Developed by: FantaBlade Network
Published by: X.D Network Inc.
Genre(s): Action Side-Scroller
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 (reviewed on Nintendo Switch)
Availability: Out Now
Synopsis: Icey is a 2D side-scrolling action +meta game. As you follow the narrator’s omnipresent voice, you will see through Icey’s eyes and learn the truth about her world.
You know, it’s funny; Icey is a game that both my son, Alex, and I decided to play for this review and we both ended up liking the game, though for very different reasons. Whereas I was a bit annoyed with the narrator in the game and found that I did better when I completely ignored what he was trying to tell me, Alex embraced the meta nature of the game and played it word for word as the narrator described. And still, we both found the game highly enjoyable. I like the action and pacing of the game and thought it was the game’s greatest strengths and its biggest appeal.
But let me get back to the meta nature of the game that allowed Alex to engage with the game more than I did. When the game first starts to hint that there is more to it than being a regular game as you start playing the game when it suddenly acts as if it is shutting down and starting over. I must admit that I found this part of the game pretty ingenious, reminding me highly of the old GameCube game Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem as that game had a huge influence in how I view meta games. But this was Alex’s first experience with a meta style game and he was completely enthralled by it – and I think this is what really drew him into liking the game as much as he did.
Since I have had experience with games like this, I was hoping for a bit more from the game but I did enjoy it to a degree. The narrator started to annoy me even before I finished the first few levels and found that I did better at the game when I ignored what he was telling me to do and just kind of acted on gaming instincts rather than wait for his comments and story. Alex did substantially better listening to him and taking in the totality of the story the narrator was exposing him to. But I really like that we both enjoyed the game for different reasons while enjoying the action that the game presented.
On its own, the action of the game is very intuitive, even if the button placement of the Switch controllers still confuses the hell out of me sometimes. That is not the games fault, just my unfamiliarity with the Switch so far. That is why I asked Alex to help me with this review and deeply relied on his input for this review. (Plus, he enjoyed really helping his dad with something we both are highly interested in, and I love bonding over video games with him when we can.) But I will concur with a lot of his opinion about his game because I enjoyed my time with it. Certainly not as much as Alex did because he enjoyed the story and narration more than I did, but I did not let my lack of enjoyment of the story take away from how much I enjoyed the action and presentation of the game.
Still, in the end, because Alex enjoyed the game more than I did, I want his opinion to be the most prevalent one in this review. And at this point in the cycle of gaming culture, I am beginning to concede that his opinions on games may resonate more than mine with the community. I am a 40-year old gamer, and I know that there are a lot of gamers my age out there, but when it comes to the future of the community, the opinion of my 11-year old may matter more with community than mine, and he loved the game, as I can tell because he is playing the game next to me as I am writing this review. So, while I enjoyed the game for what it is, Alex definitely believes that Icey is an indie game that Switch owners should buy for their consoles – and I am inclined to agree as an indie game fan myself.