PRODUCT NAME

	Fire & Ice CD^32 (V1.04 AGA)


BRIEF DESCRIPTION

	A cute but difficult "jump 'n run" game starring Cool Coyote on his
way from the icy polar regions to the fiery hot deserts to save the planet.


AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION

	Name:		Renegade
	Address:	C1, Metropolitan Wharf
    			Wapping Wall
	    		London E1 9SS


LIST PRICE

	I paid DM 59.- (about $35 (US)) at a local store.



SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

	HARDWARE

		A CD^32.  Supposedly, the game runs on standard Amigas,
		but see the "BUGS" section, below.

		Fire & Ice supports the standard Amiga mouse and keyboard as
		well as one-button and multi-button joysticks and joypads as
		input devices.  Considering the "quality" of the CD^32
		controller, you might prefer using one of these alternatives.

	SOFTWARE

		None.


COPY PROTECTION

	Invisible.


MACHINE USED FOR TESTING

	CD^32 (PAL)
	A3000/25 with a CD300 CD-ROM drive.


REVIEW

	After a gracefully short booting period, Fire & Ice presents you with
the main title screen, featuring an animation of Cool Coyote jamming on a
grand piano while highscores and game credits are displayed all around.
Pressing the upper-right-hand button on the controller brings up the Option
screen, where you can select a Trainer mode for the first four worlds as well
as toggle the soundtrack on and off.  Pressing the fire button starts the
game with the currently active selections.

	The theme of Fire & Ice is Cool Coyote's quest through eight worlds
in pursuit of the evil wizard Suten.  Being a native of the arctic wastes,
Cool Coyote's main weapon is ice pellets which will freeze his enemies so
that he can shatter them by jumping on them or running through them.  All
other contacts with the enemy or the various traps are absolutely lethal and
deduct one of the preciously few lives.  Cool Coyote's arsenal is
replenished by the devastating snow bombs as well as various collectible
bonus weapons which are hidden in initially invisible ice blocks.

	Hitting an ice block for the first time makes it visible, while
subsequent hits scatter the bonus weapons contained within.  After some hits,
the block caves in and disappears. In the game, the ice blocks do not serve
only as extended armories, but also as stepping stones to hidden treasures
or warp gates.

	In some regions, Cool Coyote can also enlist the aid of Coyote
puppies which will follow him around and support his fire.  By guiding these
puppies to the respective level exits, Cool Coyote can also gain valuable
extra lives.

	By far the most powerful weapon in the game is the snow bomb. Cool
Coyote can carry up to seven of those at any given time. They are generated
by seeding clouds with ice pellets so that they start to emit snow bomb
crystals, which can then be collected. However, the clouds to not take kindly
to this treatment and start to build up energy, which is subsequently
released in a thunderstorm. The lightning generated is fatal to both Cool
Coyote and his puppies.

	Each world of Fire & Ice is subdivided into five lands.  To complete
a land, Cool Coyote has to collect six pieces of a key that will open the
exit gate. Usually, the pieces of the key are recovered by shattering the
various enemies. Alternatively, there are hidden warp gates that will
transport him to other lands and possibly hidden bonus zones. While it is
possible to reach all lands of a world in one round, this is by no means
necessary to complete a world. The final score will also give you a rating
of how much of the worlds of Fire & Ice you have visited. The ten best
scores and the player's initials are stored in the CD^32's non-volatile
memory.

	The game starts off in Cool Coyote's home grounds somewhere in the
arctic. By dodging snowball-throwing peskimos, dumb penguins and
dive-bombing doves, he progresses to a mighty castle which just might be
situated somewhere in Scotland. The next world sees Cool Coyote under water
somewhere in the South Sea, and after that come the deadly rain forests.
Beyond that, there's bound to be more. It's just that in the fourth world,
Fire & Ice gets just too difficult for the average player like me.

	The game controls are just like you'd expect them to be in this kind
of game: they're pretty sensitive, so that you'll need quite a bit of manual
dexterity to get your Coyote where you want him to be. Having a good joystick
or joypad helps a lot. The CD^32 joypad seems to me just a bit too
insensitive for this kind of precision work. On the other hand, Fire & Ice
can be set up to use three of the four buttons of the pad, so it isn't too
bad, either. In this mode, the red and yellow buttons serve as fire buttons
for the normal and extra weapons, while the blue button serves as a jump
button. 

	The in-game graphics are very good, and the animations of Cool Coyote
and his adversaries are just great. Both foreground and background scroll
smoothly, so there's no annoying flicker or anything. During the game, there
are nice background soundtracks for each of the worlds. Depending on your
taste, they can be played directly from CD or as a module from chip memory.
Fire & Ice is pretty smart when playing CD sound, so that the loops in the
tracks are virtually unnoticeable.

	On my system, Fire & Ice uses the full size of the PAL display during
the game.  However, the lower portion of the screen is dedicated to a world
display that tracks your progress throughout the game.  My guess would be
that this display is not available when the game is started in NTSC mode,
although I was unable to test this personally.  The different NTSC timing
and speed should not be a problem for the game, as there seems to be a
dedicated NTSC version of the game on the CD-ROM.  The startup seems to check
for the type of system it runs on and switches the versions accordingly.


DOCUMENTATION

	The CD-ROM comes with a 28-page, CD-sized booklet that gives the basic
game instructions in English, German, French and Italian. The rather small
and strange typeface used makes reading a bother for shortsighted people.
While the instructions don't give away all of the useful hints, you'll find
them pretty useful when starting the game.


LIKES

	The game is very playable, and the presentation is just fine. While
Fire & Ice does not use all of the features that might be possible with a
CD-ROM, it succeeds just fine at being another great game for a great system.
Kudos should go to the project coordinator for at least attempting to make
the CD-ROM also usable for non-CD^32 owners.


DISLIKES AND SUGGESTIONS

	The overall playability of the game is marred by the extreme
difficulty of the higher levels. 

	Fire & Ice sorely lacks a checkpointing or save feature which would
enable the player to start the game from a certain starting point instead of
having to work through the whole game from the start again and again.  The
trainer mode is only a small consolation, as this mode will only let you
play one world at a time, and only one of the first four worlds.  When you
consider the difficulty level of the fourth world, chances are quite high
that you're never going to see the world after that.


COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS

	In direct comparison to the older, disk-based version of the game,
the CD^32 version of Fire & Ice looks pretty good.  While the gameplay itself
isn't altered, there is now a superb soundtrack played from CD as well as
beautiful backdrop graphics for all levels.  Also, the annoying "look it up
on the unreadable leaflet" copy protection has been removed from the game.


BUGS

	According to the manual, Fire & Ice should also run on normal Amiga
systems, too.  However, a closer look at the startup script reveals that
some system libraries are missing on the disc.  The script tries to assign a
"libs:" drawer that is not present on my copy of the CD.  I have fiddled
around with it a bit on my A3000, but to no avail.  Maybe my chances would
have been better if I had had an AGA machine for testing. Anyways, if you
were able to run the game on a normal Amiga, let me know.


VENDOR SUPPORT

	None mentioned.


WARRANTY

	None mentioned.


CONCLUSIONS

	Fire & Ice is definitely one of the best "jump 'n run" games around
for the Amiga, and it hasn't suffered from the polish it's gotten in this new
release. I heartily recommend it to anybody looking for a real challenge,
and urge everybody else to take at least a look.

	My personal rating for Fire & Ice is three and a half stars out of
five, on account of the exponentially rising difficulty level of the game.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE

	Copyright 1994 Thomas Bätzler.  All rights reserved.

Auswege: Impressum, Haftungsausschluß, Datenschutz, zurück zur Amiga-Seite, Meine Homepage.
Links: Imprint, back to the Amiga page, My Homepage.

Thomas Bätzler, Thomas@Baetzler.de
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