Ice Climber
By Zach Patterson Friday, 18 Mar 2005

You know, I try to play this every so often because I usually remember it with fondness, but in reality, it’s just not all that fun. The basic premise is simple here: you are an ice climber, and you need to get to the top of 30-some mountains…just look out for angry ice block carrying Yetis, red nosed bears (in red speedos, no less), and annoying birds. Luckily, you have a hammer and you aren’t taking any crap from these pesky animals.

But why is it not that fun you ask? The controls and difficulty of the game make this game a lot less fun than it could be. This game is very arcade-like, with it’s black background and it’s ascent upwards. It is also 2-player which is a welcome addition. However, let me go over the issues this game has.

First of all, your Ice Climber moves like he is in molasses. He is very sluggish, and it is very difficult to hit small ledges with the poor collision detection. Also, the end bonus levels are very difficult and often times maddeningly hard to do completely. In addition, the game is quite unrewarding, since all the levels are available from the start and the difficultly for any given level is seemingly random. I have no trouble beating some of the higher levels, but some of the early ones are way too hard.

Finally, while 2-player is a good reason to keep this game in the NES, often times you unintentially screw your friend. While amusing, there is no cooperative play here, and you are essentially playing by yourself with another person. That, and often times when you get the slightest bit ahead of your partner, the screen moves up and can accidentally kill your partner from the scrolling screen of death. This makes this whole feature a little less fun.

The music is okay, but very repetitive and nothing particularly memorable. The graphics are very basic and are indicative of early NES games.

While it is not a bad game, it suffers from a lot of issues that could have been fixed to make the game better and a lot more fun. Here’s hoping for an update of the franchise in the future, but until then, don’t be in a rush to buy unless you find it cheap or just love early style arcade/NES games.