Remembering three of the best desert levels in the history of gaming

Remembering three of the best desert levels in the history of gaming 

When assessing the variety of landscapes that tend to be featured in video games, deserts are right up there with some of the best of them. After all, deserts are an intriguing biome to explore in the gaming sphere, with their sheer size and their ability to throw up the occasional surprise, such as a quicksand escape, making for a memorable gaming adventure to tackle. 

Throughout the history of gaming, deserts have been a reliable setting for game makers to incorporate into their products. Even today, the popularity of desert-themed games doesn’t appear to be vanishing anytime soon, with smash-hit titles like the Wolf Gold game and its American desert theme appealing to gaming audiences everywhere. It doesn’t end there either, with other titles, such as Mad Max and Fallout: New Vegas, also springing to mind. 

A gaming scenario that tends to present players with a challenging mission to overcome, we’ve also been treated to a range of games that contain a desert level or two. These levels typically involve trekking across a vast open wasteland and feature snakes and other deadly animals that are associated with a sand-filled environment. As such, they represent some of the most engaging gaming levels around, with communities recalling some unforgettable desert levels throughout the history of gaming. Below is a look back at just three of them. 

The Desert – Aladdin

An iconic release that more senior gamers will remember fondly, The Desert Level in Aladdin is impossible to forget if you’ve ever played the classic release on the Sega Genesis.

A title from 1993, playing as Aladdin while he scales ropes and sees off guards is a test, but it’s rewarding once you get to the very end, especially if you’ve managed to collect shedloads of apples.

Also, having the ability to jump on camels, this much-loved platformer will never be forgotten, thanks to impressive levels like The Desert.

A truly timeless game that people are still enjoying today, Aladdin is well worth playing if you haven’t experienced it before. 

Shifting Sand Land – Super Mario 64

A title that many regard as the best game ever, Super Mario 64 helped pave the way for so many games that have since emerged.

As far as 3D platformers go, it’s easily one of the most iconic games of its kind, with one particular level called Shifting Sand Land, providing gamers with a new setting to see the starring mascot master.

There are desert nasties to take down, such as Pokeys and Klepto the Condor, quicksand to escape from, and even the opportunity to see the entire landscape around you by jumping on top of a pyramid.

With jumping being the most important aspect of this particular level, Shifting Sand Land offers a stern but enjoyable confrontation for gamers to smash through. 

A Real Grind – Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

A Real Grind - Crash Bandicoot 4- It’s About Time .jpeg

A truly iconic game that gamers everywhere adore, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time contains some excellent levels throughout, although A Real Grind is arguably one of the best levels to tackle as it introduces a new ability. In the level, a first glimpse of Lani-Loli is on show as players jump and spin their way to some new collectibles.

Advancing through the level’s desert setting while aiming to avoid tin cans and an unlock bonus area is hugely entertaining, while the game’s eye-catching graphics create a truly delightful escapade. Whether or not A Real Grind is the game’s best level is up for debate, but it’s certainly one of the highlights from Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. 

Masab Farooque is a Tech Geek, Writer, and Founder at The Panther Tech. He is also a lead game developer at 10StaticStudios. When he is not writing, he is mostly playing video games