Sinbad And The Throne Of The Falcon (Mirrorsoft) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing

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Sinbad And The Throne Of The Falcon
By Cinemaware
Commodore 64

 
Published in Zzap #43

Sinbad And The Throne Of The Falcon

Our macho Middle Eastern hero, Sinbad, has received a desperate plea from his childhood sweetheart, the Princess Sylphani. To weaken the throne of Damaron, the Black Prince Camaral has transformed her father, the Caliph, into a falcon (nasty trick, huh?) And - wouldn't you just know it? - Sinbad's got to change him back...

In a mere few months, our swarthy chum must search the many cities of the surrounding continents for the help of four main characters.

Libitina is a sorceress with eyes for Sinbad. Information is difficult to gain from her, but she can give Sinbad strength if he is willing to put himself under her spell; Itis the Gypsy is a wise old woman whose information is invaluable; finding a Genie's bottle grants you three wishes which could save the day when disaster strikes. The Shaman is the most vital of the our, as only he knows how to release the Caliph from the Black Prince's spell. To converse, pick one of three sentences for Sinbad to speak, being careful not to say anything which could offend.

Your quest also takes you through several arcade style games. Use a crossbow to shoot down the treacherous Pteranoxos before it can relay your position to the Black Prince. Jump between underground platforms an avoid falling rocks when Camaral's magic causes an earthquake. Kill the boulder-hurling Cyclops with only a make-shift sling. Steer your ship, the Sabaralus, around reefs to save drowning sailors. Pick the jewels out of the eyes of magical statues.

Cross swords with some of the most dangerous brigands in the land. Blast the alien hordes with your plasma disruptor cannon. Er, no, well, that's one thing the game doesn't let you do...

KH

I love all those old Sinbad films - you know, the ones with the six-headed monsters and really awful special effects - and Mirrorsoft have really recreated all that great nostalgic tackiness.

Sinbad looks just like Clark Gable when he swings athletically from ledge to ledge - you can almost see the hairs on his chest!

Obviously there are limitations to the kind of conversations you can have with people but somehow the game's complexity makes up for that. I wish they'd given you a few more lives for the arcade sections, though: it's really annoying when you get zapped by a spider or fall down a hole 20 minutes into a quest.

Still - the mark of every hero is the ability to grin and bear his (or her) troubles. Go on then, say cheese!

ME

I've never actually been that impressed with Cinemaware games. They always seem to be too involved to be entertaining.

Sinbad isn't too bad though, being more film-like than previous releases. It still takes quite a degree of thought to make any significant progress, but everything is presented in a logical and obvious way.

The conversational sections are well depicted with large, well drawn and animated characters giving credibility to the given phrases. The only thing that really annoys me is the difficulty of the subterranean sequence, where Sinbad must escape to the surface after falling down a crack in the ground.

One slip means that you fall all the way down to the bottom again. Aaargh! Maybe I'm too much of a divvy to understand the game fully, but I still think it's quite good.

Verdict

Presentation 90%
Film-style presentation throughout, and an easy-to-use icon command selection.

Graphics 90%
Excellent static screens and smoothly-animated sprites.

Sound 77%
Appropriate Middle Eastern incidental music.

Hookability 82%
Lovely aesthetics and the promise of varied gameplay are attractions.

Lastability 76%
Plenty of action, but entry into some subsections seems too random, so the atmosphere isn't as good as it should be.

Overall 80%
Very good, action-packed adventure with plenty to keep you occupied.