Producer: Bubble Bus Software
Retail Price: £7.95
Author: Tom Prosser
Nick has a very boring job. His only consolation is his car, a turbo-charged Space cruiser. All silver with spotless chrome dice etc. However, when Nick pops into his local newsagents, his beautiful space cruiser is stolen. Luckily for him it is fitted with an anti-theft device which enables him to track it down. He eventually discovers the ship on a distant asteroid well away from the usual spaceways.
Upon beaming down, he discovers that this is no ordinary asteroid - it harbours a very sinister secret. The asteroid's external disguise hides that fact that it's interior is a vast Thermionic Reactor. The evil inhabitants of this planet are planning to turn everything in the Galaxy into an icy waste, starting here.
The Reactor runs on eight fuel elements, these are scattered around the whole asteroid. The only way to disable the Thermionic reactor is to collect all these elements and stick them down the Disposal units.
Before Nick can even contemplate embarking on this potentially lethal mission, he must first find his stolen ship. At the start of the game Nick is clad only in a skimpy little space suit, which makes him vulnerable to the marauding aliens. Some of these can kill Nick instantly, while others only sap away his body heat. Nick can shoot at these nasties, but they soon re-form and take up the chase again.
Although this may sound like a hopeless situation for Nick, there are some objects on this mostly hostile asteroid which will help him. These are mostly different coloured ice crystals, with each different colour giving Nick a different power.
Once Nick has found his trusty space-cruiser he is virtually immune. The only way that the ship can be destroyed is if it runs out of fuel, so watch out for handy fuel packs. The main threat on this icy planet is the cold. Luckily there are radiation flasks, which, when picked up, will warm his icy blood.
Bombs come in several varieties; the magenta ones will kill all the aliens in the immediate proximity and the cyan bombs will blast away walls of ice. Magnetic clusters can be picked up and then used to distract the aliens, as these mechanical nasties will automatically be attracted by the cluster's magnetic qualities. When Nick is on foot he picks objects up by simply walking into them. When he is in his ship he has to get out and collect them.
Some of the passages on the asteroid are too small for Nick to fly through, so he must get out and explore these on foot. The game ends when all eight Reactor rods have beep found and disposed of.
Control keys: two set option ZXOK0. QWERT plus the chance to redefine option one
Joystick: Kempston. Interface II, Cursor Joystick
Keyboard play: very good
Use of colour: lovely and colourful
Graphics: excellent effects let down by main character
Sound: tune at the beginning plus spot effects throughout
Skill levels: one
Ice Temple is well presented, with lots of options on the title screen and some nice sound effects, unfortunately it's not very original. The backgrounds are well drawn and add quite a bit of variation to a game which doesn't change much otherwise. I liked the 'kill on impact' baddies homing in and following you until you kill them, and the option to start where you died or in a different place altogether. Ice Temple is a pretty decent, if unspectacular game.
I thought that BUBBLE BUS had started the beginning of a long decline after their last release, but it seems that they have seen the error of their ways. Ice Temple is a really good, well presented game, although it isn't quite up to the standards set by Wizard's Lair and Star Quake. The graphics are generally very good, the nasties are well drawn and the backgrounds are excellently detailed. On the whole, this isn't a bad game: recommended.
Moonlight Madness, BUBBLE BUS's last game, was an amazingly bad game. So the first time I saw Ice Temple. I thought 'here we go again'. After a short while, though. I started to play the game property, and found out it wasn't all bad. The main character is poor, but the backgrounds and other sprites are quite satisfactory. As far as addictivity is concerned it's fair, but I can't help wondering whether it's really worth eight quid. Overall, while being far from one of my favourites, Ice Temple is not a bad game.
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