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A strange blend of arcade and adventure that kept me intrigued for some time. The various creatures flying around are all well defined and animated, and help the game along. The large number of objects and commands mean there is a lot to think about, and a lot to do. A lot of the 1000 plus locations are in fact very similar, but the game is big enough all the same.

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This seemed a terribly daunting prospect, but I tried it and found myself surprised at its simplicity. Although getting pretty hard on the higher levels, it's a good game and will provide enough challenge to keep you coming back for more
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I rapidly got into the swing of this game and there were lots of new ideas to get to grips with. For once, the combination of real time adventuring and arcade action has been playably achieved so that you have to fight hard and think fast to solve all the problems. My only reservation is that I easily got to level four and although things then get a lot tougher, I wonder just how long it will take to crack because there will be little lastability afterwards
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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Ice Palace
1985 Creative Sparks
Programmed by Paul Norris
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the second issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (June 1985).
 

ICE PALACE
Creative Sparks, 7.95 cass, joystick only


O Exploration, combat and puzzle-solving

This is one of a new breed of games which combines adventure and arcade action in more than just a 'walk round collecting things' scenario. Here you actually have to figure out what to do with objects and how.

Your task is to get together the seven pieces of the Ice Crown, which are hidden throughout the seven levels of the Palace, and thus destroy the power of the Ice Queen. These levels consist of about 170 hexagonal rooms in a honeycomb arrangement, where about 30 are visible on screen at once.

Your character can walk between these rooms and you have an overview of him Evil Dead style. You also have the same form of movement by turning left or right and pushing forward.

There are five types of room, marked by different symbols: empty, swords, firesticks, lakes, and Moline crosses. The SWORD rooms contain objects and the FIRESTICK rooms replenish your only weapon, yes, the firestick.

You stand in the centre screen hexagon with sword,
firestick and moline cross rooms adjacent.

The LAKE and CROSS rooms are impassable and on later levels form the screen into a maze-type layout which you have to work a way through. The entrances to some rooms are blocked so that you have to rotate the adjacent hexagons, using joystick down, in order to line up two gaps in the wall an move on.

From time to time when you are moving about the Palace, a warning will sound and various enemies will appear. You have to destroy or deflect these, since they are trying to make you evil.

During lulls in the action you can access the second screen of the game, which is where the adventuring takes place. At the top of this display are indicators of your status. A crown shows the number of pieces you have and a measure of your goodness. A skull's eyes light up when there are nasties on the action screen and a firestick which turns grey when discharged. Lastly there is a candle timer which burns down and is your time limit.

The adventure screen shows you carrying the
firestick on the right and your menu on the left.
Above them are the crown, skull, candle and
goodness rating.

The lower half of the display has a list of objects you are carrying, or are in the room, on the right and a list of adventure commands on the left. These can be accessed using the joystick -- blue commands require an object, while red ones don't.

The items which you need are all found in sword rooms and as you progress through the levels these get harder and harder to get to. On each level you have to work out what to use, and how, in order to reveal a piece of the Crown. If you can't work it out -- and there are some red herrings -- a help function may give you a clue to the answer.

From time to time the ghost of your dead father, the King, floats across the screen, and contact with him boosts your goodness. More of a problem are rooms which occasionally freeze up and make it difficult to move about.

The music is haunting and lovely, while the graphics are nicely detailed on both the game screens. The actual problem is movement, and real time has been overcome quite well, although I wish you could walk diagonally through the hexagons instead of having to stop and change direction all the time.

BW

 


The Ice Queen's minions

The creatures that attack you are highly dangerous and rapidly sap your goodness if you let them hit you. A rotating sphere, wobbly amoeba, spinning sword, eagle, and raven, all have to be fended off. The first three can be destroyed by the firestick by holding down your fire button and guiding the fire into the beast.

The eagle and raven can only be deflected, and from the fourth levels it takes two hits to destroy the others. This isn't the only thing that gets harder, since the number of attackers also increases with the levels. This makes the attacks gradually more prolonged, and gives you less time for finding the Crown.

After destroying a wave of minions, a spinning multi-coloured cylinder will appear, and walking into this will cause it to explode and increase your goodness.
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PRESENTATION
ORIGINALITY
74% To the point instructions and great adventure screen.
82%
New form of arcade adventuring.
GRAPHICS
HOOKABILITY
65% Detailed hexagonal layout and atmospheric adventure symbols.
76%
The adventuring is absorbing and the action is hectic.
SOUND
LASTABILITY
67% Lovely tunes, nice sound effects.
73%
Early levels are easy but gets tough after level four.
VALUE FOR MONEY
72% Excellent new form of game.

 

Can anybody rip the sid-tune out of this one?

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (31 October 2001)

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