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LONG BLOG

Icycle: On Thin Ice (Review)

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I'm a fan of gaming.  If you're reading this, there's a strong possibility that you are a fan as well.  As fans, we keep our eyes and ears open for games that are coming out in the days, weeks and months ahead.  Sometimes they are delayed, sometimes they are discontinued, and sometimes they disappear and become legend as to when they "may" come out - or at least that's how it feels sometimes.

For me and a few others, Icycle: On Thin Ice, the sequel to the browser-based, Flash game Icycle from Damp Gnat, is one of those games.

Icycle: On Thin Ice (iOS [Reviewed on an iPhone 5])
Developer: Damp Gnat
Publisher: Chillingo
Release Date: November 27, 2013
MSRP: $0.99 (In-App Purchases Available)

But now with its launch on the Apple App Store, the wait is over and the adventure can begin.  And what an adventure it is.

Taking inspiration from the Art Deco art style and even the artist Magritte, On Thin Ice puts you in, at first, the sock hat (because that's all he's wearing) of Dennis -- a hopeless romantic who has fallen into a state of reality that, like the mission statement of the game's developer reads, "tickles the brain and challenges expectations."



20 levels, versus the 8 original from the first Icycle game, present varying landscapes and obstacles that define this platformer puzzler.

You will traverse a frozen wasteland (above and below sea level), a war zone, a fractured city, the mind of Dennis and even a deadly department store - not exactly Super Mario Brothers, but it's presentation is nearly flawless.

The animation behind Dennis and the world around him is vector-based -- meaning that the quality of each graphical element is crystal clear at any resolution.  You will see subtle facial nuances, hear him call out "Hello" in varying tones at the beginning of each level and even feel the chill of the air as it breezes by the oddly dressed traveler.

But the dress and unlockable elements to the game are another thing entirely.



Besides just trying to reach the end of each level, collecting Ice is your goal if you want to unlock more wearable and driveable items in the game.  A bowler hat, a Christmas jumper, a red BMX Raleigh Burner and even a beach umbrella are just some of the items that you can buy to customize Dennis on his journey through ice caves and the occasional hazardous department store.

There’s two tips that I’ll leave you with you before you head out into frozen unknown as Dennis.  One, at the beginning of each level, don't immediately head forward.  There might be something behind you.  And finally two, play this game with headphones as the echo at the beginning of each level really does resonate to the point where it acclimates you the landscape around you.



Icycle: On Thin Ice is a beautifully crafted, customizable game that takes you on an adventure unlike any that you’ve seen or expect.  For the price, this game is a bargain if only to look at the artwork for each level, but you’ll find Dennis an instantly-likeable character to pilot through the various obstacles.  Replayability is high thanks to the 80 challenges in the game, and more levels, in the form of “Dreams”, are possibly on the way.  Good luck and stay frosty!
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About BPWeaverone of us since 1:09 PM on 11.26.2013

Brooks is a writer, gamer and overall creativity enthusiast. He's been gaming since the early 1980s when the Atari was cool and Bruce Springsteen was first called "The Boss".

When the original Nintendo was released, if he wasn't playing it at home he was at friend's house playing two-player games until dinner time - and sometimes even later. Throughout it all, he just loved to play great games.

Over the years he has enjoyed watching the evolution of the gaming industry. The NES, Super Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, Steam - the games have gotten bigger and more diverse, but they've always and will always be fantastic, creative representations of those that develop them.

Lately, Brooks has been writing more and more about the industry. Interviewing developers (indie to triple-A) from all over the world, he has even been featured by Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment for an article or two.

Right now, he's enjoying the games that are concluding the current generation of gaming while the next generation comes into focus.