On the fourth of April, 2013, HeroCraft released an addictive arcade ice hockey game, called Ice Rage. The number one Sports Game on iOS in the US and 70 other countries, Ice Rage features polished 3D visuals, intuitive controls and a hot-seat mode.
“Ice Rage has been a huge success for us on iPhone and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to let Android gamers get their mitts on it too,” said Kimmo Vihola, Managing Director of Mountain Sheep. “HeroCraft showed a great interest in the game and a desire to help us bring it to new platforms and with their status as a Top Developer on Google Play we’re sure that Ice Rage will be a hit in this new market too.”
Of course we immediately jumped on board to test Hero Crafts new release. And now, after a few days of playing Ice Rage, and between many wins, losses and broken noses in between, we are ready to present you with the review of this new release.
Ice Rage is an arcade game in every meaning of the word. You have limited game modes, and most of the time will find yourself playing it just for the fun of it. No missions, no rewards just pure arcade.
You have two major playing modes: Single Player and Multiplayer
In Single Player you are able to play quick games, in which you choose one the characters in the main screen and just play until the timer runs out. Also in Single Player you have the Tournament and Rage Off modes.
The tournament mode allows you to battle it out against a few opponents and upgrade your player’s capabilities every time you win a battle, this improves your chances of winning the tournament in a major way, if you know in which skills to apply every point.
The Rage Off mode is simply but, a win in whenever way you can mode that puts you up against three different opponents. There are two ways in which you can decrease their “life” bar in order to win the battle, you can tackle the life out of them, this will slightly decrease their life, or you can score goals, which will significantly decrease their life. But it is for you to choose which of those is more fun.
You will also notice that in the Rage Off mode the AI is much more agressive than in the other modes, so don’t be surprised when the other player comes after you just to beat you up even when you don’t have the puck in your possession.
There are two other modes in Multiplayer game, the Quick Game mode and again the Rage Off mode. In the multiplayer game you will be battling a friend in your own device. So if you were expecting to battle it out online, no luck there. You will have two sets of controls on either side of the screen of your device allowing you to fight it out against a friend, or several (one at a time) in the Knockout mode.
The controls are pretty simple, as should be in any arcade game, since back then you had a joystick and one or two buttons to rely on.
So taking that into account, in Ice Rage you have one joystick, on the left bottom side of the screen, which lets you control the direction you want your player to move, and one action button, on the right bottom side of the screen, that lets you shoot the puck if you have it under your possession, o tackle your opponent if you don’t have the puck (it really doesn’t matter if the opponent has it or not, this is HOCKEY!).
You can also play with only one button, the action button, and the player is controlled by the AI of Ice Rage, always gravitating to the puck and when you have it, it automatically directs your player to the opponents goal.
The action button gives you the ability of controlling the strength you use, either when your at shooting at the goal, or whether your targeting your opponent’s back. Very useful in Rage Off mode.
Besides the game modes you can also choose the difficulty in which you want to play. There are three levels: Easy, in which you control only your player and the AI is kind of slow and clueless when it comes to shoot at the goal. Medium, where you still control only your player but the AI is quicker, smarter and a better shot. Hard, where you control not only your player but also your goalie.
The Hard mode is a little bit hard to get used to since when you move your main player around the ring, your goalie moves up and down as well. There will be times when you are trying to get your main player to tackle the opponent, but you will forget that you also have to control your goalie and you will suffer many goals that way.
The sound effects are great and are a great part of making Ice Rage a comical and enjoyable arcade game.
You will laugh every time you tackle an opponent, and every time an opponent tackles you, just because of the sound effect that accompanies this action. This for me, in part, is what makes a game playable and enjoyable.
Of course you are also rewarded by the audience applause whenever you score a goal, as well as booed when you make a hard tackle and your opponent falls to the ground. And when/if you win the tournament, you will really feel proud of yourself just because of the raging noise the audience makes.
If it weren’t for the good background music and well chosen sound effects, I believe Ice Rage wouldn’t be half as entertaining as it is.
The graphics are spot on for an arcade game. The fact the controls are always displayed on the screen, gives you that look and feel of an old arcade game, while giving you 3D graphics which represent the players, fields and puck. The menus of Ice Rage also carry that arcade look with them, and you always know what you can achieve when you choose an icon in the menu.
This was the point that disappointed me the most about this game. It is definitely a fun and entertaining game. But after you beat the AI in every mode available, and it isn’t difficult to do so, you have no online multiplayer mode to fall back to, you have to rely on the possibility of having someone willing to play against you in the same device. This is surely a thing that will disappoint many gamers out there, but still I would advise everyone to try it because you will have a great time doing so.
So what do I thought about Ice Rage?
I really enjoyed it, the sound effects make it funny and of course, being an Ice Hockey game, makes it always challenging to control your player around the ring, and you will eventually score a few points in the wrong goal.
It is great fun and a good game to have in your device for those times you find yourself with nothing to do and don’t really want to do anything else.
I greatly regret the lack of an online playing mode that would let players battle against one another. Firstly because having a friend grabbing your device when playing against you in a hockey game might have a few negative consequences you might not be expecting. And secondly because it greatly decreases the longevity of the game, you will find yourself losing interest in Ice Rage fairly rapidly after you have tried all the game modes and won, which is a pity.
Nonetheless a very good arcade game that made it to our Android devices because of HeroCraft and Mountain Sheep, to which we are grateful.
All that’s left is to thank Hero Craft for supplying us the game in order to test it and give them our hopes that they will continue to develop great Android games that will surely satisfy gamers around the world.
Review by: Cátia Sofia @ AndroidEmotions