Mikro-Gen Ltd
1986
Arcade: Maze
£8.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Unspecified custom loader

139
Chris Bourne

The planet Cosmica is not a good place to be if you're a Kreezer. Monsters are taking over the place, and with you being a little bendy thing about six inches high, coping with huge great monsters is going to be a bit of a handful.

Unfortunately, as well as being bendy, you are also rather tasty, so the hideous monsters who have taken over the place imprisoned you in their underground ice caverns (which look about as bleak as Ludlow on a December morning). In due course the head monster chef is going to take you to the kitchen and turn you into Kreezer-a-la-fricassee.

But, at last the good news, you've managed to pick the lock and you're free! Now the tricky bit. You've got to escape from the depths of the ice caverns and rescue your mates. They're also on the menu, so you'd better let them out before they get popped in the pan.

The game is a flip-screen, two dimensional arcade adventure featuring Hickey the Kreezer. (MIKRO-GEN seem to have a penchant right now for heroes ending in -ickey, look out for Mickey the Molecule and Lickey the Lollipop!) Hickey has to make his way around the caverns avoiding all sorts of meanies. Fortunately most of the meanies seem oblivious to Hickey's presence and follow set patterns. All the same, Hickey has his work cut out to survive...

The controls are left, right, jump and fire. Moving left or right makes Hickey bend over until his head touches the ground, and then his head attaches to the ground while his legs go over his head. Actually, it's very difficult to tell his head from his legs - he moves in a squodgy sort of way, rather like those Slinky springs you used to be able to buy. He can only leap straight up, but he can squodge along when he's on the way down. Apart from the meanies, the cave also contains ledges to help him, spring platforms that allow super jumps and mattresses that cushion very long falls.

The hero can blast the nasties and ammo is left lying around in plentiful supply in case he runs out. To use an item, it must first be picked up (which causes it to appear in a window to the left of the status area) and then used by prodding the USE key. Using an object cancels the effect of the object currently in use, so it might be necessary to pick up an object, but not actually use it until it's needed a little bit later on.

Three varieties of sweetie can be found in the caverns and they form a critical part of the game: sweets are red, green or blue. Red sweets allow you to squodge faster, thus zipping under some rather nasty meanies. Blue sweets allow you to leap higher - vital in order to get on to some screens. Green sweeties allow you to fall further without helping the nasty monster chef by turning Hickey into an oven-ready Kreezer pancake.

Contact with the horrid hungry monsters often spells instant death and the loss of one of the five lives supplied. Death also comes to Hickey if he fails to rescue the Kreezer imprisoned on the current level before the Twang meter at the bottom of the status area reaches zero.

CRITICISM

'Getting into this game wasn't as easy as it should have been - the Instructions don't set the scene very well and it is very difficult to get anywhere on your first couple of goes because the nestles are particularly vicious. After that the game becomes a little easier and a lot more playable. Hickey has to be the most endearing computer character since Berk from Trapdoor what style, what animation, what a cute end-over-end walk! The graphics are, on the whole, good and the scenery is quite ODINesque. There are many different types of caverns, and the characters are very well animated. The sound too is good with a nice tune on the title screen and extensive use of spot effects. I realty enjoyed playing Frost Byte and recommend it'

'I really enjoyed my first few games of Frost Byte but after a few games I soon realised that it was a colourful pattern game - once you've done it, then there is no problem doing it again, which didn't make me want to go to the trouble of loading it up for another session. The graphics are very well drawn and extremely colourful, but are let down by some very bad collision detection. The game features some very smooth animation of the main character, but the other characters move in a very inferior fashion. I'm sure that people who like this type of game might get into it, but I found it very boring after the initial attractions'

'I like this game: it has got good graphics, nice sound, and loads of fun elements - everything about it is done to a reasonable standard. Though it's not the sort of game that I could play for the rest of my humble existence, I feel that it has a great deal of appeal. The graphics are aggressive-looking or cute, according to the atmospheric requirement, and the playability, of which it has reams and reams, makes it very addictive. Very good value for money - congrats, MIKRO-GEN.'

COMMENTS
Control keys
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Interface 2
Keyboard play: responsive and simple
Use of colour colourful and effective
Graphics: some detailed characters, jolly backdrops
Sound: average for this sort of game
Skill levels: one
Screens: 50
General Rating: A small spring forward for arcade adventures.

85%
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Screenshot Text

The hero has just escaped from captivity - now it's on to save his chums before the end up on the monsters menu....

A nasty-looking green monsteroid perches on top of a Kreezer cage. Our hero is the little yellow guy all bunched up on the floor on the right - he's about to sproing into the air.