Forget the black infused back drop of Icycle: On Thin Ice's title screen, since everything about this game is colorful. Starting with its James Bond inspired opening sequence, this app reels you in with all its pretty pictures, illustrating a surreal dreamscape where bicycles fear to tread. Adventurers, however, may love the thrill of the chill.
A confidently constructed, physics based platformer, Icycle: On Thin Ice has players guiding Dennis, a clothing challenged individual who braves an unforgiving universe. Time waits for no one, as our hero bikes his way through an unrelenting terrain which promises death on every corner. Whether it's a suburban landscape with its head above the clouds, or a jagged edged kingdom that will tear him to shreds, Dennis doesn't have time to analyze his surroundings. In a world that's literally closing in on you, who has time to think?
Moving left and right is easy enough with directional arrows that are hard to miss on your device, and the up arrow on the right side is employed for your highly important bike jumps. While trying to survive within each level, you can pick up ice blocks which doubles as your currency. Even though survival is the primary objective behind this app, you can also imbue Dennis with a tad of fashion sense. Since my day to day attire is drab beyond belief, my iOS hours are spent living life out loud - hence the newly purchased pink earmuffs and Christmas sweater for my new bike buddy.
The actual puzzle elements of Icycle: On Thin Ice deals with understanding the nuances of each stage. Certain sections will require a greater command of timing, while others concentrate on your actual coordination. Even if you have a reasonable grasp of physics based journeys, this app should still bring something new to the table. I've touched and tapped my way through my share of iOS adventures, but kissing a fish on a bicycle was a definite first.
The app's true excellence lies in its visual conception, as developer Damp Gnat's imagination knows no bounds. If painter Salvador Dali lived in The Twilight Zone and possessed a love for video games, his dreams would probably exist within this realm of icicles. Don't expect just a series of frozen tundras to explore, as this app contains a ton of levels that left me utterly gobsmacked. One of my favorite moments comes right in the middle of a silhouetted combat journey, as Dennis exists as a simple speck within this beautifully rendered landscape.
After completing 80 challenges, you'll be able to unlock the original Icycle game. Getting there is its own special reward, as the puzzles will definitely push you to your limits. As much as I love this app's eye catching aesthetic, I may never eat a green apple again, even if my head is in the clouds.
Icycle: On Thin Ice is a steal for just $0.99 thanks to its outside the box creative execution and perfectly realized physics quests. It's a great one two punch of fun that carries much more heat than its moniker suggests.