Icycle: On Thin Ice Review

By , on December 2, 2013
Last modified 10 years, 6 months ago

Icycle: On Thin Ice
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • The visual flair is incredibly impressive.
  • Clever use of collectibles as a path-finding tool.
  • Shop is an addition, not the focus of the game.


  • Stiff controls can cause problems.
  • Three-lives system seems arbitrary.


Despite its stiff handling, Icycle: On Thin Ice is a gorgeous, bizarre, and often humorous game which demands your attention.

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As iOS gamers, we've been exposed to some weird scenarios over the years. Narky birds with porky vendettas; hungry green monsters which subsist entirely on dangling sugar lozenges – to us, these things are just another day in the App Store.

Icycle: On Thin Ice is game about a naked man named Dennis, who finds himself riding a tricycle through ever-shifting landscapes. Originally we thought the game might be showing us a dream or nightmare scenario. Then Dennis gets hit by a fish, and start having actual hallucinations.

And we thought we'd seen it all.

Right off the bat, you will notice the presentation. Some stages, like the crystal caves, are more simplistic, featuring morphing shapes and only a couple colours. Other landscapes live somewhere between complete abstraction and a hyper-stylised reality, with buildings floating in mid-air and . Accompanying these visuals are a collection of deep, rich sound effects, which combine with the unusual imagery to seriously striking effect.

If only your time guiding Dennis through this space was as pleasing as the visuals. Icycle: On Thin Ice provides on-screen buttons to guide the peddling nudist left and right, and a jump button that doubles as a parachute toggle. Movement is quite stiff, making some of the pop-up obstacles difficult to traverse, and causing more restarts than we would like. And, considering that you're kicked to the start of the level after three deaths, you'll be wishing that Dennis' ride was a bit smoother.

But, overall, Icycle: On Thin Ice is an experience worth having. Some of the art-inspired ideas presented as you travel from one location to the another are captivating, and reaching each imaginative new level makes any control-related frustration worthwhile. It's rare to see a game with this degree of stylistic wit and visual polish, so we'd recommend seeing past its shortcomings and hopping on Icycle chilly saddle.


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