There's a lot of history behind the new film Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. If, that is, you think that 20-plus years of video gaming counts as "history" -- but heck, if you're only 20 years old yourself, video games are probably a lot more historically significant to you than the events in any textbook. And if you want to taste a bit of that history for just 99 cents, Apple has, as they say, an app for that -- the folks over at iPhone Help reviewed the original Prince of Persia game for the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, available through the iTunes store.

The first Prince of Persia saw life in 1989 as a game for the Apple II, and was pretty much state-of-the-art at the time. Game developer Jordan Mechner videotaped his younger brother and used the rotoscoping technique to create more realistic character movement than was seen in games of the time; the good guys and bad guys also fought each other with swords, while almost all games at that point were shooters.

Mechner, who later said he was inspired by the opening set piece of Raiders of the Lost Ark, made his game more cinematic than game-players were used to seeing, and broke up the somewhat repetitive running-jumping-fighting action by interspersing puzzles and potentially deadly traps. Players responded enthusiastically, and PoP inspired an entire genre of games that offered more than basic side-to-side scrolling and blocky, awkward in-game characters.
categories Movies, Cinematical