventure game fare that has you running around the levels, going on fetch quests, looking for hidden rooms and so on and so forth. If you like this kind of thing, this is the kind of thing you'll like. The backtracking is luckily made easier by the fact that enemies don't respawn, so once dealt with they stay dead - thank God.

The game is not all platformer though - sadly. For some reason unknown to me, the developers saw fit to add a shoot 'em up level in the middle of the game, where Sinbad is flying on a margic carpet whilst dodging or shooting flying thugs and what looks to be jumping goats perhaps. While I do love a good shoot 'em up, this level was simply atrocious and annoyed me to no end, because its difficulty got in the way of reaching the next platforming level.

But don't let that one bad level deter you, if you like platformers and enjoy adventure games, I highly recommend that you check out Arabian Nights on the Amiga CD32.

Until next time - stay retro!


  1. I really wish I had the chance to play the CD32 as this looks like a really fun platformer and the visuals look really neat and tidy too.

    Great Review Mads.... It has definitely made me want to go out and find a way to play this one.

  2. Retro gaming enthusiast might be the coolest phrase I have heard today. What an amazing idea of blog. Totes love it guys. Good luck with it.