Prisoner of Ice
|Prisoner of Ice|
North American DOS cover art
|Release date(s)||1995 (PC)
Prisoner of Ice (also Call of Cthulhu: Prisoner of Ice) is a 1995 PC adventure game by Infogrames in America and Europe. It is based on H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, particularly At the Mountains of Madness, and is a follow-up to Infogrames' earlier Shadow of the Comet. In 1997, the game was released on Sega Saturn and PlayStation exclusively in Japan.
Prisoner of Ice begins during the run-up to World War II, primarily around Antarctica. The main character is a young U.S. intelligence officer, Lt. Ryan, who has been assigned to a British submarine, the HMS Victoria, for a special mission.
As the game begins, the submarine is fleeing the Antarctic after rescuing a Norwegian who has recently escaped from a secret German base in the Antarctic (it is later revealed that the base is built atop the Ancient Ruins mentioned in At the Mountains of Madness). Along with the Norwegian, the sub has picked up two "top secret" crates, stolen from the Nazis.
Late in the game, in Argentina, Ryan meets John Parker, the central character from Shadow of the Comet, and reveals the links between the two games. Narackamous, the main antagonist of Shadow of the Comet, also returns.
The game has a choice of endings, though there is little difference between them.
The game involves solving puzzles through a point and click interface. The player can examine any item and, depending on the item, either pick it up, use another item on it, or operate it in some way.
Some puzzles, if not completed within a short span of time (always less than a minute), will result in a game over. To ensure that the player does not get stuck by saving their game at a point from which they cannot possibly complete a puzzle in time, the game autosaves onto a separate save file at the beginning of each timed puzzle.
The game was released on both Windows and Apple computer platforms in America (where it was published by I Motion) and Europe in 1995. It was released as Call of Cthulhu: Prisoner of Ice in PAL territories.
In Japan, the game was released in 1997 as Prisoner of Ice: Jashin Kourin, and ported to the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation game consoles. These ports contain no enhancements from the PC versions. The English voice acting of the PC version is retained, but the text which appears when examining or picking up objects is translated to Japanese, making the game essentially unplayable without being fluent in Japanese. The Saturn version is compatible with the Netlink Mouse.
Most reviews of the game have been positive, and hold a 76 out of 100 on MobyGames.