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21 March 2023

Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse

Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse gameplay screenshot.
Al-Qadim is an action RPG with an AD&D license.

Platform/OS: PC, MS-DOS
Game developer: Cyberlore Studios, SSI
Game genre: RPG, Top-down
Release: 1994

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Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse

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Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse screenshots
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 merchant 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 rescue the Caliph and once you do you find out that the genie controlled by your family is responsible and they are all jailed.

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 mini quests 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 health points 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 except 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 sound effects 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 definitely recommend this game if you are looking for an action oriented RPG.
If you do not no how to play this game, find the Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse guides here.

Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse Screenshots

Top-down RPG. Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse
Al-Qadim. Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse
Top-down game. Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse
Top-down dungeon crawler. Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse
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