State Soft Ltd
Richard Parratt
1985
Arcade: Maze
£6.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

48
Chris Bourne

Boulder Dash was one of those games with unpromising graphics but a highly addictive scenario. Icicle Works is similar. Whereas in the former game you guided Rockford through a series of rooms collecting gems from under threatening boulders and dodging the variously released meanies, in this game your man has to collect the various parts of toys buried in the earth and surrounded by snow balls.

There are 13 very different rooms to burrow through, and as each square of 'earth' is removed, any snowballs above it will fall down, adjusting themselves to the new level. Snowballs will crush your man if they fall on him, but he can hold them on his head. In some rooms the toy parts are immediately visible, but in others there are green boxes with 7 marks on them. Snowballs must be made to pass through these before those hiding toy parts will release them. As the toy is built up, its component parts appear in the status panel on the left. All this is done against a very tight clock. Once all the parts have been collected, it is time to rush for the nearest of several exits which have been locked up until the toy is completed, which lets you into another room and another task.

If the clock doesn't seem a severe enough task master, there are some nasties about; Polar Bears eat you, but can be squashed with a snowball or drowned in melting ice water; Penguins also kill on contact, but more usefully turn into toy parts if they are squashed under a snowball. Melting ice water is fatally chilly, and expands throughout a screen rapidly if it is accidentally freed from its confinement.

Once a room has been completed, the room may be used as a fast, safe route through to other rooms. The time limit varies from room to room, depending on the complexity of the task in hand.

CRITICISM

'Icicle Works owes a lot to Boulder Dash, although there are quite a few changes to the game idea, but the principle remains much the same. Looking at the loading screen I thought this was going to be a Pengo type game and indeed there is an element of that - the boulders have turned into snowballs. First off, I thought this game was not much good in comparison to Boulder Dash, because the graphics handling is much slower and jerkier. The game itself is much more difficult and I found it daunting at first because there are so many parts to collect to complete an object and so little time to do it in, and once you get going you can't stop because the time constantly ticks on through each screen as you progress through the game - it's a nightmare! An interesting game but I don't know whether it will appeal to everyone. I liked it up to a certain point, but not quite as much as Boulder Dash'

'Icicle Works plays very much like Boulder Dash in as much as the snowballs behave just like the boulders, and the nasties move around in little circles if you annoy them. The two things that really annoy me are the sound (or lack of it) and the scrolling screen which moves around too much and makes the graphics look jerky. I enjoyed playing Icicle Works but sound would have made it a lot better'

'After looking at the beginning of Icicle Works a yawn had to be suppressed - rough movement of graphics and fairly simple ones at that - it's just not on! But it was, for this game is cleverly designed. Okay, the piccies aren't over brill, but the game itself is great. Getting all the bits can prove a difficult and addictive task, especially when you run the risk of completely trapping the man. A highly playable game which is the most uncommercial goodie I've seen recently'

COMMENTS
Control keys: user definable, but preset E/X up/down, S/D left/right, CAPS plus direction to push
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor type, Sinclair 2
Keyboard play: good cluster option for those that like, responsive
Use of colour: average
Graphics: large, rather jerky and very simple
Sound
Lives: 4, but extra lives given at certain scores
Screens: 13
General Rating: Graphically unwonderful, but addictive.

89%
58%
79%
78%
79%
74%
76%

Screenshot Text

Collecting aeroplane parts in ICICLE WORKS.