This week on Super Adventures, my Star Trek 50th Anniversary Week continues with Ice Trek!
Chances of this having anything to do with 'Star Trek' aside from the name seem kind of slim, but it gave me an excuse to get an Intellivision game on my site at last. Now I get to make a new category for it on my 'Console Games' page!
The low detail nature of the game means that I can (and will) go crazy with the GIFs this time, but some of them might get a bit flickery. Game developers loved flickering back in the 80s. Just giving you a heads up.
Well I've learned two things so far:
- My character is a dude in blue wearing horns who seems keen on getting to the right side of the screen.
- The Intellivision isn't really up to reproducing the sound of an onslaught of caribou, but it's great at mimicking sustained violent flatulence. I'm going to have to mute this for the sake of my speakers as well as my ears.
It'd be a lot more fun to play if it was this fast in game. This is more or less the entire first level by the way, it's quite short when you're not getting hit.
And I've completed the first leg of my ice trek! Can you even trek wearing skis? I thought that was more of a walking thing (or a spaceship thing). Never mind, onto the next stage.
One thing that's interesting is that if my unfortunate little Viking takes a dip he turns blue instead of losing a life. Falling in again in this state does kill him, but if I leave him for a while he warms up and turns red again. That's regenerating health in a game from 1983! You've also got a rippling water effect there too... kind of.
I kept throwing him at the water and icebergs until his lives ran out and that was Game Over. Back to the start of the game, no continues.
Okay I'm going to quickly check a video to see what I'm doing wrong because I can't figure this out at all. I bet it's something really obvious though and I'm going to be kicking myself when I know the trick.
A QUICK GLANCE AT YOUTUBE LATER.
Yeah I'm an idiot. I had it in my head that this is a game about dodging so it never occurred to me to try pressing the buttons. Look, I can turn animals to ash with my mighty hammer! Though I probably shouldn't as it aggravates the Ski-Valkyrie, and she's so skilled with the bow that the way she's pointing it has no correlation with the directions the arrows come shooting out. It's easier to dodge deer than evade her spiky punishment.
Interesting to find a game this old that doesn't want me to kill absolutely everything.
I press the button, tap the direction to throw it in, then when it's airborne I release the button to let it drop. It's original, I'll give them that. Trouble is I miss more often than I hit and waiting for the next iceberg to come along takes forever.
So I have to race to finish the whole thing before the ice bergs have a chance to smash what I've built? Doesn't seem plausible somehow, not with my aim, but I'll give it a shot.
Alright fine, what am I missing this time?
ANOTHER GLANCE AT YOUTUBE AND A REPLAY OF LEVEL ONE LATER.
I had to continually drop what I was doing and run back down to take out incoming icebergs before they could demolish five minutes of work. Fortunately aiming the torches is a lot easier than aiming the grappling hook. The trick is to not slip off the side of the bridge while you're doing it.
Yep they made it so you can walk left and right here for no reason whatsoever.
Seems it's like reverse Space Invaders, as I have to smash their battlements with fire to leave the defenders vulnerable while dodging the deadly... black snowflakes they're throwing down at me. Or have they been stockpiling giant bugs as a natural alternative to boiling oil? First thing I do when I take this place over is get an exterminator in.
It looks like this should be really easy, but my Viking is slipping around a bit on this ice so I can never put him exactly where I want him. I've got three lives left though so I can do this!
After I ran out of lives the castle reset and I was locked in place unable to move. This confused me for a few seconds before I realised I'd gotten him killed at the exact place he stands on the title screen. When it comes to failure, I'm just that good.
This is actually the final level, so I was so close to finishing the game. But there's no way I'm spending another quarter of an hour building that bloody ice bridge again so I'm done with it now. I've reached the limits of my curiosity.
But if I had beaten the game, the end sequence would've looked a lot like this:
Well Ice Trek looks pretty bad, the sound is basically just fart noises, it's slow and I didn't find it much fun to play. But there is a game in here and it's actually pretty unusual. Well the grappling hook ice bridge stage is at least, there ain't nothing original about dodging things or shooting targets.
Plus it's apparently one of the better looking games on the Intellivision, so this may have been a quality product in its day. You just can't really expect much out of a system four years older than the Famicom with a 1 MHz processor and a little over a kilobyte of RAM, even if it is technically 16-bit.
But you can probably enjoy a full and happy life without ever playing this game.
If you've got anything you want to say about Ice Trek or Super Adventures, you're welcome to write a comment.