SSI released many rpg’s with an AD&D license in the 80’s and 90’s many of which were based on the engine from the gold box series. Al-Qadim uses a more graphical engine similar to the one used in Dark sun with an overhead view but it is more action oriented. You play the son of a wealthy mercant and you could have chosen an easy life but you longed for adventure and travel. By the side of your teacher master Sinbar you visit many lands and have many adventures as part of your training to become a corsair. The one thing you never forget is Kara, the daughter of the Caliph to which you are betrothed and now only the final test stands in your way of you finishing your training and going back home.

You start the game at the beginning of the maze which is your final test to becoming a corsair and it will give you a taste of what kind of dangers you might come across in you adventures. There are tons of hazards blocking your way like spikes, fireballs, saws and some puzzles as well. At the end of the maze you will receive a final gift from your master and you will be transported to your home town on sorcerers isle. After saying hello to your family and friends and doing some chores you are given grave news that the Caliph’s ship has shipwrecked and his daughter taken by a genie! It’s your job as a corsair to resque the Caliph and once you do you find out that the genie controlled by your family is responsible and they are all jailed. Now you must prove not only that they were not responsible but find the ones who where and resque xxx.

You control the young corsair and are armed with a sword, which you can power up when you find some special moonstones, and with a magical slingshot for ranged attacks. Walking around and interacting with items is pretty straightforward and the conversations you have are all done by a multiple choice menu. On your adventures you will have to do many miniquests not just for experience but some are vital in getting certain items. Get enough experience and you gain a level giving you much needed extra healthpoints and other stats. You can fill up on health by magic potions which you find or buy or by staying at an inn. Always remember that as a corsair you must be honorable and therefore have to act accordingly, not only will you gain more experience but you might also get information that you wouldn’t otherwise.

The graphics are excellent and fit the style of the game well excpet for the animation which is a bit lacking but I hardly noticed this after a while. There are some nice soundtracks and some events will trigger different tunes like when you encounter enemies. Some of the soundeffects are a bit tacky though and hitting enemy soldiers sound almost like they bark like a dog. The gameplay itself is mostly action with a reasonable amount of adventuring and puzzling. Some of these puzzles are pretty hard and the levels can be like mazes so it’s not easy by any means even if you set the game to an easy difficulty level. I found the game to hook me and it kept me playing right till the end, even things that are usually really annoying like instant death situations did not bother me too much and they are only in certain areas of the game. I can definately recommend this game if you are looking for an action oriented rpg.

Overal rating: 9/10

Erde Kaiser

This game was released for one system here are some notes:

DOS Released in 1994.
Game has been tested but not completed on a DOS PC.
I tried it on a windows2000 machine but it did not work at all. This is the patched version 1.1, it solves some problems with characters getting stuck if they walk too fast forcing you to reset the game.
Date added Jan-08-2005 10:32
Name Al-Qadim: the genie’s curse
Developer Cyberlore studios
Publisher SSI
First released 1990
Genre RPG