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Not Known
1986
Arcade: Platform
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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53
John Gilbert
Chris Bourne

Jack Frost's sister is up to mischief again. She's imprisoned Wupert's chums in blocks of ice while they were visiting Jack at the Ice Castle. What naughtyness. Only Wupert's stock of five magic pills can unfreeze his friends but the bear has to reach each one first.

Each of the four screens (there are three levels) contains platforms, ice puddles and at least one moving obstacle as well as one of Wupert's frozen friends. A line of poetry at the top of the screen tells you which friend he has to rescue.

Be careful of the moving obstacles, such as the ice skates, jumping jacks and bouncing balls. All steal ice pills and if you run out of them you freeze. As you bump into each of Wupert's buddies the screen changes and you see him walk back to the safety of Nutwood. When you've picked up all four of his friends you move to the next level of the game.

Rupert and the Ice Palace is aimed mainly for young children - although adult Rupertophiles will like the characterisation - so it would be wrong to condemn it merely because it is simple to complete. It's a huge improvement on Rupert's dire first micro outing Rupert and the Toymaker's Party. The graphics have a cuddly appeal. I was almost in hysterics when Wupert fell off a level, hit a ghostly rollerskate and skidded across a lake of ice. Almost.

The sound's better too.

There's no music but Bug-Byte has included some Space Invader sound effects, when the bear jumps from level to level. Pity there are no sound effects for the starting sequences.

The decision to bring Rupert out in the summer when there's not a hint of snow in the sky is a bit odd. They could have kept it on ice until winter but, then, that would have kept screaming hoards of Rupert fans waiting for another five months.

It's worth noting, too, that Rupert is also available on a full-price charity compilation tape - Wow Games - in aid of War on Want, together with 13 other games.

Label: Bug Byte
Price: £2.99
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair
Reviewer: John Gilbert

****

Above average levels-and-ladders, particularly the graphics of Rupert himself. It's too easy though.

4/5