Gameloft shows yet again why they craft some of the best 2D platform titles on mobile phones. Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones is a successor to Warrior Within that expands on graphics, animation and most importantly gameplay of the previous two titles from Gameloft. With the vizier destroyed in the previous game, the prince must return and clean up the royal mess that was left behind in his absence.
One of the nice things about The Two Thrones is its balance between action and puzzles. The action pieces are now enhanced not only by power up items but also through combos you can execute. Some enemies also feign death requiring you to finish them off when they’re down, although this is not always possible when you’re swarmed by them. I recently saw this in Spartan: Total Warrior so I was surprised to see it here too. It’s a testament that wireless games are no longer a compromise when it comes to game design.
At various points in the game, you’ll find yourself turning into the dark prince. The alterego seems more action oriented and has a different set of moves, animation and look to him.
I have to give credit to Gameloft making the game simple. Mobile games aren’t really the types of games where you want to find yourself in the situation of reading the manual to play the game. The Two Thrones includes some handy pointers to instruct you on which buttons to press to get across obstacles. These hints make the game easier to learn eliminating the frustrating trial and error process that accompanies some action titles these days.
Something else Gameloft has done is make the moves simpler. If you’re under a bar and you jump up, you’ll jump on it and start swinging. The same goes for walls where the (good) prince can run along like a Middle Eastern Jackie Chan. It makes the game easier to learn. There are only so many buttons on a cell phone and it doesn’t force the player to micromanage their movements (i.e. along ledges). On the other hand, veteran players who are used to that kind of stuff may feel detached from the whole process. I liked the design decision. It made the game easier for me but some people may find it disappointing they can’t control each and every move.
Gameloft artists have done some good character work in their past few games but these new princesses that appear in between levels look pretty racy. Overall, the game can be finished in a few hours time and the platform action is mixed up with some mini games involving a tumbling boulder and chariot scenes. There is a stand alone gauntlet (Survival Mode) that offers action driven challenges. You can also try the game again on a higher difficulty mode. But don’t be dismayed by these faults. Try the game yourself. If you have any inkling of affection for action games, you’ll like this one.