A pair of GitHub users calling themselves ultrabolido and oklemenz have created a version of Jordan Mechner’s 1989 classic Prince of Persia for modern web browsers.
First uploaded to Github late last month, and reimplemented only weeks later by user oklemenz, the PrinceJS project has been steadily building steam. The web address for oklemenz’s reimplemented version, PrinceJS.com, is now beginning to circulate on social media.
Web forums are full of millennial and Gen-X dad gamers handing it to their kids for the first time. Some of these kids are taking to it. Others are clocking the game’s odd learning curve right away. In the original Prince of Persia, timing is everything. There is a short delay between your inputs and the Prince’s actions. Managing this delay was always the first thing new players had to master, and that’s still true today.
For me, playing PrinceJS is like catching up with an old friend — the old rapport is still there. My gateway to Prince of Persia was the Mega Drive version, and the fundamentals carry over. It’s one of the first games I can remember asking me to consider momentum and inertia as a core gameplay mechanic. The Prince has weight, the way a real person would. He’s doesn’t have the weightlessness of many retro video game characters, he’s not capable of vertical leaps several times his own height. He has to heave himself across gaps and up onto ledges, you can feel his exertion. Conveying this feeling through movement and animation was one of Mechner’s greatest tricks.