Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
In Ice Age Adventures, the follow-up to 2012’s Ice Age Village, players will experience pretty much every prominent iOS game mechanic of the past few years. There’s match-3 puzzling, infinite running starring someone’s favorite rodent Scrat, light role-playing, and it’s all surrounded by a freemium city-building shell. But it brings these ideas together competently enough to be at least slightly better than the sum of its parts.
As Earth continues to thaw, the frozen homes of everyone’s beloved 'Ice Age' movie characters break apart and drift away. So it’s up to Sid the sloth to rescue his friends and rebuild the village. With its bright colors, swell animation, and copious amounts of voice work from familiar faces like Manny and Diego, the game does capture much of the appeal of the animated movies. The characters also do a good job at explaining the various systems while still being entertaining to a younger audience, even if that leaves older fans irritated by the redundancy
The game is separated into two phases. The more traditional village-building phase has players constructing homes, taking on missions, and managing their various currencies. But the exploration phase is where the real action is. Players unlock over a dozen different islands, from arctic icescapes to dinosaur-filled jungles, and search the land for lost friends and families. They’ll play minigames, find treasure, fight pirates, and solve some simple environmental puzzles like building bridges. These sections almost create the illusion of a real adventure game. Of course, progress is still hamstrung by freemium elements. As the player’s party grows, so too does the number of berries it takes to make any meaningful advancement. But the game never feels entirely exploitative, even when the puzzles give players an absurdly low amount of moves.
Ice Age Adventures feels a lot like the franchise it is based on. It’s not up there with Pixar or the better DreamWorks movies in terms of quality, but it’s still pleasant enough children’s entertainment. It’s not totally cynical.