Do you realize how much inconvenience I've suffered to make a successful game? A few flaws, a few bugs here and there.... It's normal
Icey was a game I initially bought years ago but only invested about an hours time into it. Now, six years later and I decided to try the game again and well suffice to say, Icey is not a bad game but not a good one either. This is a hack and slash game with a narrator who will talk throughout the game, similar to the one from The Stanely Parable.
Pros and Cons
Combat is fun overall
Lots of secrets and hidden paths to explore
Section in the game that shows early beta concepts
Genuinely nice stylized art style
Story is decent at best, nothing special about
The narrator is very underwhelming and sometimes annoying
Combat is lackluster, nothing really feels special about it
There are no I-frames when dodging attacks
The parry feature has an exceedingly small window of opportunity
You aren’t rewarded for going out of your way to explore different paths
The story starts out with Icey waking up and being told that she needs to kill someone by the name of Judas because they brought the apocalypse. Icey is also led by this narrator who will tell her about things around her.
That is all the story and from there, its bland, the main appeal of the game is the narrator who will guide you throughout and tell you to go certain ways. You can, however, disobey him and unlock different paths and secrets for you to find. The problem with this narrator is the fact that he acts like he doesn’t even want to be there, and he is the only person in this game that speaks. He will complain to you when you disobey his orders, which is meant to be provide a comedic effect but with how he presents his voice, it just doesn’t work.
In The Stanely Parable, it worked well because it’s meant to narrative-driven game. Icey is a hack-and-slash, and it doesn’t really do its job of being funny. The only good thing the story has is the main character, Icey herself, she doesn’t talk but she is adorable.
The gameplay for Icey is simple, you will hack and slash your way through enemies to get to your next objective. Every time you defeat an enemy, you will get money that you can use to buy upgrades, and new moves for Icey to use and they can be upgraded. The max level a move can be is level 3. You can also find money in the world of the game as well to help. Also, every time you are almost done defeating an enemy, you can do a finishing move, these moves will heal Icey a little bit and I recommend you do this as there is no other way to really replenish your health in combat. You can also absorb these energy things on the screen to do a powerful attack that will damage all enemies.
There are also some secrets for you to find in the game by going out of your way to find them, one of my personal favorites was some beta concepts of the game, which was a pretty cool thing to find.
There are bosses that you will run into occasionally. They will have a weak point for you to target in order to damage them, with each boss having at least two health bars that you will need to deplete. You do have a special attack that you will eventually unlock that allows you to heal helping you survive these battles.
Combat is fun for the most part but that’s just it, at the same time, it’s lackluster, nothing really special stands out and you fight the same enemies repeatedly. Sometimes the bosses you fight will be normal enemies, which is fine but that’s really it, nothing too special.
For the combat mechanics, you have a basic attack, heavy attack, and also a dash that allows you to move around quickly while fighting enemies. Dashing in and out while choosing the best attack can be pretty fun, there are some problems that are very annoying and prevent the game from being an overall good experience.
Starting off, there are no I-frames when you are dashing, or any sort of I-frames at all when you are dashing. It can be used to dodge attacks, but you can’t really rely on it fully, you have to move up essentially, to fully dodge the attack but that has issues because you probably don’t want to dodge that way. You most likely want to be behind the enemy to get some hits on them before they attack you, you can phase through enemies with the dash, which is odd that you can and not through attacks. You don’t even have the ability to block attacks at all in this game so that is another hindrance you have to go through. There are just not a lot of defensive options in this game at all and that is a little odd for an action-based hack-and-slash.
However, I would be lying saying that there are no defensive options in Icey because there is a parry attack but the threshold for it is exceedingly small and the time you can most likely parry is when you are in mid-combo or when the enemy has almost hit you. Dashing away from the attack is the better option, assuming you don’t get hit by the attack before you can parry it. Despite all of that, you are still limited in what you can do in terms of defensive options.
The final issue is that you aren't really rewarded for going out of your way to find the hidden areas and secrets the game has to offer to you. Sometimes you can find money that can be useful for more upgrades but other than that, it's just bonus areas that contain nothing of interest.
Graphics and Performance
Icey has a genuinely nice art style that is beautiful to look at in some areas, it gives off that feel of an isolated world where no humans exist. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM, I experienced no issues during my playthrough.
Icey has good things going for it, but it also has a lot of bad mechanics that prevents it from being a good game. Icey is just an okay game, not terrible but not great either and I think this further explains why I only invested about an hour into the game previously.
The game isn’t very long, at least two and a half hours if you only go for the main objectives. As such, if you are still keen on picking this game up, I would suggest waiting for a sale.