Nothing in the frozen landscape of Icia could indicate to a visitor in which state this country has been plunged for thousands of years. Generations after generations, the new rules that were adopted, slowly transformed the society into a rigid structure strangled by an omnipotent conformism. There was no place for the joy of living and freedom anymore, everything was under the control of a myriad of directives established by a lineage of stubborn Kings. It all started when King Edward I lost his newborn child. Prostrated with grief, he made the witch Orseppro responsible for the loss of his heir, and banished her from Icia. Her words about love, art, nature, food and music would never be heard again by him or his descendants, who would rule the land with an iron fist, promised the King. Along the years, Orseppro became the witness of the changes happening to Icia, from behind the wall of ice of her prison, but she never gave up the hope to restore life to the desolated world. Yet, it is only when King Edward LCCXI died, leaving a twelve-year old son too young to accede to the throne, that Orseppro had a chance to accomplish her mission.
Since Edward LCCXII was born, he was taught to follow the example of his father. His entire existence had been devoted to learn the rules decreed ages ago by his predecessors, to be one day, able to govern his future kingdom, and eventually proclaim new laws. Edward LCCXII had no feelings, nor emotions, treating his servants with aloof respect, but his young age made him certainly more easily distracted by the surrounding world than his forefathers were. Slowly but surely, doubts would loosen his mind, surreptitiously embracing his personality with humanity and compassion, so that the Kingdom of Icia could finally recover its original state.
Blue Ice is definitely not the typical game you are used to playing with; in fact, it is barely possible to compare it with another computer game. While it features elements borrowed from the adventure game's world, it also contains puzzles that will challenge the strongest minds. Through the artistic environment that appeals for all senses, players will have to explore the world of Icia to find how to enlighten Edward LCCXII to the beauty of the world and teach him how to feel sensations.
As soon as the first screen of the game appears, you feel the difference with Blue Ice. Unlike other adventure/puzzle games that features accurate graphics representing the surrounding world such as Myst, Blue Ice's graphics are similar to collages with overlaid pictures that harmoniously combine together using transparency effects. No more 3D to feast your eyes on, nor mouth-watering cinematic sequences, but instead scenes that interrogate your mind, and appeal for deep though. Each and every detail has its importance, and it's your job to discover what they are for. Nothing has been left to random in Blue Ice, and as it is stated in the game, the world of Icia will only yield its secret to those that are prepared to strive for them.
Although the game's atmosphere is unique, the game play is relatively similar to other adventure games. A set of three icons (a pointing arrow, hand and magnifying glass) will help the player to navigate around, take or touch objects, and read. Additional icons will appear during the game, some representing new actions, and others that are specific objects you picked up along your exploration. Still it is not always clear whether a new icon is an object or indicates an action. To take an example, the moon could be the symbol of night, or might be a handy sickle as well. To access the icons, right click the mouse and move left or right to choose, then left click to select the icon. Blue Ice doesn't contain many objects to pick up, but it is sometimes tricky to get them, and even more complicated to realize what they are used for.
During the game, you will get to know the few characters that serve the prince, namely, the cook and her daughter, the lad and Orseppro's daughter, Hope. You can't directly talk to the first three, but you can with Hope that will guide you during the game. Here, dialogues are replaced by a single text, in which you will find Hope's instructions. Of course, you will have to decipher the content of her messages. For the other characters, you will also have texts to read that will reveal their thoughts and aspirations, hence giving you a chance to understand them better.
The various locations of the game are each, a work of art in which you need to find what is hidden inside. Things may not seem like they first appear, and all the difficulty of the game rests in discovering their true meaning. Along with the surprising graphics, Blue Ice also features an astonishing musical environment mixing classical, jazz and new age soundtracks, with Ravel, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky for the classical, Duke Ellington, Blythe and Joustra for the jazz songs, and Future Sound of London and Brian Eno for new age sounds. Overall, thirty tracks are included in Blue Ice providing the player with a mind relaxing environment, proper for concentration.
Non-conformist adventure players will find quite a challenge in Blue Ice. Both, the unique atmosphere of the game, and its complex puzzles will keep players going deeper into the mysteries of Icia.
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