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Although
Rupert and the Toymaker's Party had really excellent graphics, it suffered from being rather easy and a little bit tedious. The latest Rupert game has even better graphics and is even easier than the last! I went through the first six levers and rescued all Rupert's friends on my second go; after that you have to rescue the friends again, only in a slightly more difficult scenario. There's no real variation in the screens, they're all just pretty platforms. It's a shame that such an attractive game should be so tedious; perhaps Quicksilva could add a little more gameplay variation to the next Rupert game?

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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!
Rupert and the Ice Castle
1985 Quicksilva
Programmed by ?
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the eighth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (December 1985).
 

RUPERT AND THE ICE PALACE
Quicksilva, 7.99 cass, joystick or keys


Though not officially credited, it seems fairly certain that Task Set, in some form or other, have scripted Rupert's latest adventure. Anyway, Rupert has now reappeared after his near scrape with death and the Evil Toymaker. This time our chum, who's done more for golfing trousers than Sevvy Blisterous, is playing the hero in trying to release his friends who've been captured by Jack and Jenny Frost and imprisoned within the Ice Palace. Jack and Jenny, cryogenic specialists, have frozen Rupe's pals and they can only be brought back to the real (?) world by the touch of Rupert's yellow furred paw.

Each screen is presented in a very similar format to those in Rupert's previous exploits. The main action takes place in the top three quarters of the screen while a status section, detailing your progress to date, is on the bottom. Rupert starts at the bottom left hand side of the sheet and must reach one of his chums, situated at the top. To reach a friend our favourite yellow bear must negotiate a set of tricky platforms and several nasties in the process. When a chum is freed, his face is put into one of the four boxes on the status section and Rupert escorts them back to Nutwood cottage.

Throughout the sheets you are plagued by the inhabitants of the Ice Palace, minions intent on keeping the residents of Nutwood in deep freeze. Luckily for Rupert, he has a supply of ice pills to protect him from the subzero powers of the icy nasties. Unfortunately the supply is limited to four pills, and after four touches from a frosty foe, Rupert decides he's had enough and it's game over. Throughout the screens, the main point to watch for is to avoid icicles falling from a melting roof. The bigger the icicle, the less ice pills you are left with if it scores a direct hit.

Control of Rupert is virtually identical to that in The Toymaker's Party, with the same jumping action, but this time he can duck. Both jumping and ducking prove incredibly handy on later screens, when a mutant snowman with an evil grin does his best to top you by throwing deadly snowballs in your direction. If Rupert is hit and is unfortunate enough to be standing on a top platform, then he's sent tumbling gracefully back to earth. Other hazards worth watching out for are the icy patches on the floors of some screens, very similar to those that break so many old biddies' bones over the yuletide season. These patches send Rupert into a slide should his feet touch them. Apart from robbing you of ice pills, bumping into an Ice Palace minion also sends you bouncing off to the left or right and more often than not you end up hitting another minion.

Once you've filled the four boxes in the status section with rescued pals, it's onto a further four screens, only this time you have to collect clothing scattered about the screen before rescuing one of Rupert's buddies. This means finishing eight sheets to free all four friends for good.

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I'm not sure at which age group the
Rupert games are aimed, but as far as gameplay goes they seem to be fit for the younger player. As with Quicksilva's previous Rupert release, the graphics and sound are of a high standard, especially the former. The backdrops are beautifully defined, as are the sprites, and the game has a very pleasant appearance. Unfortunately, Rupert and the Ice Palace isn't so interesting to play as it is to look at. Hopefully Quicksilva will try something new with our furry friend in his third game rather than repeating themselves as they have done with his second.
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Presentation
76%
Really pretty attract mode but no options.

 

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I'm afraid Quicksilva's latest release is just as bland as their last. The graphics, once again, are very pretty indeed, but the game structure just belongs in the stone age of design. The different sheets don't offer very much in the way of challenge and after a while the compulsion to see the next screen soon dies. There is some frustration appeal since the game really works against you, when getting killed everything is reset. An annoying feature is the inability to start anywhere but the first screen. Overall, a poor release with an amazing potential that seems to have been overlooked.
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Graphics 88%

Big, beautiful, detailed sprites and backgrounds
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Sound 75%
Lots of very good little jingles
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Hookability 55%
Very easy to get into as it's so simple.

Lastability 48%
All the screens are basically the same.

Value For Money 48%
A pretty, but extremely basic game.

Overall 55%
Graphics and sound maketh not a game.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (28 Dec 2003)

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