Released into arcades by Sun Electronics (aka Sunsoft) in 1983, Arabian is a platform game in which you play a prince on a mission to rescue a princess from a castle in which she is being held prisoner.
The game plays out in the form of a book, with each section being a page, and which is shown as a graphic before each stage begins.
The aim is to collect a series of seven jars – each of which has a letter on it. If you collect the jars in the right order they will spell the word “ARABIAN” and you earn a bonus. Enemies patrol each level and will lose you a life if touched. You can jump, crawl, do a ‘super jump’, and also kick enemies away, so you at least have a defence.
You have no defence, however, against the genie who appears intermittently from the jars. If the pink fiend is fully-formed near a jar that you’re trying to collect, you will die if you touch him. Eventually he will disappear and reappear again elsewhere.
There are four levels in total in Arabian. The first level is set on a sailing ship; the second in some caves; the third on some castle battlements; and the fourth inside a palace, with the princess in the top far left, who you must reach.
When you complete the game you start from the beginning again, although this time the jars are more jumbled-up, making it more difficult to collect them in the right order.
Like many early arcade games, Arabian is tough and unforgiving. But it’s still fun. At least for a short while.
Arabian did prompt a number of home computer clones to follow in its footsteps. Ian Grey‘s Tales of the Arabian Nights by Interceptor Software is one obvious example.
More: Arabian on Wikipedia