Review: Ice Cool

Rating: 4 stars

Ice Cool is the new dexterity board game from designer Brian Gomez and published by Brain Games.  In a nutshell, it’s a flicking game with penguins.

The Components

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The game board is actually made up of several box inners

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…plus a set of 16 wooden fish token, 4 plastic penguin playing pieces and a set of cards – 4 Player Cards, 4 ID cards and 45 Fish Cards

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The board is set up as follows…

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The component quality is pretty good – the card stock is of a decent thickness with nice artwork and the boxes are of robust construction (they will need to be) – see later

Playing the Game

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The game can be played by 2-4 players and playing time is about 30 minutes.

The story is that several penguins (The Runners) are running around the school looking for fish to eat. They are being chased by the hall monitor (The Catcher). The game is played over several rounds. In each round, a different player takes the role of The Catcher. His job is to catch all The Runners, which he does by touching them with his playing piece.

The Runners – the other players – are trying to collect as many fish as possible. You collect fish by passing through a doorway that has your coloured fish above it.

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The playing pieces are plastic, with rounded bottoms (a bit like Subbuteo players). You move them by flicking them.

The round ends when either:

  • One of the Runners has collected 3 fish
  • The Catcher has caught all three runners

Note – there are slightly different rules for a 2-Player game.

Scoring

At the end of each round, each player draws a number of fish cards from the deck. These cards have 1, 2 or 3 fish on them, which are the victory points for the game. The Runners draw a number of fish cards equal to the number of fish token they have collected, plus a bonus card if they didn’t get caught. The Catcher draws a number of fish cards equal to the number of Runners they caught in the round.

The game continues over a number of rounds until each player has played the role of The Catcher once, after which the game ends, and players total up the number victory points they have collected. Whoever has collected the most points wins the game.

 

The Verdict

At it’s heart Ice Cool is a very simple game, which is never a bad thing. The fact that you can flick the pieces in such as a way that they can curve or jump (as seen in the above videos) makes the game much more interesting. When I saw it, I was a little unsure as to just how good a game it would be. Having played it, I can assure you that the game is a lot of fun. It’s probably better with more players, but the 2-player game is still pretty engaging.

The game is ideal as short filler – the sort of game that you play at the start or end of an evening. At £30, it’s probably a little on the expensive side for this sort of game, but it is a lot if fun to play, so I expect that over the course of a year you will get value for money with the number of times that you get it to the table.

It should be available from your FLGS shortly.

 

1 Comment on Review: Ice Cool

  1. Nice review – I saw this game at UK Games Expo. It looked great but I didn’t get a chance to watch it be played!

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