C64 Review of Beyond The Ice Palace from Issue 40

ZzapTest Logo by Biggest Jim


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 axes and 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 the 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 lives 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 behind the legendary palace of ice.

This review was typed in/OCRed by Luke

ZzapBack Logo by Biggest Jim
In the spirit of ZzapBack, you can have your say about how the game reviewed above, stands up in the cold light of today. Has it aged badly or is it still worth a few plays? Read other peoples thoughts and post your own.

The current ZzapBack rating is : 58%

Check out the most recent ZzapBack comments.
Rate It!
Login or Register at the forums if you want to be able to edit your comments

Your name :

Your comments :

Your rating 1% to 100% :

MaffRignall - 7 Feb 2006
Well, I quite liked this. Maybe because it was it was one of the first C64 games I ever had. A pretty standard platformer (and not quite the Ghosts'n'Goblins clone everyone made it out to be), but it was good fun for mindless romping in the short-term.

Rating : 65%
alessio - 20 May 2005
hmmm its not that great, but its kinda good for an hour or two... graphically speaking not too bad, soundtrack annoying. however there is some good to come out of this game there is an amiga version get it instead!! amiga 75%!!

Rating : 52%
Gordon Houghton
This has similarities to the excellent Ghosts 'n' Goblins, and could be classed as the sequel to that coin-op conversion. Instead of a knight in shining armour, the hero of the tale looks more like a cross between He-Man and the lead singer of a Heavy Metal band, but the collection and use of swords, maces and axes is virtually identical to Ghosts 'n' Goblins, as is the general format of the game. This seems like a good omen, and sure enough, it plays well. The graphics are good, but unspectacular, with little animation, and a soundtrack is lacking, but the playability remains unaffected by this. The difficulty may deter some, but it increases the game's lasting interest immensely. Beyond the Ice Palace isn't a perfect game, but it's still well worth a look.
Paul Sumner
Let's face it, Beyond the Ice Palace isn't much more original than an average platform game. But, and this is a big but, it's very playable, which in the light of recent dull and unplayable software is refreshing. The graphics are good, with a nicely drawn and animated main sprite doing all the things that good heroes do, (ie beating up the baddies, and freeing beautiful dragons from ravening princesses, etc). My only slight moan is the difficulty level: time after time I found my man dying under the onslaughts of the ravening hordes, but patience - and a little luck - moved me further into the game. This factor may put many people off playing, which is a shame because I feel that Beyond The Ice Palace is worth the effort to master.
Paul Glancey
Of the two Ghosts and Goblins clones this month, Beyond the Ice Palace is certainly the better one. Graphics are swift and pretty, and the tune, though not totally suitable, is inoffensive in small doses. The game design, too, is nicely put together and there is an encouraging feeling of labyrinthine vastness to be explored. Where the game falls down, though, is in the excessive level of difficulty. For instance, a set of three lifts early on in the game would be easily negotiated, were it not for the random appearance of an unavoidable bird, which swoops down on the helplessly immobile adventurer, sending him crashing to his doom. This and other instances of excessive difficulty are just frustrating and lose the game my undying affection. Still worth a look though, but probably a more worthy buy to those who finished IO on their first game.
Large screen display, the initial choice of three weapons and reasonable joystick control.

Colourful, varied and smoothly scrolling backdrops complemented by detailed sprites.

Polished throughout.

The difficulty level is an initial deterrent only rescued by the strong urge to progres.

Once you've got over the frustration of the action, it'll keep you hooked.

A playable and polished Ghosts 'n' Goblins variant only marred by its high frustration level.