Posted on 02/07/10 @ 04:44 PM (updated 08/07/12
The flow of life in the world of IceQuest is dictated by the balance of the four natural elements: life, stone, fire, and frost. Recently, however, the wicked Ice Queen has risen to power, threatening to rupture this careful elemental balance by casting a spell of eternal winter across the land, with cataclysmic implications. This is no time for indecision... this land needs a hero. This land needs you.
||Role Playing Strategy
IceQuest is a linearly structured RPG in which character progression takes the form of spells acquired throughout the game, as well as the accumulation of wealth (and how it is spent). Casting spells is done by deleting their respective pavilions, and you can purchase items by moving your king over his nearby flag whenever an opportunity presents itself. View the readme for specific details about the effects of the spells, and tips on how to succeed in this scenario.
Have fun, and good luck!
Addition of hints/scouts
Addition of sound effects and music
Slowing of much of the in game text
Fixed several typos
Fixed a problem which randomly crashed the game
Various minor bug fixes
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
IceQuest is an elemental adventure concerning an imbalance in the universal forces. The player has only two heroes, while being given a large number of soldiers over the storyline. This makes it feel more fixed force, as opposed to RPG. Unfortunately for me, this is one of the maps that crashes my game whenever I'm defeated :/
I also experience a couple of other random crashes, such as after saving. I'm not sure if there's something that might cause this, if you have any background triggers which could affect gaia units, please remedy this.
IceQuest is a highly playable scenario. The game has many features to keep the player entertained in a variety of puzzles, defensive and good old hack 'n' slash gameplay.
Initially very good, the escort mission however completely destroys the player's units, which were considerable at the time. Perhaps the use of jaguar warriors for the enemy is a bad choice, as they have a supreme attack bonus against infantry. It took me many tries to complete this section, even after taking the creator's advice and upgrading my units twice. Please improve this and ask me to re-review.
The spell and purchase systems are fantastic. Deleting a pavilion to cast a spell: ingenious. Some excellent triggerwork concerning things like transport ships, shops and quests.
Map Design: 4
The map is to a good standard, with thought clearly put into how it will look. There is some excellent terrain mixing and map copying present, the only complaint is tied into the balance, at no point is elevation used to give the player a helping hand, often the high ground is with the (stronger) opponent.
The story is well-written and enthralling. The instructions are very clear and give the player all the information they need.
A promising scenario. If the balancing issues are corrected this will make a worthy download.
Friendman has proven himself to be more than competent at scenario design. Any more to follow looks to be very good indeed.
IceQuest was a very enjoyable linear fantasy RPG scenario. Sadly, because of the linear gameplay, there is little reason to replay it after completion. I played it from start to finish in one sitting and it took approximately 3 in-game hours or so with the fact that I reloaded well over a dozen times throughout the game. The game follows a main hero unit which can be compared to Link from Zelda games. Throughout the game, there are a variety of game-play styles which keeps it fresh and going. The author is very knowledgeable with triggers and scenario designing so I hope he/she continues at it. If you want, you can use a looping freeze effect and it will completely freeze units making them look more like statues (stone). There are still stacked gates in the scenario so you should remove them. You can find them by looking at the shadows and I believe the stacked gates removes the gate opening animation. Also, you might want to turn this into a single campaign to make launching it easier.
As stated before, I found the game very enjoyable, however, there are issues that I found and so I cannot award a 5. At the beginning, you should add boundaries to force players south so that they cannot wander off. Even with the first dialogue speed change, I still found some of the dialogues going by fast. It wasn’t too bad while I was playing on fast speed. Something you should look into are the NPCs chats, they go by very fast. Even though they are looped, I believe increasing the timer would be a great benefit. The way you setup chatting with NPCs and reading signs was not effective. The detection area is way too small and it is very difficult to select signs when your unit is on it. The players could attack those GAIA trade carts and if they do, the game would be bugged so you might want to fix that. The tower next to the church (at the boat/dock town) is a tower of death. Garrisoning inside will get you stuck in the rocks when you ungarrison. There could be more of these towers of death so look through your game. I chose to go onwards when the Stone Wizard proposed to click him to demonstrate or go onwards through the canyon. I tried the spell at the canyon and it doesn’t work so I think you forgot something unless you meant to force the player to click the wizard in which case you need to change the dialogue. There was no concrete explanation on why you instantly die when you go off course in the desert. The additions of key save point reminders would be a good feature. I found the start of the battle against the dragon poorly made. It attacks quickly and I can guarantee that first timers will get all of their units killed. Also, the gate was open without me breaking the walls. At the part where you’re suppose to talk to the guy at the castle, I wander south and managed to get the first pile of swordsmen and archers. I then positioned them at the bottom tower and went back to talk to the guy at the castle. This cheat very likely made this part of game-play very easy as I didn’t have much trouble at all as well as I lost on my first try doing it the normal way. After defending the towers, the area towards the IceQueen had a cliff removed and there was a gap that a player can wander through which would lead to pretty much nowhere. At the first shatter area, the player can hide from the boom by standing by the walls. You can also negate it if you position your two units in a way that blocks all three spawns of boom. In the second shatter area, I wasn’t affected as I was on the outside border though I think you meant it to be like that here. At the finale, I managed to somehow cross the firewall and ran towards the IceQueen as the clones were chasing after me so you might want to look into that. Lastly, I believe that the game is impossible without using spells at certain areas so you should change the text that I read somewhere that stated something like “You don’t have to use skills, it just makes it easier”.
Alright, that was pretty much the bug-list, time for some positive comments. The game-play styles, bits of puzzles, and all of the RPG elements were very entertaining. Nothing was insanely hard and it wasn’t a walk through the park either. The author managed to spice up boss battles and such in a way that resembles Zelda which was great. There are sounds that accompanies the scenario and they suitted it well.
I found the balance perfect. I played on moderate and the game wasn’t difficulty dynamic. It wasn’t boringly straight forward and I had to reload over a dozen times as previously mentioned. There were a lot of times where you seem to get outnumbered and this is when the spells come in to turn the tide in your favour. Furthermore, there will be times where you will need to use your head to win. I can’t say anything specific but I can tell that some players will get very annoyed at certain parts. All I can say is turn your brain on.
Perfect score here for this scenario. Spells, different game-play styles and objectives, and the story and characters are all just full of creative stuff. There are also retraceable paths similar to Zelda games which I found amusing. Creating something like this surely must have taken some planning or map altering to incorporate it. Good additions of sounds to enhance the players' experience. The finale music was of poor quality though.
Map Design: 4+
The map design is far better than a random map. The author has definitely spent time placing the trees and splashing the terrain around. I gave this a 4 because of the way the terrain and map transitioned. The transitions just didn’t seem correct to me. In addition, I didn’t particularly enjoy the masses of small tree clumps.
The story is very interesting, it wasn’t overly detailed but it served its purpose. Once again, a reference to Zelda games can be made from the way the story pans out. The story started off very well with the introduction and all but I feel like it slowly loss itself as the game progressed. I felt that the story has quite a few holes and unrealisticness in it. There was little background on why you were summoned for the quest not to mention that people considered you as a ‘kid’. At the start, the village thanks you, gives you armor, and some follows you on your quest just because you assisted in the skirmish. I assisted alright, I killed a guy or two and the rest was killed by the people I was ‘helping’. There are quite a few cases of this type of nonsense incidents. There are also times where chatting occurred but the two chatters weren’t together. I found a considerable amount of spelling and grammar mistakes throughout the game. They didn’t affect me at all though and I understood the story and my task at hand. The instructions were plentiful and clear. Very clear actually, like in Zelda games. I think the author should write up a more detailed loss and victory page as this category cannot achieve a 5 with what is there.
Since you're reading this, DOWNLOAD IT AND PLAY IT NOW. RPGs for the win!
[Edited on 02/13/10 @ 09:56 PM]
This is the most fun scenario I've downloaded from here in quite a while, it was fun and kept changing throughout, making it very enjoyable. The only problem was several places where I had no idea what to do, but after thinking I got past them.
The balance is perfect in my opinion, I played on moderate and it had me reloading several times. It was challenging though not impossible.
The spell system is brilliant, the story is nice, and concept is a good ole fashioned RPG, for the win!
Map Design: 4
The author very obviously spent time on his map, it is much better than a random map, buts lacks that little something to push it to greatness.
Clear, understandable instructions made for a much easier time playing, and a good story line made it much more enjoyable. Although both lacked a little in certain ares they are both very good.
Great game! I commend the author on his ingenuity and on a game well done. I recommend you download this as it will be a lot of fun, although once played through there is no point to replay as it is a linear RPG. I look forward to anything else the author will be releasing.
Good luck designing, Jecon.
[Edited on 06/23/10 @ 04:48 PM]
IceQuest is basically quite fun. You travel around the map defeating enemies but it isn't just left clicking and then waiting. However it does fall into some of the other standard RPG traps, and has a few other tiny flaws besides. To deal with the latter, I found that occasionally I could access things out of order, probably because the petard fire barriers seem to be a little bit porous and allowed me to see the Fire Wizard early. Then there was a section where some grey longswordsmen that were obviously supposed to attack me just stood there while I hacked them to bits. Some of the audio files were rather annoying also. The real problems though are some design pitfalls that I hope the author will avoid in future and so I mention them now. Firstly, a bit too much walking back and forth was involved. A well thought out layout can prevent those stretches of tedium. This wasn't actually too bad compared to the majority of scenarios but it was exacerbated by the irritation of easily defeating some enemies but then having to wait to heal in order to proceed - it would be nice if the player was healed somehow after each challenge rather than having to wait. Secondly the system used for purchases and spells was unnecessarily irksome. The player is forced to change view to a remote location and hotkey a pavillion every time a spell needs recharging (which is often). There are much better spell systems available to use, and I strongly recommend choosing one which is less slow and obtrusive. On the whole however for fans of the genre it's pretty decent so despite these problems it's still above average.
The balance is good, but a little unforgiving. Prudence is definitely the order of the day as rushing in will tend to get you steamrollered by units with devastating attacks. The best objectives were the battle with the guy on the mountain, and defending the three towers. These had just the right degree and sort of challenge, with the player needing to find the correct approach. The worst was when several sets of plumed archers spawned in sequence, and victory could only be gained through each time attacking the correct one, who is arbitrarily placed and looks identical to the others. I had to look at the walkthrough to discover the rather unintuitive solution, and I doubt anyone worked this out first time on their own. It didn't seem to fit with the game logic in the way that most other sections did.
The story and style of game are very standard, but there were some noteworthy aspects. The spell that turned enemies to stone is a concept that I have rarely seen and it worked well. In my opinion finding your way through a dangerous desert was the highlight here, although it rather evoked a minefield or treacherous bog, as it had a single safe path in a way that deserts don't. This concept could be developed.
Map Design: 4-
The map design was fine but rather uninspired. The player is channeled in the right direction and each area looked like what it was supposed to represent, but there wasn't much to look at. On the other hand it's not really important as it serves adequately as background scenery.
The story was also rather vanilla. The evil villain has taken over because they can and the rather anonymous hero must travel to each wizard to get their assistance. It's safe to say that it wasn't the author's focus here and that's fair enough. However there were some odd things. I did not understand the hero's character and situation at all, as he seems to be some random guy who has lived all his life in a hut whose brother (who is something big in the imperial guard) plucks out of nowhere to fight evil. The instructions were fine, although it would have been nice if objectives disappeared rather than just being crossed off as it got a little cluttered.
A promising design reminiscent of Tsubasa's Tale, that despite its flaws is quite fun to play through. It's a little shallow perhaps, being a linear RPG with the gameplay dominated by a couple of special abilities and not much story. But a good first submission all the same and shows skill. I hope to see more by the author.
[Edited on 01/04/11 @ 08:06 AM]