This was a pretty big hit at Gen Con. It sold out on the first day. I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to get a copy, but special thanks to the people over at Brain Games for holding a review copy for me that I picked up on Day 3 there.
Dexterity games are hit or miss for me. I enjoy Flick Em Up, though I can never find people to play it with. Some I just don’t like at all (I’m looking at you Tok Tok Woodman). But this one looked really cool, so it was definitely on my list to try. How is it? Let’s find out!
ICE COOL (2016) Designed by Brian Gomez; Published by Brain Games – Plays 2-4 players and takes about 20 minutes to play.
The concept is pretty cool. The board itself is 3 dimensional. Players are student penguins in a high school (get it…. “Ice” Cool?) and they are trying to collect fish in their color.
The penguin pieces are like mini-weebles, that wobble back and forth.
Players will flick their penguin from room to room….
….trying to collect the 3 fishes of their color before the other players. You collect your fish by getting your penguin to go underneath a doorway that has our fish on top.
Each time you collect one of your fish, you grab a random fish card, which will be a certain number of points.
Also, during each round, one of the players will be playing against everyone else acting as the “hall monitor”,
…who will be trying to run into the other players, taking their student I.D. Each I.D is worth one fish card at the end of the round (including your own).
You can also use two 1-point cards (which are ice skates) to take an extra turn.
After everyone has been the hall monitor once (4 rounds at the most), the game ends and players count up the points on their fish cards. Whoever has the most points is the winner.
There isn’t much to the game…… and that’s NOT a problem at all. The beauty of this game is its simplicity. You’re simply flicking your piece around the board, collecting fish, trying not to get caught. But man, is this super fun!
First of all, let’s take a look at that board. It’s actually a bunch of boxes that make up the board, which are stored inside each other. It’s a box-within-a-box way of storing the game, and it is just simply clever. And the artwork on the board (or in the boxes) is phenomenally good.
The penguin pieces themselves are great. The fun part about the game is figuring out the best way to make your penguins move the way you want them to. You can flick them in a certain way that will make them curve and spin through multiple doorways. Or even flicking in a way that can make your penguin jump over walls! When you achieve things like that, it’s very satisfying and usually causes the entire table to erupt with enthusiasm.
The game is pretty random in the way you get fish cards, but I like that you can use two 1-point cards to take another turn. I don’t mind the randomness at all in this game, because for me, the fun isn’t really about winning. It’s about just flicking your pieces and messing with your friends and family. I never really cared about winning while playing this.
This is a great game for families, but I also played this with 3 other grown adults who were laughing and talking smack with each other the entire time. The game is fine with 3 players. It’s not that interesting for me with 2 however. I would say 4 players is the best way to play this one. The more pieces on the board, the better.
The game presentation is nothing short of outstanding. The boxes making the play area, flicking pieces all over the place, and just the sheer amount of pure fun this game generates make this easily one of the best dexterity games I’ve ever played.
If you’re looking for a fun family game, a well-produced dexterity game, or an outstanding party game that kids and adults can play alike, then I beg you not to miss Ice Cool! This game is very impressive! A glorious production!