Just in time for the new computer animated summer movie comes the Ice Age Artic Games! The herd has come across a bountiful treasure, but the scurvy ice pirates have their eye on it, too. And the only way to settle who gets the prize is to play a round of Artic Games. Compete in nearly a dozen prehistoric winter sports on the Wii, Xbox 360 Kinect, 3DS, and DS (Wii version reviewed here).
There are three main modes of play. You can try Story Mode and pick a side: Herd (good guys), or Crew (bad guys), and play each game one after the other to see who gets the treasure at the end. Or compete in a hot-seat tournament with the CPU or a friend. Finally, try each game separately in Free Play.
Each game stars a different character from the cartoon, such as Manny the Mammoth, Sid the Sloth, Diego the Sabertooth, or Scrat the Squirrel. You can even play as the new pirate characters if you pick their side. Some games are 2-D platform jumping obstacle challenges; others are ski races, jumps, or slaloms. And others challenge your target practice skills.
The graphics are passable at best, but I was really impressed with the voice work. I doubt they really got the actual celebrity voice actors to do the game, but the characters sound exactly like they do in the movie! Aside from the limited selection of games, the only other problem I had with this title is that some of the challenges are hard to figure out, even with the instructions and picture cues. I still don’t know what you’re supposed to do in the game where Scrat has to plug holes in the ice! But if you or your kids love the Ice Age movies and characters, you may still enjoy the Artic Games regardless.
If you’re OK with your kids watching the movies, they’ll be OK with the game, too. Reading skill isn’t needed as game instructions have spoken voice and picture cues. Although even then, some of the tutorials aren’t easy to understand right away. Some younger players might get frustrated at the tougher CPU opponents, too. Ice Age: Continental Drift – Artic Games is rated E for Everyone.