Review: Ice Age: Continental Drift: Arctic Games
Title: Ice Age: Continental Drift: Arctic Games
Platform: Xbox 360 with Kinect, PC, Wii, 3DS, DS (reviewed on Xbox 360 with Kinect)
Developer: Blue Sky
Tagline: Quick Cash and Grab to
Swindle Get Parents to Buy the Game for their Kids
Family Friendly: Click here for more information.
Verdict: Skip It
When it comes to making a license game based on a children’s movie, you don’t expect much from it. Some can turn out to be pretty decent, like the Cars games, but others can be downright bad from conception to execution. It was my pleasure to find out that Ice Age Continental Drift Arctic Games falls into the latter category. Its own existence seems to be centered on making a game with characters from a popular movie and using the thinnest of plot to get them all together for one Kinect based adventure, with fun being optional.
Apparently, in the movie Ice Age Continental Drift, Manny the Mastodon and friends meet up with a group of pirates that try to kill them and their families. Here in the game, the two sides find a bounty of fruit in a winter wonderland and they decide to have a friendly competition to see who wins the fruit. Yep, it goes from pirates trying to kill to pirates that believe in healthy competition for healthy snacks.
So the premise is a bit weird, and completely out of context of the main premise for the movie, but I get it, as Blue Sky and Activision are trying to make a game that is fun and entertaining for them. But if that is the case, why make a game that uses some of the worst Kinect implementation ever. I have played a lot of Kinect games, and there has been some bad implementation, but this is some of the worst outside of maybe Steel Battalion. It is not that the Kinect sensor does not recognize me, but it just seems to guess my moves than actually performing the moves I am making. And due to sensitivity, there are a lot of movements that are read wrong by the game. At times I have to jump, but if I lean while I am jumping, it will move me instead of jumping. Stuff like that just ruins any sort of fun that could be had with Ice Age Continental Drift Arctic Games.
Other problems come from the instructions not being very clear with some of the games and moves you have to perform. One of the games you play in the story requires you to run jump and stop, but they do not tell you that stopping is what makes the ice move to the next location.
There are several modes outside of the main story mode, but they are all about more mini-games. You can team up to play two player, with one playing as the Herd and one playing as the Pirates, which might be fun once or twice, but I doubt it.
Of course, a lot of this won’t mean anything for a kid, as they will probably just have fun listening to their favorite Ice Age characters, while jumping around and just having what those under the age of five would call fun. I know I am not the audience for this game, but I think the audience at the end of the day seems so small, as no one above that five year old mark will tolerate the inaccuracy of the controls, or the sheer annoyance of the game as a whole.
I know that at this point, there will be people that buy Ice Age Continental Drift Arctic Games if only because of guilt by association to the movie of the same name, and I get that, but there are far better games on the market that kids can use with their Kinect. I know that some love their Ice Age characters, but stick to the DVDs as they are cheaper and will probably keep you entertained far longer than this game will ever manage to do.
- All your favorites from the movie are here
- You will get 300+ Gamerscore after an hour of play
- Kinect controls are wretchedly awful
- The game is woefully short
- License is used for decoration to sell copies of a mediocre game
While Ice Age Continental Drift Arctic Games is suitable for gamers of all ages, the lack of response and control issues with Kinect and this game will frustrate most that play it. Kids under five will probably look past that and just have fun with the game, but for everyone else, it will not help with family bonding time.