ICEY Review: Jokes and Quality Fast-Paced Action
- Name: ICEY
- Developer & Publisher: FantaBlade Network & X.D. Network
- Genre: Action, side-scroller
- Price: $2.99
- Installed size: 345 mb
- Best played in medium-long sessions
- Crashing issues (see note)
- Playable Offline: Yes
NOTE: Some users have reported experiencing crashes when opening the game, leaving them unable to play. This was initially the case during the review process, but the game only crashed the first two times it was launched, with zero issues afterwards. If the game won’t start on your device, take advantage of Google’s refund policy. At the time of this review a fix for this issue was in the works.
What is ICEY?
ICEY is a fast paced action side-scroller with a good bit of fourth wall breaking meta humor. Players play as ICEY, who is on a mission to defeat the evil Judas, or so the game’s narrator tells her. Throughout the game players will hear the narrator discuss the events of the game and what ICEY should do next. This often signals an opportunity to stray from the beaten path and find hidden secrets. Any time the player deviates from the narrator’s instructions, they will hear complaints about going the wrong way, rebukes about refusing to follow instructions, or even insights about the game.
This is still an action game, and there is plenty of action to be had as ICEY hacks and slashes at her robotic adversaries. Players have control over ICEY’s movement via a virtual joystick, and four buttons that allow them to dash, jump, and use weak and strong attacks. These actions can be chained together for combos, unleashing some flashy moves. The dash button can also be used to counterattack if timed correctly, giving users some flexibility about how they approach each enemy encounter. More combos and player upgrades can be aquired as players progress further in the game and acquire more currency.
ICEY is a darn good mobile game. There are plenty of Android titles that promise console-like experiences and end up delivering nice 3D graphics and underwhelming gameplay. ICEY is not one of those games, it delivers a fundamentally good user experience without making many compromises during the shift from its original PC release.
ICEY’s nails the execution in both the gameplay and presentation departments. As far as gameplay goes, combat mechanics work well and depend on player skill and timing for success. Though the game is not particularly difficult, it won’t always hold your hand if you decide to stray from the path the narrator puts you on. That leaves room for a bit of exploration and the satisfaction associated with finding something without having an arrow pointing to where you need to go. The narrator element of the game makes for some genuinely amusing moments as he scolds you for jumping into a pit of acid he clearly warned you about a second ago. As far as presentation goes, the game looks great, and has both image quality and FPS settings that help it run on lower end devices, and helps users with high end devices when they want to conserve some battery power. The soundtrack is fitting for the game’s futuristic vibe and the narrator’s voice work gives the character some personality. You might not like his personality, but at least it’s personality.
There are not many issues with ICEY, but there are a few. The first and most important is, as mentioned earlier, crashing on startup. This is a real problem for some that renders the game entirely unplayable. Though it was not much of an issue during this review. Second, there are a few issues with the game’s save system. It uses check points that are a bit too far apart for the game to be played in short bursts (by mobile standards). The game also doesn’t offer cloud saving via Google Play Games, which is definitely disappointing. Lastly, controller button mapping isn’t perfect, with the button layout varying depending on the controller used.
In the grand scheme of things, the issues with ICEY are minor (unless the game fails to load on your device). Many Android games do not offer controller support at all, so complaining about button mapping not being ideal is almost petty. These issues don’t detract from the fact that ICEY provides a great mobile action experience with very reasonable price tag, no ads, and no in app purchases.