Ice Rage, a slick little hockey jump-off from the pros known as Mountain Sheep, is now available from the app store. Essentially a facelifted air hockey game, the 2 vs. 2 matches, slick graphics, and ultra casual gameplay make this a great way to challenge your friends or nab a quick game when you don’t have much time.
Ice Rage Pros:
- Polished top-down graphics that run ultra smooth
- Plenty of sound effects that bring the game to life
- Two-button controls are simple and effective
- Same-device multiplayer is great on the iPad, passable on smaller devices
Ice Rage Cons:
- No customizations, stats, or social gaming network integration
- Controls feel a tad loose
- No online multiplayer
Ice Rage offers both a Single Player and Multiplayer mode, with Easy, Medium, and Hard difficulties from which to choose. The first two offer automatic goalies, leaving you free to control the other player at slow or fast gameplay speeds. Hard lives up to the name, as you are forced to control both the goalie and your player via the single control stick. Suffice to say, we got lit up in our first attempt and don’t plan on coming back for seconds anytime soon. Each game is but 1:45 long, pitting red against blue. There are 4 characters to choose from, including Enviro-Bear and John Gore. Santa is available as a playable character for a small IAP. The better-known characters are slightly stronger, packing a bigger wallop when checking opponents or moving just a bit quicker, so there is some advantage to using them. Gameplay is fast and furious, as you and your opponent maneuver swiftly and sweepingly around the screen-sized rink, rattling shots off of the post and stealing the puck whenever possible. The player with the most points at the end of the time limit is declared the winner. Ties go to sudden death with no break in the action until that deciding goal is scored. There are no stats recorded, no leveling up or earning anything other than temporary victory or defeat with the next opportunity to win just a button tap away.
Graphically, Ice Rage has the expected Mountain Sheep polish, offering great visuals, ultra smooth action, and a flat out fun experience. The audio provides crowd noises, stick clicking, horn blaring, board crashing, and all of the other ambient noises associated with the winter sport. The controls utilize two buttons, a movement joypad on the left and a shoot/check/steal button on the right. It’s a simple setup to grasp, allowing you to play in landscape when in single player and pitting human against human at either short end of the device when taking on a buddy. Holding the shoot button will increase the power of the shot, as indicated by a growing arrow, which also acts as the aim indicator for lining up your shot. Despite some adjustment needed to get used to the slightly floaty feel of the skaters, the controls are responsive and simple to use.
Replay value is good, especially if you have friends around to play with. The lack of any other content in the game renders it a bit dull after a while in single player mode, however. It would have been nice to adjust game length, but we do find the short timer to be adequate to get things done. In its current form, it seems most suited for quick burst play than for extended use, but we’re happy to have it ready to go when we find ourselves with an extra few minutes to spare. A universal app for $0.99, Ice Rage is a terrific 4-Dimple stud.
Ice Rage Review,