Developer: Distinctive Games
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Canadian and want to revel in that ice hockey victory? American and want to right the wrongs of the recent past? Then maybe Patrick Kane’s Winter Games is exactly what’s needed. An ice hockey game attributed to the team USA player of the same name, it’s a quite fun if simple interpretation of the popular sport.

wintergames7Focusing on international teams rather than NHL sides, Patrick Kane’s Winter Games offers up a few different modes of play. There’s the one-off quick match (in the form of Face-Off), as well as the Winter Games tournament, and the challenge focused Rivals Series. The latter being the most satisfying, allowing players the chance to change history by recreating some famous rivalries.

Of course, gameplay is the much the same throughout so it’s fortunate that it’s relatively easy to learn. Moving the hockey player around is dictated by the left virtual stick, while the right hand side covers controls such as passing, shooting, and tackling. They’re situational so things change depending on if the player is defending or attacking. Feeling suitably icy, controls are pretty twitchy but they work reasonably well. It captures the sense of speed that’s synonymous with the game. However, the lack of fighting might be sorely missed by some fans.

wintergames2It’s possible to change up strategies throughout a match, attempting to add some tactical play to the game, but admittedly I didn’t find this made much of a difference. Distinctly arcade style in nature, Patrick Kane’s Winter Games isn’t going to challenge anyone’s gray matter; which does damage its potentials for being a long term gaming fix.

Despite that though, Patrick Kane’s Winter Games is worth a play. The ice hockey genre is fairly underrepresented on the App Store, making this a welcome entry at an ideal time. Focusing on international teams may disappoint those wanting to check out the NHL but it’s still quite fun and captures the (non-fighting) spirit reasonably well, even if it isn’t a title to play for a long time to come.

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