Hello Retro heads, Christmas is now over and the New Year is sprinting to the finish line! Today I bring you cutesy platformer in the guise of….
Ice Climber on the NES console!
There is not really a plot to this game, so I can’t really give you a goal apart from reaching the top of the screen. I will however tell you that your character is an Eskimo or Eskimo’s in dual player ( YES! ). OK, so this is a vertical scrolling game with the goal of reaching the top of the screen from starting right at the bottom. Levels are progressively more challenging as you go, with enemy sprites out to stop you in your tracks. You have to bash blocks out from above you in order to jump through the gaps you make to reach the goal above you. Enemy characters can be twatted with your ice hammer to stun them and force them to withdraw from the level for a short period of time.
Later levels start to challenge you as some of the platforms force you to run against the flow, slowing you down and making hammering those blocks above you a lot more of a challenge. Other obsticles include icicles that will drop down from above ledges, and clouds that you need to utilise to advance, this gets very tricky once you start blasting through your levels.
Once you reach the top of the screen you are greeted with a bonus round, where you need to collect items and progress to the top once again, from here your score will be tallied with the amount of blocks smashed and enemies you have crushed with your hammer. When you are in two player mode, you can make a decision to play against or co-operate with your friend. However, once you reach the bonus stage you MUST fight to the top as this is what it’s intended for. This does add a great little fun element into the game if you decide to play the game with co-op in mind, play the friend game, then crush them in the bonus round!
If I have a criticism here it would be that the controls can be a little unexpected. Pushing left or right with jump can sometimes have you jumping down a hole you didn’t plan on falling down, not a major frustration but many bonus stages have been lost due to bad responses and resulting in falling down the hole at the bottom of the screen.
Graphics:- Well this is one of the classic Nintendo games, and as you would expect everything is done in cute ‘o’ vision, which works well, the levels are set out nicely too, nicely drawn sprites and nice little animations to go with it.
Sound:- Standard Nintendo *bwoops* and *bwaps* but it works well with Ice Climber. Not much to write home about other than that really, which is a bit of a shame, but it was an early Nintendo release for the console.
Overall:- A fun little game with a great learning curve for all ages. Fun challenge mode for 2 players, and a rather amusing polar bear attack if you leave your character idle for too long…I won’t spoil it for you, but do it….just….do it!