If you’re a fan of the Ice Age film series that means you can probably stomach Ray Romano’s voice for more than nine seconds. And if you can achieve that wondrous feat, than you will probably enjoy Ice Age Adventures.
Ice Age Adventures is kind of an odd duck, and I find that endearing. Facebook categorizes it as a puzzle game, but in truth it’s kind of a hodgepodge of several genres. Puzzles definitely play a very fun part in the form of the ever present ‘match-three’ game type, but platforming, chance games and a very basic element of city building are also kicking around. More on that later.
I enjoyed the movies enough (I’m a big fan of Denis Leary), so I can imagine a true fan of the films might clap with joy at the opening cut scene. A trifecta of great animation, official soundtrack and the entire Hollywood cast of voice actors (Leary, Romano and John Leguizamo to name a few) shows that Fox and Gameloft spared no expense on this one. And all the star-studded features aside, the game is faily solid.
You’re tasked from the beginning to save Manny the Mammoth’s lost tribe of various Ice Age era creatures who have been lost at sea via ice floats. The menagerie consists of White Tigers, Aardvarks, Beavers, and Gazelles for some reason, and roughly one hundred more.
In order to rescue all of the happy animal families, you’ll need to take your ice ship to various islands and progress along very basic levels, clearing your way to the mini game sections.
Berries, Shells and Acorns, with the latter being the game’s hard currency, all play a role in our rescue efforts. Berries help you clear trees and boulders on the main map. Clearing said boulders earns you shells which you use to build animal habitats and land expansions. Once an animal is rescued and in its habitat it generates Berries, and thus the circle of life continues!
Acorns being premium hard currency are used to buy exclusive animals and expand into dangerous areas to rescue more of the same. They’re also used to get a second shot at a failed minigame.
The minigames are an absolute joy, and I found myself looking forward to cutting a swath through new islands to reach them. Rescuing animals is done in one of two different ways. Either you find the wee critter trapped in ice and start a match-three puzzle game to save them, or you find a grotto which starts a slot machine game. If you’re lucky via the chance game, you then get to start a simple Minion Rush-style race game.
Unfortunately, losing at a mini game comes with a cost. All things considered it isn’t the worst setback of setbacks, but when you lose you have to sit and wait. You’re immediately given the option of spending hard currency to start from where you failed, but if you decline the option you are greeted on the main map by a ten to thirty minute timer that counts down to your next chance at playing the game. I know that most freemium games find a way to get you to spend money, but this one seems rather unfair. I can picture a younger player getting fairly fed up at the sudden realization that they can no longer play a game they love.
All things considered though, Ice Age Adventures is very well put together. The clever A-List voice acting alone is enough to keep a non-fan like myself interested. Any fan of the series should give it a shot.