Another BLAST from the past here, with Fire ‘n Ice. It’s a curious little number in the NES catalogue, with mighty impressive graphics!
It also goes by the name of Solomon’s Key 2, just to cause extra confusion there.
Regardless of the name, it does the same thing. A puzzle platformer with a heaping great big emphasis on the elements. Let’s do this!
The History of Fire ‘n Ice (Solomon’s Key 2) for the NES
So, yes, Tecmo is responsible for this thing. It’s a puzzle game, essentially, just set around 2D platforming and all that jazz.
It’s part of the sokoban genre of puzzle games (倉庫番—sōko-ban). That’s where a title requires the pushing of crates around an area to get them to a location.
This genre has been around since 1982, with the first release being Thinking Rabbit. However, you can still see the genre in modern titles such as Plague Tale, various Resident Evil games, and even Zelda: Twilight Princess.
The game launched in Japan first back in 1992, before reaching Europe and North America in 1993. In NA it got the name Fire ‘n Ice over Japan’s Solomon’s Key 2. For whatever reason.
There’s a plot vauguely in action, which is about an old woman telling a story to her grandchildren. Everything takes place on Coolmint Island, which is made of ice.
But an evil wizard dude called Druidle sends over flames monsters to melt the island. The bastard!
As such, your job is to take control of apprentice wizard Harry Po… sorry, Dana. And you then manoeuvre ice blocks around stages to put out flames.
Okay, so that’s of that plot bollocks. Let’s take a closer look at how your standard stage typically unfolds.
The idea is to extinguish flames by pushing ice blocks onto the fire.
It may seem remarkably simplistic, but this was gaming around the 1992 era for you. Primarily on the NES, as it was technologically so limited.
But it manages to offer an entertaining time of things, thanks to some clever puzzles that prove pretty mind-bending.
And if you get stuck, there’s an open level structure where you can just head off and try and different stage. Which was novel for the time!
So, yes, this is one of the NES games that’s aged well.
It’s graphics are incredibly polished for the time and its gameplay is well thought out, challenging, and engaging. Good fun! Well done, Tecmo.