Tom Prosser
1986
Arcade: Adventure
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

94
John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

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

***

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

3/5