This Day in Gaming History: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

November 6, 2003

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time came out thirteen years ago today. The game’s unique and satisfying gameplay would mark a new beginning for the action franchise.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
In 2001, Ubisoft acquired the licensing rights to the Prince of Persia series after the mixed response of Prince of Persia 3D two years prior. As inspiration for a new game in the series, the development team read the book One Thousand and One Nights, a compilation of various Middle Eastern stores from the Islamic Golden Age. The subtitle “The Sands of Time” was used as a baseline to write an original story featuring series creator Jordan Mechner.

The plot begins as an unnamed prince (of Persia) tries to locate a magical time-reversing artifact called the Dagger of Time. Upon retrieving it, the Prince unknowingly activates the dagger’s abilities and it transforms all surrounding people into sand monsters. The player must find their way through the mob of supernatural monsters and find a way to reverse the Sands of Time before it covers the entire world.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time screenshot
The game is played by traversing through levels, defeating enemies, and navigating the numerous platforming and puzzle sections. The Dagger of Time can be used in the game to reverse or completely freeze time a few seconds. This can especially be useful in case of platforming mistakes or being overwhelmed by enemies. Using these abilities consume the Dagger’s finite amount of magical Sand, but it can be refilled by defeating sand-infected beings.

The undeniably cool time-reversal mechanic seemed to strike a chord with gamers as the series went on to deliver two more games continuing the story of the Prince of Persia.

What is your opinion of Prince of Persia the Sands of Time? Was it as great as people say it is or is the original Super Nintendo game still way better? Was Jake Gyllenhaal an odd choice to star in the movie adaptation? (Yes he was.)

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Eric Hall2712 Posts

Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.


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