Elite Systems Ltd
1988
Arcade: Adventure
£7.99
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

84,85
Nick Roberts, Paul Sumner, Kati Hamza
Chris Bourne

Beyond the Ice Palace there lies a mystical land caught up in a bitter battle between good and evil. Dark spirits are setting alight the forests, destroying the homes and livelihood of simple woodcutters. In desperation the ancient and wise spirits of the woods shoot a sacred arrow into the air. Whoever finds it is bound to destroy the powers of darkness or die in the attempt...

Running and jumping along a horizontally scrolling landscape of rocky caverns, moving platforms and precarious ladders, the chosen warrior attempts to penetrate the darker regions of his troubled land. Occasionally organic boulders block his path while walls raise themselves mysteriously behind him. Grotesquely shaped creatures emerge from the shadows: ghoulish monsters, gigantic caterpillars, zombies and butterflies bearing a deadly sting. Burly ogres hurl axesand fluttering insects belch out firebolts. Contact with any of these results in the immediate loss of one of nine lives.

Weapons, varying in strength and ranging from knife to firebolt, can be collected on the way. They have individual effects on different aliens, some of which need to be shot several times. A ducking action gives the player extra mobility when dealing with particularly persistent enemies.

Two Spirits of the Forest accompany the warrior on his journey. When activated via the keyboard they sacrifice themselves in order to reduce the power of the enemies currently on screen; some are weakened while others are completely destroyed. Extra spirits and bonus icons, which boost points, are scattered around the hostile land.

A status display shows number of fives remaining, current score and number of spirits left. Should the hero succeed, the land to the north is saved; should he fail, there will be nothing but death, fire and destruction in the mystical kingdom beyond the legendary palace of ice.

CRITICISM

'Beyond The Ice Palace is yet another great game from Elite. It has the basic makings of a shoot-'em-up but the arcade adventure aspects make it much more interesting than your average blaster. All the characters in the game are excellently drawn and animated, and colour is also used well. There are some decent sound effects and a tune at the beginning (even on the 48K version!). Some of the baddies can get really frustrating, especially when they just refuse to die on the sixth shot! All you can do is keep firing and dodging them until they give up. The option to call a spirit comes in useful and saves on the old finger work in sticky situations. Beyond The Ice Palace has plenty of content so you won't get fed up easily. Well worth the money.' NICK ... 81%

'It just goes to prove that you don't need to lash out thousands of pounds getting a cool 'n' trendy arcade licence to produce a cool 'n' trendy arcade-like game. Beyond The Ice Palace is undoubtedly the best game to come from Elite for quite a while - much more fun than the likes of Buggy Boy and Ikari Warriors. The game could easily have been called Ghosts 'n' Goblins II as it's just like the arcade game, but on a larger scale. The baddies contain a whole range of rough 'n' tough characters - each requiring a different killing technique - making it very addictive. But where Beyond The Ice Palace scores over other games of this large genre is in its clever use of colour. There's just enough to create varied scenery but not an overuse creating scrolling problems. I suggest you carefully consider purchasing it - an old genre, well done.' PAUL ... 85%

'Considering it's so far north, the land beyond the Ice Palace is surprisingly colourful. Vibrant reds contrast boldly with the green skin colouring of most aliens creating a spooky, supernatural atmosphere to which even the inevitable moments of colour clash contribute. The main sprite is precisely drawn and well animated; even his flowing hair bobs up and down as he runs. In terms of gameplay the legendary land of 'goblins and ghosts' is rather like a sophisticated version of Ghosts 'n' Goblins. The number of weapons, the complexity of the landscape (which can usually be negotiated in several ways) and the variety of different enemies have been carefully designed to keep you on the edge of your seat. The sound, which is confined to one or two squirty effects, could have been improved and collision detection can be slightly inaccurate. Apart from that Beyond The Ice Palace makes for a slick, playable and extremely compelling fantasy arcade adventure.' KATI ... 82%

COMMENTS
Joysticks: Cursor. Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: a clever mix of detailed characters and colour backgrounds
Sound: lolly title tune with many varied and inventive effects
Options: definable keys
General Rating: Ghosts 'n' Goblins on a larger scale. Challenging and addictive, at a reasonable price.

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Screenshot Text

You meet the strangest people...

Your sould returns to heaven.

Better pit your woolly jumpers on for this one.