Game Review: Ice Cool

School.  Often the most boring part of a child’s day, even when that child is a penguin.  But some penguins decide that sitting around is not in their best interests. So they think that the teacher, being old and all will not notice them leave, so they can sneak out and catch fish.  The only problem is the person who once was their friend: The hall monitor. His goal is to catch them and take their student I.D.s to turn in to the teacher in exchange for fish.

In the dexterity game Ice Cool, you play the role of one of the penguins running from the hall monitor while flicking your penguin through gates to collect fish.

 

 

Design/Components:

The game is designed with multiple boxes inside of each other to minimize size.

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Components:

  • 4 plastic penguins

  • 5 cardboard boxes — rooms

  • 16 wooden Fish tokens (12 fish in 4 player colors and 4 fish in white color

  • 45 Fish cards (each showing 1, 2 or 3 victory points)

  • 4 color reminder cards

  • 4 penguin ID cards

  • Rules

 

Gameplay:

The game is played in 3-4 rounds.  Each round one person will be the catcher and the other three will be Attempting to find fish.  When you play the game you each take turns flicking your penguin starting left from the catcher through the gates, attempting to go through the gate with fish on them.There’s three ways you can flick your penguin. You can flick it straight on to have it go straight forward, you can flick it on the side to spin it through a gate, or you can jump it by flicking the top of his head.  Each time you go through a gate with a fish, you take the fish token off and draw card from the pile. The round ends when either someone has gotten all three of their fish or when the catcher manages to hit everyone and takes everyone’s IDs.

The “1” cards have ice skates on them. If you have two “1’s” with ice skates on them, you can reveal them and take an extra flick. You do not lose the points by revealing the fish. After you finish playing every round, scoring  is simple. You simply add up all the numbers on your fish cards and the person with the highest total wins.

 

Impressions:

Things that could be better:

  • Making the penguins a little smaller: it can be difficult to get the penguins to fit through the gates, as their heads will catch.  If the penguins were smaller, It would be easier to slide them through the gates and the game might go a little faster.

  • Giving yourself the ability to get out of the starting room on your third turn.  Some people will get stuck in the starting room the entire game or the entire round and that makes them really sad. If you made some sort of teleportation, like after three turns you’re allowed to move to any room within the red lines, then that would make the game a lot simpler for some people.

 

Things that I liked:

  • How the penguins did not have ball bearings. If the penguins are ball bearing it would be a lot harder to get them to curve and catch the fish by curving through intricate Gates. especially, you can curve them through rooms and even make them jump.

  • The box in a box. The way the boxes can go inside of each other makes it much easier to pack it up and take it on trips, and it will not take up an insane amount of space.

 

Overall:

This game is wonderfully designed and great for people of all ages. Everyone will have a fun time flicking penguins through gates and making them jump and groaning when the hall monitor catches them. They’re also making an expansion called Ice Cool 2, which will double the board size, add more penguins, and add a sliding board to the middle which I got to try out at Origins this year. This is a great family game that everyone will love!

(This review is written by Isaac’s “Sidekick”, 11 year old Ethan!)

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