Mountain Sheep, the developers behind iOS classics Minigore and Bike Baron, are at it again with Ice Rage. This bite-sized hockey game sports their signature art style and simplicity but takes the simplicity part too far, making Ice Rage a game you’ll quickly lose interest in.
Ice Rage strips hockey down to its bare essentials: you’ve got two players, the computer-controlled goalie and the player. Controlling your player is simple: move with the analog stick and press a single button to charge up a knockdown or power shot. Get more goals than the opponent before the timer buzzes and you win. If there’s a tie, the game goes into sudden death where the first team to score wins.
Minigore on ice.
The simple gameplay is fun at first but gets repetitive very quickly. This isn’t helped by the lackluster game modes, which amount to quick play and tournament mode. Tournament mode is made up of a string of nine games with three upgradable attributes: speed, power and technique. These only last for the single tournament and only marginally improve your character. There are three difficulty levels, although none are too challenging. There’s also no option to customize game lengths; quick play is set to one minute and 45 seconds while tournament games are all 45 seconds.
Ice Rage’s redeeming quality is it’s single-device multiplayer. When played on an iPad, this can be a good bit of fun, even if it’s a little awkward to play. However, on a smaller iOS device it’s nearly impossible to have two players on one device. An option for local multiplayer with multiple devices or online multiplayer via GameCenter is sorely needed. However, even the multiplayer will get old quickly due to the game’s repetitive nature.
The iceman cometh.
In classic Mountain Sheep style, Ice Rage has crossover characters taking the ice alongside the generic hockey players. These include John Gore, Envirobear and Bike Baron. Angry Santa also makes an appearance as $0.99 DLC, although it’s a hard sell considering it’s a glorified skin. The game’s description mentions improved stats for a few of these characters but we couldn’t tell the difference in game.
Ice Rage has the potential to be extremely fun if the developers build on the concept, but in it’s current form, we found the game lacking. There’s nothing inherently bad about Ice Rage, but the general empty feel didn’t entice us to keep playing after a few rounds of tournament and multiplayer.