Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is a high paced action game from Ubisoft intended to promote the latest major title in the long running series. You take on the role of the son of the great King Solomon as he is about to arrive at his brother's palace only to find it under attack. It's as if the very sands of Persia itself have arisen to claim the castle, and indeed upon meeting a mysterious young queen claiming to know your father, you find that this is not far from the truth. A deadly sand army marches on and the only hope of stopping them is for you to activate four elemental fountains and use their powers against this terrible foe.
The Forgotten Sands offers gameplay that is mostly similar to Canabalt though with numerous twists and additions to give this mini Prince of Persia title plenty of its own style and flare. For the most part running is automatic, just make sure you jump using [up] and attack with the [space] bar. Later on you will gain special abilities that can be used with the [X] key, and if you find that you've gotten yourself in a bit of trouble, you can rewind up to three seconds Braid style simply by pressing [down].
Like Canabalt and other similar titles, Prince of Persia is largely a reflex game; Identify obstacle and act appropriately. However, the addition of attacks, special powers, and limited time travel give you a great amount of freedom in conquering the obstacles set before you. This also helps make the game a little less challenging and more accessible. As a nice little treat, the boss battles are actually somewhat interesting and well thought out, allowing the game to provide some gameplay diversity while at the same time taking the opportunity to show off some fairly impressive looking visuals.
Unfortunately The Forgotten Sands' high paced action may leave fans of the series feeling a little less than sated given the depth and complexity of the main series. If you come into this expecting the cerebral Metroidvania style of the older Prince of Persia games, or the deep 3D action of the latter-day titles, you'll find neither here. And while the controls are mostly acceptable one can grow annoyed with how tetchy attacking regular enemies could be.
Finally, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands ends far too soon, and with far less fanfare than one would expect from the rest of the game. As a result you probably won't find yourself coming back to this game time and again, but it should provide a thrilling if brief diversion for a little while.