Prisoner of Ice

15_1An adventure for the Lovecraft fans.

When the Lovecraft-inspired Alone in the Dark was winning fans everywhere, IMotion tried to cash in on the creepy supernatural theme of Lovecraft’s works with the first in the Call of Cthulhu adventure game series. Unfortunately, that title — Shadow of the Comet — held little appeal for the traditional adventure game crowd, with its cumbersome interface, convoluted plot and clunky graphics. A second game, Prisoner of Ice, was meant to remedy the failure of the first one.

You start with your character, Ryan, aboard the British Royal Navy submarine H.M.S. Victoria, returning from a secret mission to recover mysterious crates from a Nazi base. The Nazis have secretly been trying to harness the Great Old Ones of the Cthulhu mythos, hoping to use them to enslave humanity. As the game unfolds, you’ll be confronted with plenty of strange twists and turns; including time travel; traitorous British agents; Ryan’s unexpected connection to the lead character of Shadow of the Comet; and, of course, plenty of Cthulhu chanting.

Graphically, Prisoner of Ice is a marked improvement over the graphics in Shadow of the Comet, with your choice of 320×240 or 640×480 resolution modes. The point-and-click interface is as simple as can be: left-click the mouse to pick up an item, talk, or move your character; right-click to examine items. Inventory items are easily accessed at the top of the screen, and you won’t have to sift through countless objects, since unneeded items are discarded as you progress through the game.

16_1While the game mechanics won’t cause any frustration, the same can’t be said for some of the puzzles. During key moments in the game, you’ll encounter some pretty demanding puzzles that come with a time-limit attached. More often than not, you’ll end up replaying the same scene over and over before you discover the one correct solution. This can be unnecessarily frustrating even when you know the solution. Thankfully, IMotion has put in an autosave feature that saves the game just before these tricky puzzles, but it would’ve been better if they had left them out entirely.

Prisoner of Ice is a competent title for adventure fans in general, and Lovecraft fans in particular. It has its moments, but at the same times suffers from so-so acting and a few annoying puzzles.

System Requirements: 486-33 MHz, 4 MB RAM, DOS

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