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Reviews (0-9 / A-M)

Freeze

MANUFACTURER: CINEMATRONICS
1
984 (1 Player)


 

 

Overview and game play

Freeze is a flip-screen shooter for one player. An astronaut has suffered a heavy power loss on his space ship leaving him stranded on a desolate polar world. The player must guide the astronaut equipped with a jet pack and flamethrower in search of pieces of the “mondo” crystal to act as fuel for his ship. Pieces of the crystal can be found in the caverns below the planet’s surface and the game begins with the astronaut leaving his space ship and leaping into a hole down into the planet’s caverns. Lurking in the caverns are the polar inhabitants ranging from bats to robots that throw snowballs at the astronaut. One touch from one of the enemies and the astronaut freezes into a block of ice, loosing one of the 3 lives he starts with. Pressing button 1 to fire the flamethrower can kill the inhabitants and a hit adds points to the players score. Pressing button 2 fires the jet pack momentarily causing the astronaut to fly upwards. By moving the controller left or right, the astronaut can fly upwards and sideways to land on platforms within the caves. The caves themselves contain dark areas where enemies emerge from and ice barriers that can be melted with a blast from the flamethrower. Due to the extremely cold conditions on the planet, the ice barriers reappear after a few seconds so the astronaut must quickly proceed through them after they are melted. The cold climate also means the astronaut has to keep moving to stay alive and if he remains still for too long he will freeze.

 

 

To maintain some level of realism, the jet pack and flamethrower have limited fuel and the player must take care not to waste the fuel he has. Fortunately, power crystals that are scattered around the caverns can be collected to refuel the jet pack and flamethrower. Within each cavern there is a piece of the “mondo” crystal that looks like a large power crystal. Upon collecting the crystal, a special sound plays to indicate you may now leave this cavern. The player must travel back to the surface and exit from the hole where he entered the cavern. The player will then automatically fly back to his spaceship and fly in his spaceship to a different cavern entrance to collect another piece of the “mondo” crystal. 

The game play of Freeze is reminiscent of some games that were available in the early 1980’s for the Spectrum home computer, particularly because the screens flip from one to the other instead of scrolling as the player navigates through the caverns. Games designers who used better technology to produce scrolling backgrounds gradually phased out this experience and style of game, but the flip screen style nevertheless adds an element of fun to the game play as one does not know whether an enemy might be waiting on the next screen where the player will enter.

 

Graphics

There are very few colours used in Freeze to depict the scenery or game objects. All sprites are small but have sufficient details for one to recognise what they are. Animation of the characters is basic and the flamethrower looks rather puny, firing in little puffs of instead of a long blast of fire. More variety in the design of the backgrounds would perhaps have helped Freeze to keep players interest in the game for longer.

 

 

Sound

The CPU generated sound effects of Freeze are basic and dated by today’s standards. If an allowance is made for the fact that Freeze is an old game then the sound effects can perhaps be considered successful in adding to the game play.  There is no music, which is regrettable because it may have helped give the game more appeal, as none of the sound effects are particularly special.

 

 




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