Ice Age for Gameboy Advance


First Published:
Date Published: 2003
Copyright © 2003 by Kevin Savetz

Developer: UbiSoft
Category/Genre: Video Games - Action/Adventure
Platform: Game Boy advance
Price: $20
ESRB Rating: E
Entertainment Value: Poor. Repetitive gameplay and short levels make the game dull quickly.
Graphics: Good.
Playability: Fair. Some levels are unduly frustrating.
Reading Level: No reading required.
Release Date: 11/11/2002

The kids may like the idea of controlling characters from the movie for a while, but they will tire quickly of this repetitive and uninspired game. The player has to kill a lot of other animals along the way, some of which aren't aggressive, which could be a good discussion topic.

Video game spin-offs of movies are nothing new, and smart developers have figured out that it takes more than a name to make a game worthwhile. The makers of ICE AGE apparently haven't learned that lesson.

ICE AGE is a ho-hum platform game in which the player walks, runs, and jumps across ten horizontally scrolling levels. Depending on the level, you control either Manny, a lumbering woolly mammoth ridden by an infant; or Sid, a speedy sloth. When enemies get in the way, such as saber-tooth tigers and dodo birds, the player must kill them. The mammoth can strike with its tusks or throw nuts, while the sloth has a "spin attack." It's cartoonish violence in which defeated enemies simply disappear. The goal is to collect as many nuts as possible on the way to finishing ten levels.

The game is easy to learn and controls are simple, but gameplay quickly becomes repetitive. There's no room for creativity or striking out in a new direction: you must simply follow the path laid out for you. You can take your time and proceed at your own pace in the mammoth levels, but the sloth levels scroll along quickly. If the player can't keep up and is nudged off the edge of the scrolling screen, he loses a life, which will prove frustrating for younger children.

Articles by Kevin Savetz