Iceblast


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Iceblast

JohnBIt's cold outside. No, really cold. So cold that the polar ice caps (which melted under a previous un-cold spell) are re-freezing and casting the entire world into a new ice age. Bizarre crystals begin to form across the globe, and they seem to be impervious to most things that get rid of ice. Like, you know, warm things.

iceblast.jpgFortunately an elite team of combat-ready women have been assembled, each with a special ability that can chip away at the ice. In Iceblast you take control of Skye, Luna, and Sun and destroy ice crystals to restore the world to its happy warm-like state. Using a fun puzzle/strategy layout reminiscent of The Lost Vikings, you must find the most efficient way to clear each field of ice to earn points and upgrade the girls' abilities.

Commanding the fighters from behind your monitor, simply click a character's portrait to send her out on the field and attack any piece of ice you choose. Skye, Luna, and Sun excel at a different style attack. Luna is really tough and can destroy big chunks of ice in one hit. Skye is fast but can only attack one shard at a time for very little damage. Sun can summon mirages of herself to attack additional shards anywhere on the screen. After each attack, the character must rest to recharge her power before going out into the field again.

Iceblast gets really interesting when combo attacks come into play. When a shard of ice is destroyed, it deals damage to adjacent shards. If you chip away and plan your moves right, you can eliminate whole groups of crystals with a single move, scoring massive points for your team. Building combos is what Iceblast is all about.

Between levels you get the chance to visit a training dojo and item shop where you can spend credits to decrease resting time between attacks or to buy better weapons that can destroy bigger chunks of ice. Spend wisely, however, as what you invest in really makes a difference in later levels.

iceblast2.jpgAnalysis: An unassuming little game, Iceblast took me by surprise with its simple but engaging premise. Breaking ice with a team of superheroines? SRSLY?! But the puzzle/strategy mix is definitely a winner, and it encourages you to find the path of least resistance to clear each screen of shards. Do you go for big combo points, try and get multiplier bonuses, or just fly into a click frenzy and hope it all works out ok? As the game progresses, you have to get smarter and smarter about what you do, and it's a great experience.

On the flip-side of the frozen coin, Iceblast presents you with a pretty basic visual package that gives the game a dated look. From strange color schemes to awkward menus right down to the anime-inspired characters, it all screams "blah" and will likely turn some players away. If you can look past the presentation, however, you'll be delighted to find a game worth chipping into.

Despite its too-simple visual style and somewhat unintuitive assembly, Iceblast manages to pull things together and create a fun (and different!) casual puzzle/strategy game. There's even a limited Flash demo that will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of gameplay!

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Walkthrough Guide


(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

The General Guide to Smashing Ice Formations On A Budget That Doesn't Cover Construction Equipment

Overview of Game Mechanics:

These are the base abilities for your Charlie's Angels-esque crew. Later on you can upgrade them, but for the most part the upgrades will only help you keep pace with the staggering amount of shards you'll be faced with in the future, and their purpose will remain the same.

Skye:

Hits for only one ice shard, but works pretty fast and charges fast too. Use her to break singles after you've set them up with Luna.

Luna:

Hits slow and charges slow, but can take out three shard crystals and lower in one hit. You'll be using her to maintain your combos but be sure to find ways to fit Skye in.

Sun:

Can only hit as strong as Skye, but hits up to three shards at a time. This may look like a good thing, but in reality it costs you points, even if you're able to set up a combo, since you can just milk more out of the combo by hitting each single-shard crystal with Skye instead. Use her only to shave down the larger crystals at the beginning to set up combos or clear out the stragglers at the end when you're pressed for time.

Chain:

Whenever more than one icicle is destroyed in one hit. This doesn't count Sun's multiple strike ability, but if those hits cause chains, then the multiplier will include all of them at the same time. Hard to set up, though.

Combo:

Whenever crystals are destroyed with each consecutive hit, a multiplier will start affecting every strike you make until the end of the combo. Sun's attack is considered to be one hit in a combo, and will stop the combo if Sun doesn't destroy everything she hits.

Overall Strategy:

Forget about setting up large chains (destroying more than one crystal in one hit) for the most part, as they'll take too long and don't deliver that many points. The real money is in the combos (destroying a crystal with each hit, consecutively). If you maintain a combo, the multiplier will start to reach ridiculous heights as you rack up the points, and you can get really high scores early on so you can snag those upgrades as soon as possible. For those purposes, you'll only be using Skye and Luna.

Sun will more often than not force you to either break your combo (C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER) since you couldn't find three single-shard crystals, or reduce your combo potential because you can increase a combo three times with Skye instead (she charges so fast with upgrades, the time isn't even debatable) of just once when Sun hits three single-shard crystals. Even later on, when you gain the ability to crush two/three-shard crystals with her, she'll still drag your combo potential down. Sorry, Sun, but for the most part, you'll never need to buy any upgrades for her until you've got money to burn. Save your credits for the other gals, especially Luna, since you'll need her to be crushing much, much larger crystals later on.

Basically, you'll want to scout for three-shard crystals next to two-shard crystals, so that you can take them out with Luna and set up single-shard crystals for Skye to clean up. This will change with upgrades later on, but the premise is the same....use Luna to start, Skye to finish. Once again, Sun should only be used to reduce the crystals that are larger than Luna's ability to crush, and only at the beginning, since you'll want to keep your combo going once it's started.

Clearing faster will not score you as many points as a ridiculous combo, so try to resist the urge to rush. If you crush crystals with two people at the same time, this will reset your combo, so watch out! Carefully stagger your hits to fall one after another to maintain a steady pace. This will keep you ahead of the timer.

Speaking of which, many of the later levels will try to overwhelm you with big, sturdy crystal formations. However, if you're playing Normal mode, feel free to just not attack the stage and look around for a bit, and then reset the level and proceed with a strategy. This can be helpful to plan ahead when shaving down thicker areas with Sun. Also, feel free to use Skye and Luna to help with prep but make sure that you leave as many crystals and shards as you can behind that are within crushing range of Luna so you can get as many combo points as possible.

An expert will clear the lower scoring areas first (read: crystals that are by themselves, in order of their size), then use the increased multiplier to milk every last point out of the bigger sets.

Tips for each country:

Malaysia

The first area starts off pretty easy (cause otherwise that'd be mean), so you'll be able to find ways to keep your combos rolling without much planning. The crystals get larger in the second half, so look for crystals next to them that you can break to whittle them down. If that's not possible, Sun can prep them at the beginning of the stage. If you're a prolific scorer, you can get Luna's upgrades early, then put the rest in Skye. For the 5 chain level, just whittle the bottom leftish area down to a row of one-shard crystals and then let 'er rip. Incidently, if you're trying to get the "one person win", combo/no chain, chain/no combo, chain, and enlightenment medals, you should do them in this area if possible, since you're under no big pressure to fight the elements. The other medals will occur naturally as you progress throughout the game, provided that you love combos as much as I do.

Africa

You'll start to get randomly regenerating crystals that add more shards onto whatever they had before. This can be bad if it's a beefy loner. Use Sun to quickly pare down the big guys to one shard below what Luna can take care of, then clear them all away with Luna before they get any bigger. At this point, if you're scoring like crazy, finish up Skye if you haven't already, and pick up Sun's upgrades. At the 5 chain stage, get that task out of the way first, or the regeneration will drive you nuts later on.

Japan

Crystals will start growing out of the ground. Sometimes they're freaking huge, too. Just ignore them unless you can score more combos from them, or else it'll break your concentration. Also, watch out for the regeneration, which will return on the second stage. By now, you should have already gotten all the upgrades. Near the end of the area, you may have to sacrifice some scoring potential for speed, as the regeneration and sprouting will be going pretty fast.

Switzerland

Hey, isn't this country normally cold? Anyway, those ice generators sure are crazy, eh? Don't bother milking them for points, without a combo, it's all chump change anyway. Like your normal chain assignments, take care of them early before regeneration and new crystals make your life a living hell, then proceed as usual. You probably should take out the clustered generators first. You can also use Sun to chain the deactivated generators (provided that they aren't going to turn back on within a second or so) as part of your combo, since you'll gain no benefit from hitting them alone.

For the special levels:

- Finish level in ten hits

The key here is speed, but first plot out your plan...Sun is actually useful for once. Assuming that you've already bought every single upgrade (if you haven't, oh boy, you're done for), have Sun target the three-shard crystal next to the middle generator, then the two-shard crystals next to the two generators on the right, then finally any shards larger than two crystals. Right as the madness goes off, switch to Skye and smash the middle generator JUST AS IT TURNS RED (full caps for emphasis on SPEED), and hopefully that'll strand the other generator on the right, which you should smash now.

After that, use Skye to hit the three-shard crystal next to the remaining generator, then set any of the single-shard crystals next to the generator off, and destroy that last generator to finish the level.

- Three generators next to each other

Reduce all the crystals around them to single shards, then take out the middle one first.

- Four generators next to each other

Clear up the shards for the left side generator, then destroy it by targeting the generator it with Luna, and then use Skye to set off the chain immediately afterwards. With any luck, you've taken it out before the generator next to it has responded. Then do the same thing you did with the three generators earlier.

Arctic

Okay, now I know this place is definitely fine with freezing temperatures. Not only do the ice storms block you from acting, they also charge up every crystal on screen smaller than six shards! Be sure to finish any work on removing generators before then, or you'll be up to your armpits in icicles! Heck, even normal clearing is a chore. You may as well give up on trying to combo anything, since the storms interrupt so frequently that there's no chance of you maintaining any sort of multiplier. Just fight for survival...unless you're crazy, and want to try chaining generator destruction with Sun while racing against an oncoming blizzard. Speaking of which, since we're abandoning combos, go ahead and use Sun now, since you'll need as much help as you can get.

Special levels:

- Finish in eight moves

Not only do the generators make things utterly annoying, they also take up two moves, bringing your breathing room down to six moves. Of course, there's a simple solution to this. You'll need Luna's crazy smashing power.

First, use Luna to punch the crystal two spaces down from the south generator. Then punch the crystal two spaces northeast of that same south generator. Then punch the crystal all the way to the west of the north generator. Finally, punch the crystal in between the two generators. Clean those machines up (feel free to use Sun) and that crazy ordeal's over.

- Finish in one minute

Remember, since Luna can crush a large crystal in one hit, you can use her to set off the chain to destroy the generator and save some time on reducing that crystal. Other than that, FULL PANIC MODE. You'll want to cause the maximum amount of destruction, so use as many short chains as possible.

After you're done with the normal mode, you may want to try Hard Mode, in which I can't really help you more than I have already since it's randomized. Good luck!

8 Comments

weirdguy Author Profile Page March 1, 2009 2:16 PM

The General Guide to Smashing Ice Formations On A Budget That Doesn't Cover Construction Equipment

Overview of Game Mechanics:

These are the base abilities for your Charlie's Angels-esque crew. Later on you can upgrade them, but for the most part the upgrades will only help you keep pace with the staggering amount of shards you'll be faced with in the future, and their purpose will remain the same.

Skye:

Hits for only one ice shard, but works pretty fast and charges fast too. Use her to break singles after you've set them up with Luna.

Luna:

Hits slow and charges slow, but can take out three shard crystals and lower in one hit. You'll be using her to maintain your combos but be sure to find ways to fit Skye in.

Sun:

Can only hit as strong as Skye, but hits up to three shards at a time. This may look like a good thing, but in reality it costs you points, even if you're able to set up a combo, since you can just milk more out of the combo by hitting each single-shard crystal with Skye instead. Use her only to shave down the larger crystals at the beginning to set up combos or clear out the stragglers at the end when you're pressed for time.

Chain:

Whenever more than one icicle is destroyed in one hit. This doesn't count Sun's multiple strike ability, but if those hits cause chains, then the multiplier will include all of them at the same time. Hard to set up, though.

Combo:

Whenever crystals are destroyed with each consecutive hit, a multiplier will start affecting every strike you make until the end of the combo. Sun's attack is considered to be one hit in a combo, and will stop the combo if Sun doesn't destroy everything she hits.

Overall Strategy:

Forget about setting up large chains (destroying more than one crystal in one hit) for the most part, as they'll take too long and don't deliver that many points. The real money is in the combos (destroying a crystal with each hit, consecutively). If you maintain a combo, the multiplier will start to reach ridiculous heights as you rack up the points, and you can get really high scores early on so you can snag those upgrades as soon as possible. For those purposes, you'll only be using Skye and Luna.

Sun will more often than not force you to either break your combo (C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER) since you couldn't find three single-shard crystals, or reduce your combo potential because you can increase a combo three times with Skye instead (she charges so fast with upgrades, the time isn't even debatable) of just once when Sun hits three single-shard crystals. Even later on, when you gain the ability to crush two/three-shard crystals with her, she'll still drag your combo potential down. Sorry, Sun, but for the most part, you'll never need to buy any upgrades for her until you've got money to burn. Save your credits for the other gals, especially Luna, since you'll need her to be crushing much, much larger crystals later on.

Basically, you'll want to scout for three-shard crystals next to two-shard crystals, so that you can take them out with Luna and set up single-shard crystals for Skye to clean up. This will change with upgrades later on, but the premise is the same....use Luna to start, Skye to finish. Once again, Sun should only be used to reduce the crystals that are larger than Luna's ability to crush, and only at the beginning, since you'll want to keep your combo going once it's started.

Clearing faster will not score you as many points as a ridiculous combo, so try to resist the urge to rush. If you crush crystals with two people at the same time, this will reset your combo, so watch out! Carefully stagger your hits to fall one after another to maintain a steady pace. This will keep you ahead of the timer.

Speaking of which, many of the later levels will try to overwhelm you with big, sturdy crystal formations. However, if you're playing Normal mode, feel free to just not attack the stage and look around for a bit, and then reset the level and proceed with a strategy. This can be helpful to plan ahead when shaving down thicker areas with Sun. Also, feel free to use Skye and Luna to help with prep but make sure that you leave as many crystals and shards as you can behind that are within crushing range of Luna so you can get as many combo points as possible.

An expert will clear the lower scoring areas first (read: crystals that are by themselves, in order of their size), then use the increased multiplier to milk every last point out of the bigger sets.

Tips for each country:

Malaysia

The first area starts off pretty easy (cause otherwise that'd be mean), so you'll be able to find ways to keep your combos rolling without much planning. The crystals get larger in the second half, so look for crystals next to them that you can break to whittle them down. If that's not possible, Sun can prep them at the beginning of the stage. If you're a prolific scorer, you can get Luna's upgrades early, then put the rest in Skye. For the 5 chain level, just whittle the bottom leftish area down to a row of one-shard crystals and then let 'er rip. Incidently, if you're trying to get the "one person win", combo/no chain, chain/no combo, chain, and enlightenment medals, you should do them in this area if possible, since you're under no big pressure to fight the elements. The other medals will occur naturally as you progress throughout the game, provided that you love combos as much as I do.

Africa

You'll start to get randomly regenerating crystals that add more shards onto whatever they had before. This can be bad if it's a beefy loner. Use Sun to quickly pare down the big guys to one shard below what Luna can take care of, then clear them all away with Luna before they get any bigger. At this point, if you're scoring like crazy, finish up Skye if you haven't already, and pick up Sun's upgrades. At the 5 chain stage, get that task out of the way first, or the regeneration will drive you nuts later on.

Japan

Crystals will start growing out of the ground. Sometimes they're freaking huge, too. Just ignore them unless you can score more combos from them, or else it'll break your concentration. Also, watch out for the regeneration, which will return on the second stage. By now, you should have already gotten all the upgrades. Near the end of the area, you may have to sacrifice some scoring potential for speed, as the regeneration and sprouting will be going pretty fast.

Switzerland

Hey, isn't this country normally cold? Anyway, those ice generators sure are crazy, eh? Don't bother milking them for points, without a combo, it's all chump change anyway. Like your normal chain assignments, take care of them early before regeneration and new crystals make your life a living hell, then proceed as usual. You probably should take out the clustered generators first. You can also use Sun to chain the deactivated generators (provided that they aren't going to turn back on within a second or so) as part of your combo, since you'll gain no benefit from hitting them alone.

For the special levels:

- Finish level in ten hits

The key here is speed, but first plot out your plan...Sun is actually useful for once. Assuming that you've already bought every single upgrade (if you haven't, oh boy, you're done for), have Sun target the three-shard crystal next to the middle generator, then the two-shard crystals next to the two generators on the right, then finally any shards larger than two crystals. Right as the madness goes off, switch to Skye and smash the middle generator JUST AS IT TURNS RED (full caps for emphasis on SPEED), and hopefully that'll strand the other generator on the right, which you should smash now.

After that, use Skye to hit the three-shard crystal next to the remaining generator, then set any of the single-shard crystals next to the generator off, and destroy that last generator to finish the level.

- Three generators next to each other

Reduce all the crystals around them to single shards, then take out the middle one first.

- Four generators next to each other

Clear up the shards for the left side generator, then destroy it by targeting the generator it with Luna, and then use Skye to set off the chain immediately afterwards. With any luck, you've taken it out before the generator next to it has responded. Then do the same thing you did with the three generators earlier.

Arctic

Okay, now I know this place is definitely fine with freezing temperatures. Not only do the ice storms block you from acting, they also charge up every crystal on screen smaller than six shards! Be sure to finish any work on removing generators before then, or you'll be up to your armpits in icicles! Heck, even normal clearing is a chore. You may as well give up on trying to combo anything, since the storms interrupt so frequently that there's no chance of you maintaining any sort of multiplier. Just fight for survival...unless you're crazy, and want to try chaining generator destruction with Sun while racing against an oncoming blizzard. Speaking of which, since we're abandoning combos, go ahead and use Sun now, since you'll need as much help as you can get.

Special levels:

- Finish in eight moves

Not only do the generators make things utterly annoying, they also take up two moves, bringing your breathing room down to six moves. Of course, there's a simple solution to this. You'll need Luna's crazy smashing power.

First, use Luna to punch the crystal two spaces down from the south generator. Then punch the crystal two spaces northeast of that same south generator. Then punch the crystal all the way to the west of the north generator. Finally, punch the crystal in between the two generators. Clean those machines up (feel free to use Sun) and that crazy ordeal's over.

- Finish in one minute

Remember, since Luna can crush a large crystal in one hit, you can use her to set off the chain to destroy the generator and save some time on reducing that crystal. Other than that, FULL PANIC MODE. You'll want to cause the maximum amount of destruction, so use as many short chains as possible.

After you're done with the normal mode, you may want to try Hard Mode, in which I can't really help you more than I have already since it's randomized. Good luck!

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Yea, I found that buy doing INSANE Amounts of combos in the fist 2 countries, the rest of the game becomes really easy

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buttery61 Author Profile Page March 2, 2009 12:18 PM

I'm not quite sure how you do combos. Is it one person hitting and getting 6 chards or one person doing 6 hits in a row without using other 2?
Help please been stuck on 6 combo 4,... 3 days.

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weirdguy Author Profile Page March 2, 2009 3:06 PM

Oh, right. A combo is when you destroy a crystal with a hit, and then you do that again with your next hit, and so on.

Example: Luna punches a crystal, and it is completely destroyed. Then Skye hits a single shard crystal, and it is completely destroyed too. A 2x combo indicator pops up next to the points you get. Then Luna punches another crystal, which is also completely destroyed, and 3x combo pops up. And so on. The points you get for each hit keeps multiplying with each hit you make until the combo ends.

There's no time or person restriction on combos, so you can use anybody you want as many times in a row as you want to as long as EACH HIT DESTROYS THE CRYSTAL COMPLETELY. If somebody hits a crystal and it doesn't break completely, then the combo ends. (This doesn't count when a destroyed crystal hits another crystal, just the initial one you're targeting.) With Sun, all the hits she makes have to destroy all the crystals she's hitting, or else it will end the combo. That's why I avoid using her until I really need the extra help.

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weirdguy Author Profile Page March 2, 2009 3:09 PM

Oh, and of course, the combo multiplier only increases every time you strike, so if you cause a chain (breaking more than one crystal in one hit), the combo multiplier will not increase for any further destruction, but it will still apply itself to any points you scored with that move.

Any hit that ends a combo will not have the multiplier bonus applied to it.

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Wow, this game is truly love at first sight. Destroying ice crystals as a team of combat-ready anime cuties? Sign me in!!! I usually prefer my games free, but this offer is truly tempting. Kudos to Zombie Gecko for creating this little masterpiece. Keep them coming!

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Can you please give me some help or advice on passing level 20 in Africa. It says to get five five combo attacks i've done it over and over again and still fail the mission. What am I doing wrong? any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Nance

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I played this game for about 3 days for now, and it seems that I got problem at level 43. I really don't know how to do the 8-steps thing. Somehow, i managed to destroy all the shards. But, i cannot proceed without breaking the ice generators. Can anyone help me? Thanks a lot.

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