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Ice Cool

RRP: £34.99

NOW £15.49
RRP £34.99

you could earn 1549 victory points

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ICE COOL is marketed as a dexterity, flicking game for children – where penguins run around a frozen school picking up fish. (Ice school, ice cool… get it? Don’t worry, it took us a moment to realise that one, too!) However, we’d argue that ICE COOL fits into the same bracket as other dexterity games such as Rhino Hero or Animal Upon Animal, where adults enjoy them just as m…
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Category Tags , , , SKU ZBG-BGP5168 Availability 5+ in stock
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Awards

Fun for Kids

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Innovative flicking mechanism for jumping penguins.
  • Great components, with the box in a box concept.
  • Fun for all ages.

Might Not Like

  • There is a lot of luck that determines whether you win the game.
  • Every game is the same, there’s nothing unique about set-up to improve replay-ability.
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Description

ICE COOL is a dexterity game for children, where penguins run around a frozen school picking up fish. (Ice school, ice cool… get it? Don’t worry, it took us a moment to realise that one too!) However, we’d argue that ICE COOL fits into the same bracket as other dexterity games such as Rhino Hero or Animal Upon Animal, where adults enjoy them just as much as the kids – if not more!

The premise in ICE COOL is simple. Players take turns to flick their weighted, plastic penguin around a physical college layout, complete with doorway arches. Up to four players participate in as many rounds as there are players, where one player is a penguin hall monitor, trying to catch (bump into) the other players are playing truant – they’re more interested in hunting the school for fish.

Every time a penguin goes through certain doorways they’ll get a fish (and take a fish card, worth varying points). Every time the hall monitor player bumps into a naughty penguin, they’ll ‘confiscate’ their hall pass, and also earn a fish card for their snitching.

The round ends when either one truant penguin has collected all their fish, or when the hall monitor has confiscated all the hall passes. Then fish are returned to the starting set-up, a different player becomes the hall monitor and everyone plays again. (Everyone will have one round of being the hall monitor.) Whoever collects the highest total of fish on their cards wins the game.

Even the box is a work of genius. Brian Gomez and Brain Games have designed a ‘boxes-within-boxes’ creation – the various rooms that help construct the icy arena all sit snug within each other in the main box. Each one is a few millimetres narrower than its predecessor, so they sit like Russian dolls. Rooms are clipped together on your table with wooden fish pegs, which is a neat touch. It quite literally is a big game in a modest-sized box (and it can be combined with ICE COOL 2 to make a humongous layout).

The penguins are adorable plastic models with spherical bases. They’re weighted appropriately so they wobble when off-kilter – much like one might imagine a clichéd penguin might teeter when scooting around the slippery tundra. Not only does this fit thematically, but it also makes for comical high drama because sometimes they act in unpredictable manners.

Once you’ve played a few times, you’ll get cocky and attempt trick shots, flicking your penguin deliberately with a hint of left-hand side, in attempt to curve it around a corner. You can even flick them in ways where they can jump! You’ll either pull amazing moves, or you’ll fail and hilarity ensues… Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Given how competitive some of us are (sibling rivalries, anyone?), you can imagine how ICE COOL can – and will – become the smash hit of the evening at your games night.

Player Count: 2-4
Time: 20 Minutes
Age: 6+

You’re a penguin, you’re at school, you’re bored and you’re hungry. Quite frankly you’re a bit confused about what the point of school is, when all you plan on doing with the rest of your life is swimming, fishing and caring for your chicks.

What use is Maths when you could have the easy life you see the other penguins having when you watch David Attenborough on TV? Cutting class is so much more fun and there’s plenty of fish to be had in the kitchens, so long as the hall monitor doesn’t catch you!

In 2016, Brain Games released Ice Cool at the UK Games Expo. It was our first year at the expo and we were quite surprised that any games were being released there, let alone one of them going on to win the Kinder Spiel des Jahres (the biggest award for children’s game of the year) one year later. Ice Cool is an innovative dexterity game, with a fantastic pun in its title, about a group of penguins trying to skip class in high school. Let us tell you how it plays.

Ice Cool Gameplay

Ice Cool is a flicking game where you try to navigate your round-bottomed penguin through a series of doorways to collect fish. On your turn you will flick your penguin to move it around the board, trying to avoid being caught getting those tasty fish! The game is very simple, but the clever part is the design of the penguins, if you flick them in the right place you can make them leap over walls or spiral through multiple doorways in one flick!

The game consists of a series of rounds where players will rotate being the hall monitor and the students. The students want to steal the three fish in their colour without being caught, when one penguin gets all three fish the round ends. The fish are hanging above the doorways between rooms, all you have to do is pass through a doorway to get your fish.

The hall monitor wants to catch the students by bashing into their penguins. Should you succeed, you take their hall pass, and should you get all the hall passes then the round ends. Fish and hall passes are all traded for scoring cards which can be one, two or three points, though as a bonus, collecting a pair of one's allows you to take an extra turn. Once everyone has been caught by the hall monitor the game ends and you count up the points on your score cards.

Amy’s Final Thoughts

There is no denying that Ice Cool has an immediate wow-factor. The way the board is created by pinning together a set of lidless boxes means that a medium-sized game box contains a huge playing area. The design of the penguins is genius and the tricks that you can do are incredible. Of course as often as not you’ll whiff your flick and bounce off a doorway or move half an inch before wobbling to a stop… but that’s part of the joy of flicking games!

Ice Cool is a very simple and light game, which makes it a nice warm up for a small group. Sure the person who is good at flicking games will always have the advantage, but since the score cards vary so much you’ll never know who the winner will be. Of course that may be off putting for some people, no matter how good you get you can’t compensate for someone drawing only three's.

Ice Cool may claim to be a 2-4 player game, but it’s definitely better with a full complement of four - there’s a huge difference in how the game feels when the hall monitor has a full set of three penguins to chase after! Ice Cool might be billed as a children’s game, but it’s just as fun for adults, or a mixture of ages. At the end of a game you are guaranteed to come away with a smile, and a slightly sore flicking finger!

Fiona’s Final Thoughts

Ice Cool has great table presence and gathered a crowd at the UK Games Expo last year, of both adults and children alike, and it was great for us to enjoy a couple of games there with friends. At the time we didn’t pick up a copy because it didn’t seem to play well with two players. Since then we’ve never come across any friends with a copy and have only played once at a convention.

It’s always good to have different games to the people you often play with, so Amy suggested that we buy a copy of Ice Cool and it has hit the table a few times in the last couple of weeks and sits happily among our heavy games like Terraforming Mars and A Feast for Odin.

I am extremely bad at flicking games and Ice Cool is no exception. I see other people making the penguins jump, accurately curving round corners and I’m lucky if I can make the penguin travel one inch in a straight line! As frustrating as it can be, a game of Ice Cool with four players can be quite a hilarious experience. Winning can often have a large dose of luck because luck of the draw determines if you receive one, two or three victory point cards, but I’ve never experienced someone being annoyed that they didn’t win because it’s just a quick, silly game.

If you’re looking for a game for children, perhaps a game that will cater for different ages, or you want to engage adults in a game as an introduction to the huge variety of games in our hobby, then Ice Cool is a shining example of something innovative and fun.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Innovative flicking mechanism for jumping penguins.
  • Great components, with the box in a box concept.
  • Fun for all ages.

Might not like

  • There is a lot of luck that determines whether you win the game.
  • Every game is the same, theres nothing unique about set-up to improve replay-ability.