Ice Temple, The

by Tom Prosser
Bubble Bus Software
Crash Issue 35, December 1986   (1986-11-20)   page(s) 30

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
Screens: 800

'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.'

Use of Computer: 75%
Graphics: 76%
Playability: 73%
Getting Started: 74%
Addictive Qualities: 75%
Value for Money: 72%
Overall: 75%

Summary: General Rating: Not a bad effort.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 12, December 1986   page(s) 65

'Brrr. Razor's the name, Nick Razor ... What am I doing here? Well, it was bad enough that some little squirter pinched my Space Cruiser and hyperspaced off with it, but did they have to leave it on this godforsaken ice planet? Jeez, it's cold. Oh why did i have to stumble on the aliens' plan to destroy the Earth? Now I've got to stay here until I can sabotage their evil plot. And there's an icicle on the end of my laser pistol...'

Nick never really wanted to be a hero. But if he doesn't stop the aliens, who will? He's got to find and destroy the nuclear elements buried deep within the ice caves. Do you remember a game called The Covenant, or maybe one called Lunar Jetman? Before your time, eh? Well, okay, the principle is that you have a man in a jetpack, and it's his solemn duty (nothing to smile about, this jetpacking) to collect the eight pieces of the reactor and dump them down refuse chutes. To do this he must find his little space ship, and explore the 900 rooms of the ice Palace... yes, I said 900. Using teleports to get to inaccessable portions of the maze, he has to destroy all the aliens and robots that attack him, 'cos if his forecefield gets depleted, his suit will explode. (Urgh! Red wallpaper looks so tacky!)

It's funny really, but it doesn't matter how many different versions of this game I have to play, I still think they're triffic fun. And with 900 rooms to visit, and lots of things to kill, I think you will too!

Graphics: 7/10
Playability: 7/10
Value For Money: 6/10
Addictiveness: 6/10
Overall: 6/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 57, December 1986   page(s) 94

Nick Razor, intergalactic cleansing operative and trainee mega-hero, has had his new motor nicked.

He'd parked it outside the newsagent, gone inside for a packet of universal bubble busters, and when he came out it was gone. Following his hyperactive intelligence led him to a remote planet where his motor has been hidden in the local ice temple. While he's looking for it he discovers that the temple is a cover for a thermionic reactor, being used by aliens to draw energy from the planet's core and assemble an invasion fleet.

Earth is the target and Nick is the only saviour available. He must find the eight pieces of the reactor and chuck them down the disposal chute.

You've got aliens to blast, mines to avoid and energy levels to sustain during this game in which Bubble Bus makes Ultimate's Underwurlde style graphics its own.

The alien forces comprise gibbering robots, colourful gyrating hamburgers, and rockers which appear to be wearing mini skirts.

Most aliens can be zapped with your fire gun, but find your ship quickly: your body suit is not shielded and the ship, which you'll find one location down and one across from your start position, is more durable than flesh.

The temple contains a massive 800 locations but you can zip around them using the teleport gates if you've got a 128 machine, or perhaps a 128K + 2, the teleport sound effect will annoy your friends no end. It sounds like a buzz saw with an electronic twang and is the one point of originality in the whole game. It made my day.

Temperature is important in the temple. Yours will decrease as you move deeper in. To increase temperature pick up bottles of radioactive material - we're on dodgy ground here - and open them up by pressing the activate option.

You must also keep your backpack or ship fuel-level high and your flame gun at full power by finding cases of energy and power crystals. You can hold three objects in your suit at one time so take along a nuclear cannister or two.

The game ends, naturally enough, when Nick has dumped all the pieces of the reactor and saved the intergalactic rubbish dump we call earth.

Unfortunately ice Temple wasn't enough for me. I like originality of plot and action and - to a lesser extent - graphics. On these three counts. Ice Temple, I'm afraid, left me cold.

Label: Bubble Bus
Price: £7.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: John Gilbert


Overall: 3/5

Summary: Bubble Bus plays follow-the-Ultimate leader. It's all I neatly done but you won't find two original ideas to rub together.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Computer & Videogames Issue 63, January 1987   page(s) 48

MACHINE: Spectrum
SUPPLIER: Bubble Bus
PRICE: £7.95

Intergalactic space council worker and trainee mega-hero, Nick Razor, having just received his salary cheque for his last job for the council which involved going around the galaxy filling in all the black holes, decided to spend it on a brand new fuel injection over-head cam, 1600 turbo Space Cruiser - with furry dice.

But on the same day he bought it, he only had to leave it outside the newsagents, to find it gone when he came back. Some little yob nicked his motor!!!

Whoever stole Nick's pride and joy must have tripped the hyperspace button, because when eventually found, it was on a remote planet.

He tracked it down to the Ice Temple, which Nick quickly realises is just a clever disguise for a thermionic reactor which is drawing energy from the planet's core and turning the whole planet into an icy waste.

Evil aliens are using it to power their space ships and invade earth.

Nick MUST take each of the eight pieces of the reactor and dump them down the refuse chutes, so saving mankind and life as we know it...

OK? Ready? Then off we go! This is a game in the Starquake tradition. Nice graphics, good gameplay and lots of puzzles to be solved.

Nick begins the game minus his spaceship - moving around the maze-like planet using his trusty jet-pack.

But you'll soon discover that the ship is ALWAYS one location down and one to the left. Once you've found the ship you can get around a lot quicker and in less danger from the nasties which infest every screen.

You can also store objects in the ship - which is useful as you can only carry so many in the pockets of your space suit. You have to get out of the ship in order to collect things though.

Sometimes bits of reactor are hidden under things - so explore carefully. Watch for signposts which point the way to rooms with disposal chutes in.

Yellow force fields NO on and off and if you're quick enough you can beat them. Blue force fields need to be switched off. Watch for a switch or a credit card slot nearby - it must be the right colour card.

Blue teleports require the right colour cards. You can destroy walls by dropping bombs in rooms.

Ice Temple is a pretty playable arcade adventure. Nothing new - but very mappable and fun to play.

Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 7/10
Value: 8/10
Playability: 8/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ZX Computing Issue January 1987   page(s) 39,40

Bubble Bus

If you've played Bubble Bus' earlier game Starquake, you're likely to get a touch of the deja vus when you load up Ice Temple, as their latest game is an arcade adventure in a very similar mould.

You control one of those galactic types who dons his spacesuit and jetpack and sets off to explore the caves beneath the surface of some planet or another, searching for useful objects and blasting lots of aliens along the way (stop me if you've heard this one before).

This time around you play a character called Nick Razor, who is searching for his speedy Space Cruiser which has been stolen by aliens and hidden away in the depths of their Ice Temple. However, finding the cruiser isn't your sole task for there is a thermionic reactor at the heart of the temple which the aliens are using as a power source while preparing to attack the Earth. So you leap into your cruiser and start zooming around the caves in search of the reactor.

The temple is pretty extensive and at certain points along the way there are teleport beams which make a nice "bwoooiiing sound as they send you off into some far corner of the temple. As usual in this type of game the moment you enter a cave all manner of bouncing sprites appear out of thin air and if they come into contact with you they'll drain the heat from your space suit until you freeze to death, losing one of your five lives. As you'd expect there are various objects in the caves which will help you on your way - extra fuel cannisters, gems which make you temporarily invulnerable, magnetic cards, smart bombs and the like.

The graphics are colourful and well animated, but there's nothing about the game that makes it stand out from all the others of this type. Bubble Bus have produced good games in the past, but their recent releases just don't seem to have progressed from where they were about a year ago. As a result, Ice Temple is a competent game, but it just seems a bit old hat these days.

Overall: Good

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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