There was a time when game demos were standard. Developers gave away a chunk of their game and if you liked it, you handed over some cash for the rest of it. In fact, the original Prince of Persia was available in a “shareware” version that gave players the first two levels of the game, after which they could pay for the remaining 11 if they wanted to keep going.
These days, though, it’s something of a rarity, which is why I think it’s notable (and cool) that Ubisoft has released a free demo for Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, the first new addition to the long-running Prince of Persia series since The Forgotten Sands in 2010.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown isn’t set to release in full until January 18, but reviews are out now and it’s quite good. We gave it a 72% score (as defined by our review policy, that’s “a good game that’s definitely worth playing”), saying that while it starts far too slowly, “its second half does a fantastic job of leaning into its strengths,” with the net result being “a solid attempt at a metroidvania.”
If you’re uncertain whether it’s quite solid enough for your interest, the demo’s “carefully selected sections from the game, with early unlocks of time powers and amulets, to show the main gameplay features while not spoiling the story” is an ideal way to get a feel for it without having to watch the clock on the refund policy. You can take your time to decide if you dig it, and if not, hey, it’s basically a free (if abbreviated) game.
The Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown demo is an 11GB download, which according to my quick math makes it about 41,200 times the size of the shareware demo of the original Prince of Persia. You can get it now from Ubisoft and the Epic Games Store.