Based on the 2003 animated film starring the voices of Brad Pitt and Michelle Pfeiffer, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas for PC follows the adventures of Sinbad as he charts a course to find the legendary Book of Peace as well as his best friend Proteus. Standing in his path is a ghastly assortment of mythic creatures that must be swiftly dealt with using a combination of steel and magic. Power-ups grant players the ability to turn invisible for a short time or to summon a group of skeletons to fight alongside Sinbad. The swashbuckling sailor can also perform a variety of acrobatic moves to help him advance through the 3D locales or to assist in defeating enemies. Film director Patrick Gilmore helped collaborate with the development team at Small Rockets to ensure the scenes and storyline were faithful adaptations of DreamWorks' summer movie.
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas is an action oriented adventure game in which players become the scoundrel Sinbad and take on the goddesses and the dangers of the sea. Atari published this title which was developed by Small Rockets and licensed by DreamWorks. Cartoon like graphics and easy levels will definitely appeal to the younger generation, but it falls short of entertaining to adults.
Scrolling text and a couple pictures tell the story, which begins with Sinbad attacking a ship carrying an artifact called the Book of Peace. He initially fights his way through the defending crew with the intention of stealing the book, but after defeating an evil sea monster, meets an old friend and decides to help carry the valuable tome to its rightful place. The book ends up being taken again and Sinbad is framed for its removal and sentenced to death. His friend happens to be the Prince and believing in Sinbad's innocence, takes his place in prison and sends our hero out to retrieve the book. The story will be familiar for any scholars of ancient mythology, as characters like the Sirens who lure men to their deaths play a role.
Controls are pretty simple, if at times frustrating. Movement is done by the click of the mouse and right clicking will execute a special move which will shift Sinbad quickly out of the way. Three keys are used for combat moves and using those motions in combination will perform more powerful attacks. The keyboard control has a level of customizability, but the defaults are quite usable. As Sinbad defeats opponents, he fills up a power meter, which will allow the execution of one of two super moves. These moves do tremendous damage and can clear a screen of enemies swiftly.
Besides fighting off enemies using combat moves, there are also bosses which require a strategy to defeat. They are very difficult, but using evade maneuvers will go a long way to beating them. Another type of level involves the harpoon on the boat. Ghosts or birds will attack the ship and before they reach the ship, they must be taken out with the harpoon. These levels require some ability to be accurate and can be quite long, at times causing your mouse finger to have repetitive click pains. It should be noted that there are two difficulty levels to choose from, so there is a more challenging mode geared towards the older crowd.
Sinbad will need to keep an eye on his health, as dying will set him back to the start of a level. He is given a limited number of lives as well. There are several health pick-ups along the way, so keeping that health bar full should be pretty easy. There are other types of pick-ups, from a magic pick-up which will allow Sinbad to progress through the level to Armor and Sword buffs. There are even extra life pick-ups. There are plenty of barrels and crates to break, which might reveal a pick-up or open up a new area of the level. The only frustrating thing about going through the levels themselves is the inability to save the game whenever you want. The game is automatically saved when a level is completed, at the story screen.
Graphics are cartoon-like and simple. There aren't any cutscenes. Animation is well done. The coolest thing about movement animation is Sinbad's sliding on ice. The artwork and environments are quite beautiful, in a Disney movie sort of way. The camera angle is not adjustable and can at times be rather annoying - sometimes it blocks the landscape or the ability to see what is coming. The music can be overbearing and too repetitive at times, but the combat sound effects are nice. There's no voice acting to speak of, and with a game based on a movie license, this seems like a poor choice.
Overall, Sinbad is not a horrible game, but it will disappoint anyone who is really looking for a great title based around one of the biggest pirate legends in history. The simple graphics and gameplay does not do a movie based game justice and the lack of voice acting is disheartening. There is some replayability, since after completing the game through once (which doesn't take long as the game is pretty short), a scoring mode opens up. This mode allows the player to select one of the levels to attempt to complete quickly and efficiently, garnering a high score. In general though, the game is probably not going to do it for most gamers. Unless you are looking for a game for a child or are really bored and have played all the other action/adventures out there, I'd pass this one up.
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