The Nintendo DS skew on Prince of Persia isnít quite the game I was expecting. I had visions of an all new adventure, all in 2D like the fantastic original, that would have been cool. No such luck, I am afraid. What Ubisoft did give us, however, is a strategy game which plays in a similar way to Advance Wars and Final Fantasy Tactics, but BoPoP uses a playing card system for movement and combat.
The game plays in a top down view of the battlefield, and itís all set out in tiles, which is how you move about. You choose from a selection of cards on screen which allow your army to move, and also decides how your units will attack etc. There are many, many combinations of moves and attacks, and itís rather overwhelming at first. Once you have engaged in combat the top screen shows the battle in 2D. As you progress you unlock more card types, which allow for varying units to be introduced such as Archers and Knights as opposed to your regular swordsman.
The story is set between Sands of Time and Warrior Within, and you travel through Persia, Aresura and India battling their armies. This is the gameís main problem; the story is incredibly weak and I had next to no desire to continue to see what happened. Both Advance Wars and Final Fantasy Tactics had interesting stories and characters you cared about Ė the genre is an acquired taste, and those two games made the experience much more enjoyable and approachable. You could also relate to the characters on the map too. In Advance Wars you can see what your tanks look like from the nicely drawn sprites on the map, but in BoPoP they are just tiles with poorly drawn images on them on a rather basic and bland looking map.
Unfortunately this doesnít play as well as Advance Wars DS either, which is what it is competing directly against. The card system is a good idea, but there is simply too much to it, and could of done with being simplified down. The tutorial tries to explain the system to you, but itís just as uninteresting as the story itself. Definitely a game for the hardcore strategy game fan that has exhausted the other far superior games in the same genre on Nintendo DS.