Apr 26, 2013
Mountain Sheep’s arcade hockey game Ice Rage has finally made its way to Android thanks to Herocraft – is this game a slap shot goal or power play where the team with the advantage does not score?
I’m not too well-versed in hockey.
There are no power plays or penalties or icing here, as it’s all about one-on-one hockey action. It’s really more akin to air hockey instead of ‘actual’ hockey in any way. Players can check the opponent to get the puck, and when they have it, it’s possible to hold down on the one virtual button on screen to charge up and aim a shot. Matches last one just minute in most modes, so it’s perfect for fast sessions.
There’s plenty of crazy action that goes on here, with arrow angles and tough shots to make. Just because it’s arcade hockey doesn’t mean that some degree of precision is unnecessary! The arcade ladder made with temporary character upgrades is a fun diversion, and the later difficulties with things like manual goalie control help out as well. There’s a crazy set of characters to play as, including Enviro-Bear. Bear is playing hockey, how can this be?
The controls feature a very simple joystick-and-one-button control scheme, but the fast pace of the gameplay combined with the general entropy that arises from skating on ice makes it very difficult to accurately maneuver. Sure, this is to be somewhat expected, but still, it feels like it’s just too hard to maneuver. Having a floating joystick instead of a fixed one would be a big step forward for the controls. Of course, there’s the ability to just play with one button and not move around manually at all, but it’s not exactly a solution, it’s just a compromise.
While Ice Rage is far from perfect, there’s plenty of entertainment to be had here, and getting a tricky shot in goal is still just extremely satisfying, no matter what else happens.